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Where shady keyshops get thousands copies of PoE 2?

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Keys on those “grey market” stores come from various sources and it would take a lot of effort to track each and every key. Polygon attempted it once:



Probably the most extreme cases were keys bought via stolen credit card information. Ubi made a big fuss about it a while back.


Another dirty trick is buying a key in an area with a lower pricing or during a deep sale and reselling it for a profit.


Keys might be also spare ones - someone receiving a gifted copy, getting key from a bundle he owns/isn’t interested in. Or as in the case of Polygon article someone selling a key distributed for promotional purposes.


Whatever, the keys come from, those “grey market” sellers are not authorised shops - they don’t get keys directly from developers. They act more like an e-bay - just a platform for transaction. How dodgy the source is may vary.


If you wonder if buying from those sites is an acceptable thing to do - well, I don’t think there is any chance Obsidian will gain anything from those sales. Overall, I would recommend avoiding those, especially when new releases are concerned.

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As far as I know, this phenomenon is in no way restricted to Deadfire, i.e. you would find the exact same dodgy keys for many, many games. (I once made a short search and found several very cheap keys. But they looked so dubious I didn't even consider buying.)

Thousands of cheap steam keys for famous titles is a very very rare case. In this case it could be some fishy reseller or marketing source. Moreover that could be a reason of financial failure of the game.

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