Rebellion’s recently released World War 2 shooter Sniper Elite III has gotten off to a rocky start, as the developer has been revoking an untold number of Steam keys that it claims were stolen from one of its retail distributors.
Rebellion claims that one of the PC retail distributors selling Sniper Elite III reported that a number of their Steam keys were stolen and resold to various digital distribution companies, who then sold them to unsuspecting gamers thinking that they were purchasing legitimate access to the game. Upon being informed of the issue, Steam immediately blocked said keys, preventing gamers who just spent their hard earned money from playing Sniper Elite III.
As you might expect, the uproar from both gamers and the numerous companies who sold the stolen keys has been huge. One of said companies, Instant Gaming, denied having sold stolen keys and heavily implied that Rebellion were trying to con gamers by forcing them to buy only through Steam, which is more expensive, and nowhere else.
The situation over at the Steam forums is no better, either. The forum topic concerning this issue is over 50 pages long and filled to the brim with incensed gamers, many of whom concur with Instant Gaming’s assessment that Rebellion are trying to squash third party sellers who are undercutting their profits by selling the game at a lower price than Steam.
For their part, Rebellion have tried to calm things down by offering a pre-order DLC mission, called “Target Hitler,” free of charge to affected customers until July 4. Of course, because those affected customers can’t even play the game anymore, Rebellion also recommends that they seek refunds or a replacement key from the retailer they originally purchased the game from:
As a developer Rebellion are happy for you to purchase the game anywhere you see fit and support price competition in the PC market – we have in no way targeted any specific vendors (who may have also thought these keys were legitimate), just this one set of keys.
All we can suggest if you have been affected is to please contact your vendor and first ask for a replacement key, and then contact us for the free pre-order DLC if you are successful.