A week ago, Frostpunk 2 was announced, and we admit, we were also quite fevered by the continuation of the dystopian, city management game of Polish 11 bit studios.
It’s a pain, but unfortunately, Frostpunk 2 has been caught by scammers, and a website selling digital game keys registered in China has started selling non-existent keys to Frostpunk 2 without any license.
The story’s bottom line is that the web store in question, Kinguin, used the Frostpunk 2 Epic Games Store trailer to sell Steam keys to the game, all with a non-existent PEGI rating. Frostpunk 2 is still in an incubator state, i.e., in the early stages of development.
Even the 11 bits themselves don’t know what price you’re going to shoot into your game, plus no pre-order campaigns are running. So the keys, as they are, are quasi-non-existent.
The 11-bit team shared on Frostpunk 2’s official Twitter that Kinguin’s keys were scams and turned to users and the media for help to get the news to as many people as possible. Later, at the request of Gamasutra, the studio made a statement about the annoying affair.
“We used raw words, but not without reason. They are selling something that does not exist. We have access to the game internal testing, but we do not sell any keys redeemable codes or give players access. All this means that Kinguin’s false information could cause a lot of trouble for the future official sale of Frostpunk 2. We may be adversely affected because the price of the Kinguin in the blind may differ from our pre-order price. But there may also be a complaint that players will not activate non-existent keys they have just purchased in the future.” The team said.
They also added that they would be happy to take action against such webshop practices but that other industry players would also have to stand up for it. Finally, they explained that it would be challenging to take the matter to court, as Kinguin is registered in Hong Kong, and even though the store is called upon to take down Frostpunk 2, it will not deal with the developers’ request.
Various key web stores have been a headache for studios and publishers for some time. Not only are they hurting toy sales, but they are also selling counterfeit or pirated toys.
The G2A did not swim: The web store had to pay $40,000 to Factorio developers after it was revealed that 321 illegal Factorio keys had been sold. In contrast, it is frustrating that Frostpunk 2 is still pre-ordered on Kinguin’s side at writing.