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Valve Locks Out Imported Games

MarlorMarlor Registered User
edited October 2007 in Games and Technology
The Issue

It looks like Valve has decided to crack down on gamers who tried to save a bit of cash by importing games. Particularly, gamers who imported Half Life 2 or the Orange Box from Thailand or Russia have had those games disabled in their Steam accounts.

To make things worse, users of Steam accounts that have been locked out once can no longer play that game, even if they go out and buy a replacement version of the game from their local retailer.

The Story at The Consumerist

Thread at the FatWallet Forums

ArsTechnica's article

CheapAssGamer

Slashdot

Whirlpool Forums (Australia)


Zest

It's a relatively common practice here in Australia to import games, CDs and movies, and we have a legislated right to do so via our "parallel importing" and "trade practices" laws. Zest (a games store in Thailand) is particularly popular among savvy Aussie gamers.

It looks like Valve have decided that they don't like the practice. Free trade is obviously OK for companies, but not for consumers.

Thankfully, Zest are offering full refunds to anyone who has been locked-out.


Valve's Response

There has been no word from Valve yet about allowing people who have been locked-out to register their locally-bought replacements for the games, and they are characterising the issue as simply taking action against a "rogue distributor".

When people have asked for Valve to remove the locked-out CD Keys so they can register a new one, Valve has simply ignored the request:

(From the FatWallet thread: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/messageview.php?catid=74&threadid=772041&start=460)
======================================================================================

Customer (xxx xxxxxxxx) 10/20/2007 11:07 AM

Hello my cd-key was invalidated and game removed
i get a steam error
Steam - Game unavailable
Team Fortress 2 is not available in your territory

ok so i contacted retailer to get a refund
and purchased a new copy at a local Circuit City here in Tacoma
but when i enter new cd-key says game is already installed log in to steam
but of course that doesn't work and takes me back to
Steam - Game unavailable
Team Fortress 2 is not available in your territory

so i guess i need the supposedly invalid cd-key removed
so i can enter my new one
thanks

======================================================================================

Response (DougV) 10/22/2007 05:06 PM

Games purchased in Thailand or Russia can only be played from those countries. If you purchased a game from Thailand or Russia and you do not live in one of those countries, you need to contact the seller for a refund.

======================================================================================

Customer (xxx xxxxxxx) 10/22/2007 05:37 PM
yes did you even read what i said?
and do what i asked you to do
guess not

We can only hope that Valve will sort the situation out soon. Users haven't done anything wrong, yet they are the ones being punished. If Zest (and other retailers) did break the distribution agreement, then it is fair enough that Valve take action against them, but it is the end-users who are being punished in this case.



EDIT: A large number of people have reported that the games have been re-enabled, and they can now play their imported versions. Hopefully it will stay that way.

Marlor on
Mario Kart Wii: 1332-8060-5236 (Aaron)
«1

Posts

  • übergeekübergeek Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Actually I pointed this out in the Valve/Steam thread yesterday, so beware someone coming in here and yelling at you.

    camo_sig.png
  • KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Marlor wrote: »
    Zest

    It's a relatively common practice here in Australia to import games, CDs and movies, and we have a legislated right to do so via our "parallel importing" and "trade practices" laws. Zest (a games store in Thailand) is particularly popular among savvy Aussie gamers.

    It looks like Valve have decided that they don't like the practice. Free trade is obviously OK for companies, but not for consumers.

    Thankfully, Zest are offering full refunds to anyone who has been locked-out.

    Doesn't this mean that Valve has broken the law in this case?

    time to crash, the dawn is up, the sun gleems out glorious ps4 sunbeams and i can trade those sunbeams and do whatever i want with them.
  • Rodent242Rodent242 Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Wow, that's beyond low. I sure hope they decide to revert the decision, but even if they do I'd have to say I've lost alot of respect for Valve and I'll probably think twice before making further purchases of their products. D:

    LIVE: Nitzer 24 , CO: @Rodent, Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/id/Rodent242/
  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Keep them locked out of the import but give them a refund of their money and allow them to buy a retail version.

    bar-cc-1.jpg
  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    c7CT45p.png
  • Zephyr_FateZephyr_Fate Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I think Valve did what's best here, especially after halkun's explanation. It all sounded really illegal to me, and it's not like these places haven't been bootlegging or importing illegal copies of games already. It's probably a progressive stance on piracy in general, which is good.

  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    halkun wrote: »
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    You better add a qualifier to that last line, because buying steam games from steam is exactly the same thing.
    You buy the key online, then you can download it.

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • jedijzjedijz Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    halkun wrote: »
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    You better add a qualifier to that last line, because buying steam games from steam is exactly the same thing.
    You buy the key online, then you can download it.

    They have to lower the prices in certain markets due to piracy so they don't want you buying from other territories and undercutting their prices.

    Goomba wrote: »
    It is no easy task winning a 1v3. You must jump many a hurdle, bettering three armies, the smallest.

    Aye, no mere man may win an uphill battle against thrice your men, it takes a courageous heart and will that makes steel look like copper. When you are that, then, and only then, may you win a 1v3.

    http://steamcommunity.com/id/BlindProphet
  • FanciestWalnutFanciestWalnut Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I don't understand, why aren't these people buying the game from steam in the first place?

  • sonictksonictk Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    jedijz wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    You better add a qualifier to that last line, because buying steam games from steam is exactly the same thing.
    You buy the key online, then you can download it.

    They have to lower the prices in certain markets due to piracy so they don't want you buying from other territories and undercutting their prices.

    Yea but honestly I think this is the first time I've ever seen a company purposefully take measures to stop people buying their stuff in other countries. I mean, what if they were on a holiday or something? This is definitely not something that should be encouraged. Although the part where you purchase the game and wait for the company to 'send it to you' sounds pretty much retarded.

    However I would not want to go to another country, grab a legit copy of HL3 off the shelves, head home and then find out that it won't activate because I'm not actally living in that country, regardless of how much it cost me.
    I don't understand why these people aren't buying the game from steam in the first place?
    Not everyone has a credit card like you, and not everyone wants to waste their time d/l ing the files, and the game may actually be cheaper to purchase off the shelves than off Steam. I would have gotten the retail version had my country not bundled it with a mousepad and jacked up the price.

  • HozHoz Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Well, it is encouraged. By fat bags of money.

  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    halkun wrote: »
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    You better add a qualifier to that last line, because buying steam games from steam is exactly the same thing.
    You buy the key online, then you can download it.

    Here, let me send you a copy of an extra Windows key I have. We'll see how far you get through Microsoft's Product Activation.

    -EDIT-

    I'm not sending a key, but making a point that there is a difference between purchasing it on steam and getting a key sent to you via E-mail.

    c7CT45p.png
  • FanciestWalnutFanciestWalnut Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    sonictk wrote: »
    jedijz wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    You better add a qualifier to that last line, because buying steam games from steam is exactly the same thing.
    You buy the key online, then you can download it.

    They have to lower the prices in certain markets due to piracy so they don't want you buying from other territories and undercutting their prices.

    Yea but honestly I think this is the first time I've ever seen a company purposefully take measures to stop people buying their stuff in other countries. I mean, what if they were on a holiday or something? This is definitely not something that should be encouraged. Although the part where you purchase the game and wait for the company to 'send it to you' sounds pretty much retarded.

    However I would not want to go to another country, grab a legit copy of HL3 off the shelves, head home and then find out that it won't activate because I'm not actally living in that country, regardless of how much it cost me.
    I don't understand why these people aren't buying the game from steam in the first place?
    Not everyone has a credit card like you, and not everyone wants to waste their time d/l ing the files, and the game may actually be cheaper to purchase off the shelves than off Steam. I would have gotten the retail version had my country not bundled it with a mousepad and jacked up the price.

    Waste their time downloading files? Don't they have to "waste their time" importing the game FROM ANOTHER FUCKING COUNTRY"? Also who cares if it is cheaper, all media is the same way, im sure that region lockout are not a foreign matter to anyone here, you buy from your region or you find a way around. Now that valve has a stronger grasp on their media due to the connected nature of their games and all content that requires steam to use they have every right to lock a user out from buying content from another region.

  • 4rch3nemy4rch3nemy Registered User
    edited October 2007
    sonictk wrote: »
    However I would not want to go to another country, grab a legit copy of HL3 off the shelves, head home and then find out that it won't activate because I'm not actally living in that country, regardless of how much it cost me.

    If you buy anything from another country it isn't guaranteed to work in your home country. If, on the box, it says "does not work outside of <country X>" and a consumer proceeds to try it in <not country X> then I think it qualifies that consumer for a good ol' fashioned wack from the "NO!" stick.

    It remains to be seen if there's a disclaimer on the box like that or not though.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    That's pretty excessive on their part. I think this is the first time I've been disappointed in Valve since their delays of Half Life 2.

    Halkun's point stands strongest I think.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit." - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog
  • FanciestWalnutFanciestWalnut Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

    ... Im not even sure I should respond, the mark its way over that a-way.

  • FanciestWalnutFanciestWalnut Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Henroid wrote: »
    That's pretty excessive on their part. I think this is the first time I've been disappointed in Valve since their delays of Half Life 2.

    Halkun's point stands strongest I think.

    Oh you mean the delays induced by someone stealing their entire game and posting it on the internet days before it was supposed to be released?

  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Henroid wrote: »
    That's pretty excessive on their part. I think this is the first time I've been disappointed in Valve since their delays of Half Life 2.

    Halkun's point stands strongest I think.

    Oh you mean the delays induced by someone stealing their entire game and posting it on the internet days before it was supposed to be released?

    Are you saying it wasn't their fault?

    ... Because I don't know if I can agree or not. <.<

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit." - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    halkun wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    You better add a qualifier to that last line, because buying steam games from steam is exactly the same thing.
    You buy the key online, then you can download it.

    Here, let me send you a copy of an extra Windows key I have. We'll see how far you get through Microsoft's Product Activation.

    -EDIT-

    I'm not sending a key, but making a point that there is a difference between purchasing it on steam and getting a key sent to you via E-mail.

    Isn't the value the key though? The data on the disc is worthless unless you unlock it.

    I mean it's much like encrypted messages, it's not a worry if someone gets hold of the message, because it's encrypted, it's a worry if they get hold of the password because they can then access the message.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

    ... Im not even sure I should respond, the mark its way over that a-way.

    Respond, answer the question of why you can't buy something overseas and use it in your own country.

  • FanciestWalnutFanciestWalnut Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    You better add a qualifier to that last line, because buying steam games from steam is exactly the same thing.
    You buy the key online, then you can download it.

    Here, let me send you a copy of an extra Windows key I have. We'll see how far you get through Microsoft's Product Activation.

    -EDIT-

    I'm not sending a key, but making a point that there is a difference between purchasing it on steam and getting a key sent to you via E-mail.

    Isn't the value the key though? The data on the disc is worthless unless you unlock it.

    I mean it's much like encrypted messages, it's not a worry if someone gets hold of the message, because it's encrypted, it's a worry if they get hold of the password because they can then access the message.


    Right, but your not buying the key from them your buying it from another company that seems to be able to sell the same key everybody else is selling, for less.

  • 4rch3nemy4rch3nemy Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Blaket wrote:
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

    It's not important as to why the company wants it that way (it's obvious - money!). The disclaimer on the box of the product states that you cannot play it outside of Thailand, and you then have a choice to buy the product regardless or not.

    Pants don't have a limitation like that which could reasonably be enforced. It's not the same whatsoever.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    You better add a qualifier to that last line, because buying steam games from steam is exactly the same thing.
    You buy the key online, then you can download it.

    Here, let me send you a copy of an extra Windows key I have. We'll see how far you get through Microsoft's Product Activation.

    -EDIT-

    I'm not sending a key, but making a point that there is a difference between purchasing it on steam and getting a key sent to you via E-mail.

    Isn't the value the key though? The data on the disc is worthless unless you unlock it.

    I mean it's much like encrypted messages, it's not a worry if someone gets hold of the message, because it's encrypted, it's a worry if they get hold of the password because they can then access the message.


    Right, but your not buying the key from them your buying it from another company that seems to be able to sell the same key everybody else is selling, for less.

    So you mean I'm buying a product at store A rather than store B? Isn't it's then store B's problem then that they aren't getting their product at a competitive price? Shouldn't store B also try and get this deal or one better and then sell the product.

    I'm not sure what happens with you, but when I try and buy something I shop around and try and get a good deal.

  • FanciestWalnutFanciestWalnut Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    Blaket wrote: »
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

    ... Im not even sure I should respond, the mark its way over that a-way.

    Respond, answer the question of why you can't buy something overseas and use it in your own country.

    Because unlike those pants you bought, digital media can be copied and easly manuplated. Even if I gave you the best reason in the world it wouldn't matter because quite simply, thats the way it is. Digital media has been region locked for a long time and it will most likely continue to be region locked for a long time.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    4rch3nemy wrote: »
    I don't think it's important as to why the company wants it that way (it's obvious - money!). The disclaimer on the box of the product states that you cannot play it outside of Thailand, and you then have a choice to buy the product regardless or not.

    Pants don't have a limitation like that which could reasonably be enforced. It's not the same whatsoever.

    It's not about whether or not it can be reasonably forced (Although the idea of the pants police makes me laugh alot) it's about whether or not they should do it.

  • 4rch3nemy4rch3nemy Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    4rch3nemy wrote: »
    I don't think it's important as to why the company wants it that way (it's obvious - money!). The disclaimer on the box of the product states that you cannot play it outside of Thailand, and you then have a choice to buy the product regardless or not.

    Pants don't have a limitation like that which could reasonably be enforced. It's not the same whatsoever.

    It's not about whether or not it can be reasonably forced (Although the idea of the pants police makes me laugh alot) it's about whether or not they should do it.

    They shouldn't - they're losing money. They wouldn't care otherwise.

    It can be enforced, and you buy into the contract knowing this. When it is enforced, don't come crying about the contract you got into.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    Blaket wrote: »
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

    ... Im not even sure I should respond, the mark its way over that a-way.

    Respond, answer the question of why you can't buy something overseas and use it in your own country.

    Because unlike those pants you bought, digital media can be copied and easly manuplated. Even if I gave you the best reason in the world it wouldn't matter because quite simply, thats the way it is. Digital media has been region locked for a long time and it will most likely continue to be region locked for a long time.

    The activation key can't be though can it. And because of the security of the key it can't be used to activate the game on multiple computers it can't be copied (or reused really).

  • FanciestWalnutFanciestWalnut Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    Blaket wrote: »
    Blaket wrote: »
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

    ... Im not even sure I should respond, the mark its way over that a-way.

    Respond, answer the question of why you can't buy something overseas and use it in your own country.

    Because unlike those pants you bought, digital media can be copied and easly manuplated. Even if I gave you the best reason in the world it wouldn't matter because quite simply, thats the way it is. Digital media has been region locked for a long time and it will most likely continue to be region locked for a long time.

    The activation key can't be though can it. And because of the security of the key it can't be used to activate the game on multiple computers it can't be copied (or reused really).


    Do we know this? Valve isn't going to go to these lengths to stop a handful of people from obtaining their game for a couple dollars cheaper.

    After reading the consumerist article I really have to laugh. These people went around rules set by the company that made the game and are then complaining when they cut off their service without a warning. This issue is less like buying pants in another country and taking them home because they are cheaper, and more like trying to have a pair of pants imported from another country because they are cheaper and then being angry when you are charged an import tax.

  • AselithAselith Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    You better add a qualifier to that last line, because buying steam games from steam is exactly the same thing.
    You buy the key online, then you can download it.

    Here, let me send you a copy of an extra Windows key I have. We'll see how far you get through Microsoft's Product Activation.

    -EDIT-

    I'm not sending a key, but making a point that there is a difference between purchasing it on steam and getting a key sent to you via E-mail.

    Isn't the value the key though? The data on the disc is worthless unless you unlock it.

    I mean it's much like encrypted messages, it's not a worry if someone gets hold of the message, because it's encrypted, it's a worry if they get hold of the password because they can then access the message.


    Right, but your not buying the key from them your buying it from another company that seems to be able to sell the same key everybody else is selling, for less.

    So? It's called capitalism.

  • 4rch3nemy4rch3nemy Registered User
    edited October 2007
    None of this matters.


    Box says no.
    People say "I don't care."
    People buy box.
    Box still says no.
    People complain about box saying no.

  • FanciestWalnutFanciestWalnut Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Aselith wrote: »
    Blaket wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    You better add a qualifier to that last line, because buying steam games from steam is exactly the same thing.
    You buy the key online, then you can download it.

    Here, let me send you a copy of an extra Windows key I have. We'll see how far you get through Microsoft's Product Activation.

    -EDIT-

    I'm not sending a key, but making a point that there is a difference between purchasing it on steam and getting a key sent to you via E-mail.

    Isn't the value the key though? The data on the disc is worthless unless you unlock it.

    I mean it's much like encrypted messages, it's not a worry if someone gets hold of the message, because it's encrypted, it's a worry if they get hold of the password because they can then access the message.


    Right, but your not buying the key from them your buying it from another company that seems to be able to sell the same key everybody else is selling, for less.

    So? It's called capitalism.

    Ok.

    So? It's called regional lockouts.

  • sonictksonictk Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    4rch3nemy wrote: »
    Blaket wrote:
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

    It's not important as to why the company wants it that way (it's obvious - money!). The disclaimer on the box of the product states that you cannot play it outside of Thailand, and you then have a choice to buy the product regardless or not.

    Pants don't have a limitation like that which could reasonably be enforced. It's not the same whatsoever.
    Huh, the only time I've ever seen this printed was on a small leaflet of the HL2 retail box when it was released, but it was inside the box. Oh, and my RvS box had something similar as well, inside the manual. I have never seen a boxart that had FOR SALE IN THIS COUNTRY ALONE printed on it, at least, not immediately visible.

    It's quite weird, really. What if I bought my games here, then suddenly moved to the US in a month and then tried to buy games there/re-activate my games from the other country? It's not productive to actively block games by region, and actually unless Valve is checking what country you assigned in your Steam options against your CD-KEYs, I doubt there's any other way to check whether or not you are playing a local game on a local computer.

    The concept of region-locking is incredibly pointless imo but that's another topic entirely.

  • AselithAselith Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Aselith wrote: »
    Blaket wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    halkun wrote: »
    I was doing some research into this.

    The company is out of thiland, and after you bought the game, you have the choice of getting the disc sent to you or the company would e-mail you the key sans disk.

    It was the second option that made everything sound fishy.

    When the games started getting dropped from steam, the thai copany started asking for steam accounts telling the customer that they would activate the game in Thailand. This, I think, is strike number two.

    The upshot is the Thai company was distributing the game though some really dodgy means to begin with. The fact they were only sending you only the key should of been a red flag. On top of this, if you actually bought the box, it says in plain english that it's not supposed to be sold outside Thailand.

    Yea, it's kind of dickish to kill the account, you have to open a trouble ticket to get the bad Orange Box removed, but then you should be able to install your ligitmatly purchaced copy.

    Buying just a key online is not a ligitmate copy.

    You better add a qualifier to that last line, because buying steam games from steam is exactly the same thing.
    You buy the key online, then you can download it.

    Here, let me send you a copy of an extra Windows key I have. We'll see how far you get through Microsoft's Product Activation.

    -EDIT-

    I'm not sending a key, but making a point that there is a difference between purchasing it on steam and getting a key sent to you via E-mail.

    Isn't the value the key though? The data on the disc is worthless unless you unlock it.

    I mean it's much like encrypted messages, it's not a worry if someone gets hold of the message, because it's encrypted, it's a worry if they get hold of the password because they can then access the message.


    Right, but your not buying the key from them your buying it from another company that seems to be able to sell the same key everybody else is selling, for less.

    So? It's called capitalism.

    Ok.

    So? It's called regional lockouts.


    So a distrubtor is selling outside of the region and consumers are being punished instead of the distributor. Valve should embargo the distributor through their publisher not unfairly punish consumers for buying legitimate product. See?

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    This is classic anticompetitive behavior. Valve should be sharply punished for trying to restrict free trade.

    fwKS7.png?1
  • 4rch3nemy4rch3nemy Registered User
    edited October 2007
    sonictk wrote: »
    4rch3nemy wrote: »
    Blaket wrote:
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

    It's not important as to why the company wants it that way (it's obvious - money!). The disclaimer on the box of the product states that you cannot play it outside of Thailand, and you then have a choice to buy the product regardless or not.

    Pants don't have a limitation like that which could reasonably be enforced. It's not the same whatsoever.
    Huh, the only time I've ever seen this printed was on a small leaflet of the HL2 retail box when it was released, but it was inside the box. Oh, and my RvS box had something similar as well, inside the manual. I have never seen a boxart that had FOR SALE IN THIS COUNTRY ALONE printed on it, at least, not immediately visible.

    It's quite weird, really. What if I bought my games here, then suddenly moved to the US in a month and then tried to buy games there/re-activate my games from the other country? It's not productive to actively block games by region, and actually unless Valve is checking what country you assigned in your Steam options against your CD-KEYs, I doubt there's any other way to check whether or not you are playing a local game on a local computer.

    I'm just parroting what halkun said earlier about the disclaimer on the outside of the box. But, if there really was no way to know about the region locking before buying it, I would say Valve is in the wrong here.

    I guess it kinda depends on that.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    sonictk wrote: »
    4rch3nemy wrote: »
    Blaket wrote:
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

    It's not important as to why the company wants it that way (it's obvious - money!). The disclaimer on the box of the product states that you cannot play it outside of Thailand, and you then have a choice to buy the product regardless or not.

    Pants don't have a limitation like that which could reasonably be enforced. It's not the same whatsoever.
    Huh, the only time I've ever seen this printed was on a small leaflet of the HL2 retail box when it was released, but it was inside the box. Oh, and my RvS box had something similar as well, inside the manual. I have never seen a boxart that had FOR SALE IN THIS COUNTRY ALONE printed on it, at least, not immediately visible.

    It's quite weird, really. What if I bought my games here, then suddenly moved to the US in a month and then tried to buy games there/re-activate my games from the other country? It's not productive to actively block games by region, and actually unless Valve is checking what country you assigned in your Steam options against your CD-KEYs, I doubt there's any other way to check whether or not you are playing a local game on a local computer.

    They can quite easily check your IP to get a location and check where they sent that key to. It wouldn't be terribly difficult to do at all.

    In address to the region only games. It's perfectly legal for me to buy an American xbox game ship it to Australia and play it here. It's a illegal to do it on a modded xbox but if I have an american xbox it would be ok. Legally it's illegal to sell important games as the haven't been rated by the OFLC.

  • jedijzjedijz Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    sonictk wrote: »
    4rch3nemy wrote: »
    Blaket wrote:
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

    It's not important as to why the company wants it that way (it's obvious - money!). The disclaimer on the box of the product states that you cannot play it outside of Thailand, and you then have a choice to buy the product regardless or not.

    Pants don't have a limitation like that which could reasonably be enforced. It's not the same whatsoever.
    Huh, the only time I've ever seen this printed was on a small leaflet of the HL2 retail box when it was released, but it was inside the box. Oh, and my RvS box had something similar as well, inside the manual. I have never seen a boxart that had FOR SALE IN THIS COUNTRY ALONE printed on it, at least, not immediately visible.

    It's quite weird, really. What if I bought my games here, then suddenly moved to the US in a month and then tried to buy games there/re-activate my games from the other country? It's not productive to actively block games by region, and actually unless Valve is checking what country you assigned in your Steam options against your CD-KEYs, I doubt there's any other way to check whether or not you are playing a local game on a local computer.

    They can quite easily check your IP to get a location and check where they sent that key to. It wouldn't be terribly difficult to do at all.

    In address to the region only games. It's perfectly legal for me to buy an American xbox game ship it to Australia and play it here. It's a illegal to do it on a modded xbox but if I have an american xbox it would be ok. Legally it's illegal to sell important games as the haven't been rated by the OFLC.

    Just curious, can you import Manhunt 2?

    Goomba wrote: »
    It is no easy task winning a 1v3. You must jump many a hurdle, bettering three armies, the smallest.

    Aye, no mere man may win an uphill battle against thrice your men, it takes a courageous heart and will that makes steel look like copper. When you are that, then, and only then, may you win a 1v3.

    http://steamcommunity.com/id/BlindProphet
  • sonictksonictk Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    There's really no way for Valve to know whether or not the product packaging had the warning, and I wouldn't expect the average consumer to know what Steam is, so it's kind of ambiguous as to whether you could reasonably expect the customer to know whether he was purchasing pirated goods or not (unless it cost like 5 bucks), but since the cd-keys were actually blocked I'd say this isn't really an issue of piracy...just Valve really taking the concept of 'region-locking' a bit too far.
    They can quite easily check your IP to get a location and check where they sent that key to. It wouldn't be terribly difficult to do at all.
    Considering the fact that you can easily hide your IP address plus the fact that you could have received the game as a gift from a friend overseas I'd have to say that's pretty unreliable.

    Anyway since when did PC games start falling under the annoyance that is region-locking? It's 'NOT FOR RESALE in other countries', not 'CANNOT BE PLAYED IN OTHER COUNTRIES', but they didn't buy it to resell it in other countries, so why are the consumers being punished in this case?

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    jedijz wrote: »
    Blaket wrote: »
    sonictk wrote: »
    4rch3nemy wrote: »
    Blaket wrote:
    Why is buying from a different country not allowed though?

    It's like not being allowed to wear a pair of pants you paid for overseas.

    I am currently wearing hand made italian wool trousers, I paid about 100 dollars for them because I paid for the material and a pittance for labour because I had them made for me in thailand. In Australia the same pants would be $400+ should I not be allowed to wear them here?

    It's not important as to why the company wants it that way (it's obvious - money!). The disclaimer on the box of the product states that you cannot play it outside of Thailand, and you then have a choice to buy the product regardless or not.

    Pants don't have a limitation like that which could reasonably be enforced. It's not the same whatsoever.
    Huh, the only time I've ever seen this printed was on a small leaflet of the HL2 retail box when it was released, but it was inside the box. Oh, and my RvS box had something similar as well, inside the manual. I have never seen a boxart that had FOR SALE IN THIS COUNTRY ALONE printed on it, at least, not immediately visible.

    It's quite weird, really. What if I bought my games here, then suddenly moved to the US in a month and then tried to buy games there/re-activate my games from the other country? It's not productive to actively block games by region, and actually unless Valve is checking what country you assigned in your Steam options against your CD-KEYs, I doubt there's any other way to check whether or not you are playing a local game on a local computer.

    They can quite easily check your IP to get a location and check where they sent that key to. It wouldn't be terribly difficult to do at all.

    In address to the region only games. It's perfectly legal for me to buy an American xbox game ship it to Australia and play it here. It's a illegal to do it on a modded xbox but if I have an american xbox it would be ok. Legally it's illegal to sell important games as the haven't been rated by the OFLC.

    Just curious, can you import Manhunt 2?

    I think yes. As I remember when Vice City was released in Australia (killing hookers olol!) the standard response for most gamers was to import the game from New Zealand.

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