As you may know Rebellion has banned more than 7000 Steam keys for Sniper Elite 3. The studio said the keys were stolen, distributed to resellers and then sold without payments going to them or Steam.
However, according to distributor CJS CD Keys, the original message suggested that after receiving a refund, impacted gamers should re-buy the game on Steam at full price. CJS CD Keys claims that Rebellion revoked the keys not because they were stolen, but because it wants to maximize profits by forcing people away from discount resellers and make them buy it on Steam.
“While many game developers (and Steam themselves) will legitimately try to encourage users to stay away from re-sellers and buy directly on Steam at the full retail price, what Rebellion has done today is absolutely immoral,” … “They have banned legitimately purchased keys, legally owned by multiple online retailers and gamers worldwide, and covered their tracks by claiming that the keys were ‘stolen’.” – CJS CD Keys
Rebellion also posted a list of “licensed partners”, which is the full list of companies that get their keys directly from them for digital sale and are thus safe to buy from.
CJS pointed out that Steam key resellers generally don’t buy directly from developers, they buy boxed copies from authorized distributors and then resell the included keys; scan the keys on their behalf, saving the cost of shipping.
Rebellion offered a free copy of the Target Hitler DLC to make up for the hassle. The free “Target Hitler” DLC offer is good until July 4.