Update 3: We have received a response from 7 Entertainment about the controversy. They have stated that their Terms of Service prohibits the sale of games that are free or available for purchase through charity events, such as games included in Humble Bundles. They stand by the validity of their keys at Kinguin, as that is all they can verify. They have contacted their distributors to confirm legitimacy. “I want to state it very clearly – Kinguin Team supports Humble Bundle events with all our hearts.” A representative stated in an email to Indie Game Insider this morning. They have also contacted their supplier for Fast2Play to confirm the legitimacy of their keys. In the meantime, the games in question have been removed from their store.
Update 2: We originally cited CJS as one of the companies involved. We received an official response from them where they provided a source for legitimate game keys. We apologize for the misunderstanding.
Update: Additional previously mentioned sites have had their names pulled due to evidence they are likely distributing keys legally. Developers are still reaching out to these platforms for confirmation.
Paul Taylor, co-founder of Frozen Synapse developer Mode 7 Games, is rallying a group of indie developers together to investigate possible illegal game sales on digital distribution platform Fast2play. They believe their games were purchased in bulk during Humble Bundles and other sales, marked up and are now being sold for a profit with no revenue going to the developers.
“We have been advised that this is currently definitely illegal in the EU and also likely to be illegal in other territories. Not only that, we feel that it is exploiting these promotions and goes against the spirit in which they were intended,” Paul told Indie Game Insider in an email. “What is more concerning is that we as developers have no control over who is selling our games; we don’t have the opportunity to provide support to customers or ensure that our games are being presented in a fair or honest way.”
Taylor also mentioned the group’s desire to reach out to these sites and prove their legality. “We would also like to extend the opportunity to all of these sites to prove that they have an active distribution agreement which allowed them to acquire keys via legal means–if there has been any misunderstanding here then of course we would want to clarify it.”
When Taylor contacted Fast2Play (owned by 7 Entertainment Limited) to see if there was a valid agreement in place, they immediately removed Frozen Synapse from their store. They have not responded to his follow-up email asking if they were selling the game illegally. Frozen Synapse has also been removed from other 7 Entertainment sites as well.
We have reached out to these three sites for comment. We have also reached out to other developers involved in this and will update the article with their responses.