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Being a gamer can add up to some expensive purchases. Most new consoles cost close to $1,000 when they’re new. Even after a few years, you could still expect to pay more than half of that. This doesn’t include the cost of the games themselves. Seeing steam keys selling for cheap makes you think if CDkeys is legit or is it a scam? The consensus is that it is in fact a legit operation.
Every day, we move closer to using the digital marketplace to get our games. This is starting to become more true for console players, too. Just look at the Nintendo e-Shop. Most of their sales are done over their digital platform.
For PC players, games have always been available for download. Even games that came out as physical copies were soon turned to the online download format. This also made it extremely susceptible to piracy. Cheap PC games key seller websites like Kinguin and CDKeys have made an entire business around collecting and re-selling unused steam keys.
Why It’s Good
The CD keys that you buy are real. They are a real product that can be redeemed on the steam store.
It’s cheaper(usually). The business model behind these websites is that they get the CD keys for a really low price and sell them for more than they bought them. Many game developers try to generate a little bit of hype for their games by creating insanely high discounts for short periods of time. These websites will always buy the games at their lowest price because they know they can sell them for a reasonable profit later.
It’s better than piracy on so many levels. You don’t need to worry about downloading any files that may harm your computer. Since you are downloading all of your games straight from Steam, you don’t even need to think about piracy.
Why It’s Bad
Many people see this business as a corrupt way to make money off of hard working game developers. The game industry is built on loyal consumers who invest their time, hearts, and money into creating more content.
Video games are expensive to make, and in order to get more video games, we need to support the people who make them. These CD key websites take advantage of sales and giveaways to help people get their hands on these products without giving the developers any of their hard earned money.
Websites that review video games will sometimes receive free copies of games to help the developers get some exposure. Some CD key websites get their keys from people pretending to be reviewers in order to get free keys.
I’m going to repeat myself because this one is important: When you buy your game through steam, most of the money goes straight to the developers. When they need to produce something awesome for your game, that money is what makes it happen. When you buy from a CD key website, they don’t earn anything.
Is It Always Cheaper?
The short answer is no. Sometimes these key re-sellers aren’t updating their prices during steam sales. You should always check what the price is on Steam. Just look at Steam’s price for Grand Theft Auto V.
And now look at the price from one of the re-seller sites.
Ok, so the difference isn’t that huge. At this moment, buying from Steam would be cheaper. I don’t know if the discount percentage on the re-seller is their actual discount, and if it is, then you can see that their regular price is more than Steam’s also.
Often times, these websites won’t update their prices during a steam sale. The sales are usually short and they wouldn’t have to change the price to compete with Steam. Even during a steam sale, the prices seem to be similar. If anything, they would probably lose some sales during a Steam sale.
What Websites Are Trustworthy?
CDKeys has always been around and selling all kinds of games. Not just for PC. They have keys to activate games across multiple platforms(Steam, Origin, uPlay, etc)
Kinguin delivers a wide variety of games as well. One of the best thing about this re-seller is that they treat their store like a platform for selling games. You can browse by genre as well as gaming platform.