Several gamers buying copies of Sniper Elite 3 from digital outlets other than Steam have found themselves without a copy of the game after Steam revoked the access codes.
The DLC initially only offered as a pre-order bonus is now being offered to all those affected by this incident.
The title’s developer Rebellion and digital distribution platform Steam discovered that a batch of activation keys had been stolen and re-sold to other vendors. Steam responded by registering the batch as invalid.
Steam is not offering refunds on the stolen keys and affected players are being told to contact the merchant that they bought the copy with and ask for a refund or replacement key from them instead. In a forum thread, Rebellion stated that it did not hold the vendors selling the stolen keys responsible.
‘One of our PC retail distributors informed us that some of their allotted Steam keys were stolen,’
said a Rebellion spokesperson. ‘We believe these keys were then resold to multiple companies, with no payments going to either Valve or the retail distributor.’
Several responders to the forum post are crying conspiracy and accuse Rebellion of trying to squeeze more money out of its customers, protesting that because they’ve never had a problem with key re-sellers in the past there should not be a problem now. Many of the codes affected were also pre-order codes that registered and pre-installed a copy of the game ahead of its launch.
In an effort to placate the understandably angry customers that have been affected, the ‘Target Hitler’ downloadable content is being offered for free, an extra that was previously only available for pre-ordered copies of the game. This offer will be available until July 4.
Sniper Elite 3 launched at the end of last week in Europe and launches on July 1 in the US. It has been developed for the Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.