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Amazon may have allowed sales of pirated games

UPDATE: Retailer says "We strictly prohibit the sale of counterfeit products, and these games have been removed"

Even on Prime Day, let the buyer beware of things that appear too cheap. Amazon may have sold pirated GOG versions of Frostpunk and Surviving Mars at heavy discounts on its platform.

This was discovered by various users on ResetEra and Reddit last week, beginning with a digital copy of Frostpunk selling for $2.99 on Amazon. The game is normally $29.99. A few users who purchased the game for the purpose of digging into it discovered that it was a repackaged and relabeled GOG version of the game.

From these findings, developer 11 bit studios was notified via Twitter and was able to submit its own inquiry into the issue.

Further digging revealed a similar problem with Surviving Mars, a normally-$39.99 game selling for only $3.99 with the same relabeling job as Frostpunk. And these may not be the only cheap pirated copies hiding on Amazon. Lords of Xulima appears to have been $1.99 on Amazon in late 2017, according to the ResetEra thread, with the developer unable to get the game removed as of two days ago when the thread was published. The game has since been removed in the wake of complaints brought about by Surviving Mars and Frostpunk's pirated copies.

Multiple users report being issued refunds if they purchased one of these games, though Amazon has not offered any further information as to how this came about.

UPDATE: Amazon has released the following statement to Venturebeat: “Our customers trust that when they make a purchase through Amazon's store - either directly from Amazon or from its third-party sellers - they will receive authentic products, and we take any claims that endanger that trust seriously. We strictly prohibit the sale of counterfeit products, and these games have been removed.”

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.