Recently, Amazon began selling PC titles such as “Surviving Mars” and “Frostpunk” at exceedingly low prices. Buyers would find “Frostpunk,” for instance, for $2.99, when the game just released this past April. When potential buyers looked closer into these apparent bargains, it seemed that Amazon was, in fact, selling pirated copies of the games.
Redditors at r/GameDeals discussed the pricing in a thread, which pointed readers to the cheap copy of “Frostpunk,” which as listed as being for sale via Amazon Digital Services. It was a far cry from the game’s retail price of $29.99. “Surviving Mars” was sold for $3.99, when it normally sells for $39.99. Users eventually discovered that, after purchasing the cheap copy of “Frostpunk,” that it was indeed a pirated version.
“It’s piracy,” said Redditor CodependentlyWealthy. “Someone took the GOG version of the game, repackaged it with their [sic] own installer signed and published by ‘Ace Media Group LLC’ and submitted it to Amazon,” the user explained. Beyond that, players are unable to uninstall the game, and retain files were left in the installer from the GOG client used to run the game, making for a very sloppy pirating job.
The games have since been taken down from Amazon, and have since been labeled “currently unavailable.” Amazon has yet to comment on the situation, though “Surviving Mars” developers have confirmed that those sales were not approved, warning that users “steer clear” of the listings.
Amazon did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.