The Pursuit of Cheap Video Games Has Been Getting Switch Owners Banned

Most games cost $60 these days, and if you want to play a lot of them, that can add up quickly. It's one reason why many players turn to third-party online stores, where they can buy Nintendo games for cheap instead of buying them from Nintendo directly. Historically, Nintendo games rarely go on sale. But how many would go down that path if there was a chance that buying from these stores could result in all of your games being taken away?


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/z3b3z4/the-pursuit-of-cheap-video-games-has-been-getting-switch-owners-banned
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I’m glad Nintendo is fixing their policy to just remove the games instead of issuing hardware bans. A lot of people don’t know those grey market sites aren’t legit.

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It’s a frustratingly common thing with Nintendo, attributing malice to the average player and punishing accordingly when generally it’s a lot more benign than that (I think that’s the case with a lot of those ROM site shutdowns as well, most people with whom I’ve interacted weren’t downloading ROMs trying to scam Nintendo out of five dollars on the virtual console as much as they didn’t really have a “legal” way)

Good scoopin’ as always, Patrick. Great article.

Something I forget all too easily is how easy it is for me as a developer to sit here and say “no shit you don’t buy any keys from third party resellers because holy shit all of em are sketchy af and there is literally zero way for, them or you, to know if its legit” when your average video game player just doesn’t know that.

They just know they can’t afford the original price, see a $40 copy of Pokemon on some sketch site, and make a decision without knowing the risks or implications.

Hell, while I was a poor student I bought cheap microsoft points off a pretty sketchy site throughout the 360 era because it was the only way to make it affordable*. You do what you gotta do and I don’t blame those that don’t know anything about key resellers for not knowing the risks.

I just wish there was a way to combat this better. I would be completely okay if all those sites just disappeared overnight, but that’s not gonna stop people from selling keys. The storefronts, especially Steam and the console manufacturers, have to find some sort of solution that makes these kinda scams impossible.


*you know, that and fuck that whole microsoft point system. Flat out made Canadian games like 15% more expensive even when our dollars were parity/CAD was worth more. At least I knew the money lost was coming out of Microsoft’s pocket and not the developer’s.

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