Indie Game Developers Outsmart Steam Scammers, Show True Detective Skills
Steam is great for scammers - so long as they pick their targets wisely. This time they didn't, as they tried to have their way with the developers of the critical hit "Brok The InvestiGator", a game about an alligator detective, and found out the hard way the game might very well have been made by actual sleuths.
Scamming indie devs for cd keys is easy. One just needs to throw away their soul and send the devs a nice message claiming to be a curator who's interested in playing and reviewing their product early. That's a neat way of propelling the game's popularity on the platform, but many of these so-called curators are actually scammers trying to get a cd key just so they can immediately re-sell it. Indie games aren't as expensive as games by big companies, but the number of indie games out there is much larger and so is their developers' need to make them known. The developers of Brok received a ton of requests for review cd keys, but they said not so fast. Instead of sending a key to the full game, they sent the key to a demo. They knew real curators would ask why they didn't receive the full game because upon validating the key on steam, they'd learn they didn't get the whole thing. Scammers, however, don't confirm the cd key's content because that process requires activating the game and losing the chance to sell it on shady grey markets. Sadly, the developers revealed that very few curators actually complained about getting the wrong key, meaning that there's a frighteningly huge scammer community out there.
Valve was pretty cool about it and banned all the known scammers, but the pests found counterattacked by review bombing BROK the InvestiGator. The developers claim they aren't too worried, however.
They don't state the reason for their relaxation during such turmoil, so we're just gonna guess that the publicity that naturally comes from proving that your detective game is made by the closest we'll get to trenchcoat-wearing hard-boiled noir-shenanigan-spouting detectives in our time will more than make up for the negative campaign.
As a final and very important note, the BROK devs state that they'd rather have people pirating their game than buying keys from grey cd key markets.
Top Image: COWCAT