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Adding retail bought games to Steam

I was wondering if there is a way to punch in a CD key into Steam for a product I bought in a store so it will add the game to my Library without having to install from disk first. I tried it with one game that is available though Steam but it said the key was invalid when I went to Menu > Games > Activate a product on Steam..

Any suggestions?
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More about adding retail bought games steam
  1. nope, cant add retail games to steam. You can run an already installed non-steam game from steam but thats it.
  2. Some games work, some don't. I bought homefront retail and activated it on steam.
  3. Best answer
    bumnut53 said:
    Some games work, some don't. I bought homefront retail and activated it on steam.


    This is a case where a store-bought game requires you to install Steam (if it's not already installed) and activate it through Steam. That's the DRM which to me is pretty unobtrusive unlike other DRMs out there.

    There are other games out there that you can purchase from a store and requires you to get a Steam account, but not every game is that way.

    For those games that do NOT require Steam, as another poster stated, you can't "add" it to your Steam library so that you can install it from Steam and download updates. You can create a short-cut to the game from within Steam to launch it, but it won't keep track of any achievements within Steam nor will Steam apply updates.
  4. bumnut53 said:
    Some games work, some don't. I bought homefront retail and activated it on steam.


    Yeah, some games require you to activate through Steam.

    For example, I bought the retail version of Fallout New Vegas and I had to activate the through Steam. I wasn't too crazy about it, but I suppose it's better than having something like StarForce installed on my PC.
  5. Best answer selected by DJRWolf.
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