Credit Card Scam Screws Natural Selection Devs Out of $30K

Credit card scams are a headache, not only for customers, but also the merchants who were unfortunate enough to charge the credit card in the first place. Credit card scam victims can simply (or maybe not so simply) ask their banks to issue chargebacks, forcing merchants to eat the costs. For videogame publishers, who've been on the receiving end of a chargeback, eating the costs of a chargeback, though painful, aren't too devastating. However, for an indie developer that isn't working on a budget of millions of dollars, chargebacks can be a bit of a problem.

Unknown Worlds Entertainment, the developers behind Natural Selection 2, was out $30,000 after it was discovered that 1,341 Steam keys of the game were purchased illegally with stolen credit cards. The real credit card owners, seeing the fraudulent charges, issued chargebacks for the keys.

Apparently, someone had used the stolen credit cards to purchase these keys off the Unknown Worlds store and then sold them to third parties at a discount. For now, Unknown Worlds has closed its store, though Natural Selection 2 keys are still purchasable via Steam.

Unknown Worlds has stated that any users who were apart of the scam should contact them for a refund, though it seems unlikely that the developer would refund money to users who didn't buy from a legitimate source in the first place. 


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  • What kind of asshole does this to an indie developer? That's lower than low.

    NS2 is a great game, a labor of love. It's so heartbreaking to see this happen to devs that really don't deserve it. Do it to EA.
    21
  • While I don't want to see this happen to anybody, let alone an Indie developer, this is hardly the same kind of loss that a retailer who sells hard goods would face. A retailer selling tangible items would be out the money and the item, a real loss. In this guys case, a software key was sold, something that has little to no cost to replace. Since it's pretty straight forward to track the keys associated with the fraudulent purchases and revoke them, I don't really see anything but a headache and a serious disappointment to the developer and the gamer's who purchased stolen goods. Calling it a $30,000 loss is stretching it here, as it was $30,000 he never would have had anyway. A sad situation, but also one in need of perspective.
    10
  • It really disheartens me to read that this sort of thing goes on. Why didn't the scumbag do it to EA or Activision instead? Purposefully targeting a small company, knowing that they can get away with it. Bad bad people.
    10
  • Other Comments
  • What kind of asshole does this to an indie developer? That's lower than low.

    NS2 is a great game, a labor of love. It's so heartbreaking to see this happen to devs that really don't deserve it. Do it to EA.
    21
  • While I don't want to see this happen to anybody, let alone an Indie developer, this is hardly the same kind of loss that a retailer who sells hard goods would face. A retailer selling tangible items would be out the money and the item, a real loss. In this guys case, a software key was sold, something that has little to no cost to replace. Since it's pretty straight forward to track the keys associated with the fraudulent purchases and revoke them, I don't really see anything but a headache and a serious disappointment to the developer and the gamer's who purchased stolen goods. Calling it a $30,000 loss is stretching it here, as it was $30,000 he never would have had anyway. A sad situation, but also one in need of perspective.
    10
  • It really disheartens me to read that this sort of thing goes on. Why didn't the scumbag do it to EA or Activision instead? Purposefully targeting a small company, knowing that they can get away with it. Bad bad people.
    10