Steam serials from other places

I heard about this a few days ago, but wanted to check it out before I posted it.

G2Play are a Polish games retailer. They are currently selling serial numbers, which I believe are gutted from retail copies, online.

Essentially, buying a serial from them is legally acquiring a serial from Valve, it just it is cheaper for them to not ship you the box, and let you download it from Steam.

At the moment, The Orange Box and Left 4 Dead are very cheap there (especially the latter), and the end result is the same as buying it digitally on Steam, except cheaper (and on your steam record, it will say you have a retail version).

I can't see any reason not to use them, I've heard lots of positive reports. If anyone wants to take the plunge, let me know how it goes.

The Orange Box, PC - £10.11
Left 4 Dead, PC - £10.11

Note: because of how they calculate currency, it is cheapest if you put it in dollars. Saves like 50 cents.

Also I converted the price into GBP and it hardly changed...

Dawn of War 2, PC

Apparently THQ thought that the best way to sell this game to their customers is by accepting money hats from 4 of the big retailers, who in exchange get exclusive DLC. This is not by any means a new practice, but I can't remember seeing it happen on this scale before.

These 4 retailers have decided that the best thing for them to do, instead of competing on price, is to compete on who has the shiniest bits of tinsel stapled awkwardly to the game's front cover. They hope to use exclusive DLC to distract you from the fact that they are charging you more than other retailers for the same product.

There are two situations that exclusive DLC amounts too.
1. An insignificant addition to the game, simple cosmetic changes maybe (like with Dawn of War 2)
2. A significant game changing addition, that either adds new mechanics, or new gameplay content.

Bear in mind that this stuff cannot just be bought, if you buy the game from a retailer not offering exclusive DLC, you cannot then choose to pay for it afterwards. So, there are two possibilities, either people are overpaying for bad DLC (and having to make the decision to do so before even playing the game), or a large proportion of the customers are not getting the entirety of the game they are paying for.

The four retailers with exclusive DLC are charging £22.99 - £24.99 for the standard edition + exclusive DLC, and oddly enough two of them are selling the standard edition and the special edition for the same price. The game can be got for £21.72 from a retailer which does not have a 'exclusive promotion' with THQ. In effect the exclusive DLC costs £1.37-3.37, which I guess isn't really a big amount, but it's more than the 200 Microsoft Points Bethesda wanted for their horse armour, and it amounts to the same thing.

When a publisher accepts a money hat from a retailer, they indirectly pass the cost of it onto the customers.

My advice? Pretty much what I always say - Buy the game from whoever is selling it for the cheapest, and as of right now, that is BlahDVD for the regular edition, and GAME for the special edition (the same value as the regular edition according to them).

Dawn of War 2, PC - £21.72 delivered

Dawn of War 2 [Special Edition], PC
- £24.99 delivered

I am pretty sure gamers as a whole would be better off if how successful games retailers and publishers were was not determined by how much and how successful they market, but how honest and open their pricing models are, and then genuinely competing with each other.

I guess you could always just buy it direct from the publisher for £43.90.

Chrono Trigger, DS - £19.99

Chrono Trigger, DS - £19.99 delivered

Should we tell them that they probably shouldn't use that screenshot?

Left 4 Dead, Xbox 360 - £24.99

Left 4 Dead, Xbox 360 - £24.99 delivered

Lego Indiana Jones + Kung Fu Panda, Xbox 360 - £9.95

Lego Indiana Jones + Kung Fu Panda, Xbox 360 - £9.95 delivered

MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, PS3 - £5.99

MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, PS3 - £5.99 delivered

Update: Looks like it was a misprice, I guess it was too good to be true.