Bootleg games have long been an issue in the video game community. And while sites like eBay are among the most infamously known for fake games, Amazon clearly isn’t immune. This story began developing over the weekend when pirated copies of Surviving Mars and Frostpunk surfaced on the website. While gamers were rushing to pick up copies of strategy survival simulator, Frostpunk, for only $3 (rather than its standard $30 price tag), the old adage began to sink in: “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Likewise, sci-fi city builder Surviving Mars was being sold for $3.99 (rather than its $39.99 price tag). The development team took notice and clarified on Twitter:
Hi. This is not a sale we’ve approved and we’re suspect of the legality of it. We can confirm that no updates will work with it and we’d advise steering clear of it.
We try to post about any legit deals on our profile, so if you’re interested in the game, just follow us. 🙂
— Surviving Mars (@Surviving_Mars) July 14, 2018
It turns out the pirated games were simply repackaged version taken from GOG (DRM-free). When reached out to by Venture Beat, Amazon had this to say:
Our customers trust that when they make a purchase through Amazon’s store — either directly from Amazon or from its third-party sellers — they will receive authentic products, and we take any claims that endanger that trust seriously. We strictly prohibit the sale of counterfeit products, and these games have been removed.
While bootlegging is more common among Nintendo games (specifically GBA, SNES, and NES cartridges) this just goes to show you that no platform is safe, especially in the digital era.