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NuclearFirecracker

Not sure if scam...

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So I just released my game on Steam (Space Station Alpha) and I'm getting a bunch of requests from Indie games mags and Lets Players and such for steam keys which I am happily giving out.

 

I got this email though, it seems a bit scammy to me but I thought you guys might be able to give me a better idea. I removed the name just in case of privacy issues but left the website.

 

 Im [NAME REMOVED] from my game portal gamebox.bg. I am writing you again on the achievements so far and I have an offer for you. Will you accept it or not it's your choice.I post your game in many forums with questions to people - Do they like the game and such. About 2 days ago I was approached by a total of over 40 Publishers and ask me about your game. It turned out that a lot of them liked. We looked at the websites of each of them. And approved only 26 of them - had fans were quite popular. They are ready to advertise your game if you provide one key each. I know that's a lot of keys but blew me I really like the game and want it to develop more.Write to me if you agree to it. By the way you can have other option- if you cant provide me 26 key you can give me the half of them. I will tell on half of them that you gonna think on it or you dont agree this. Listen i really like your game and if you ready to do this please notice me.

 

 

 

Do you guys think this is legit? I am completely naive to how games publishing works, I just like to make games and was lucky enough to get Greenlit on Steam.

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Moved you to our Business & Law forum for this one. :)


At the very least the writing style is extremely unprofessional, and to me it sounds like they're offering to spam forums for you pretending to be players of your game rather than providing an honest marketing service; that sort of advertising is usually extremely obvious and often harms your reputation more than it helps, and we ban that sort of poster on site here.

As you've mentioned, interested media, YouTubers, etc. generally approach you directly about your game, not via some random third-party with no connection to you. Extremely suspicious.


Personally I wouldn't go into business with such a person.

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Also ask yourself why a poorly English speaking person would do with half of the amount it takes if you can't afford to give him 26 keys, and how he got to negotiate with over 40 publishers in the first place, given his English skill (and settle a deal for one key each with each of the 26 quite popular ones).

 

Besides, I'm the attorney of the late Mr. Bambuga Mumbago who left 20 million dollars to his heirs. Unluckily, for political reasons that I can't disclose, they cannot directly access the money. If you are willing to cover some minor legal fees ($2.000) and receive the money so you can pass it on to the rightful owners, I shall give you a $100.000 reward. But hurry, if none of the heirs has claimed the money by next week, the bank will confiscate everything.

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Also ask yourself why a poorly English speaking person would do with half of the amount it takes if you can't afford to give him 26 keys, and how he got to negotiate with over 40 publishers in the first place, given his English skill (and settle a deal for one key each with each of the 26 quite popular ones).

 

Besides, I'm the attorney of the late Mr. Bambuga Mumbago who left 20 million dollars to his heirs. Unluckily, for political reasons that I can't disclose, they cannot directly access the money. If you are willing to cover some minor legal fees ($2.000) and receive the money so you can pass it on to the rightful owners, I shall give you a $100.000 reward. But hurry, if none of the heirs has claimed the money by next week, the bank will confiscate everything.

 

I just want to insert my 2 cents worth and agree that this is also fishy and they are probably going to resell your license keys by proxy. It is probably a discount licensing site, and a scam. I would avoid this like the plague.

 

But samoth, i know someone who might take you up on your offer, he is called Butch Driveshaft and he hangs out here... :lol:

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IF there are 40 publishers after your game, chances are they'd cut the middleman. Either it's a scam, or it's a very unskilled businessman.

Assuming your game is that great, I suggest YOU go on the hunt for publishers. You'll quickly know whether he was saying the truth ;)

(Don't give away 26 keys to the same person, that's just insane).

 

On a sidenote, I've once refused to give 10 keys to a single publisher representative that said he wanted to show it to other depts. in other countries saying: don't you have a "company account" you can share?

Was I wrong? Maybe I've lost an opportunity there, but I'd like to think I've tried to teach this organization something about not wasting money away...

Edited by Orymus3

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I've once refused to give 10 keys to a single publisher representative that said he wanted to show it to other depts. in other countries saying: don't you have a "company account" you can share? Was I wrong?

Stop and think about it for a moment. They want to share it to ten other people, each with their own salaries, in other departments. How much money do they have? 

 

The answer there is simple: I've given you a review key. If you want additional keys, open steam and push the big green "Add to cart" button.

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I've once refused to give 10 keys to a single publisher representative that said he wanted to show it to other depts. in other countries saying: don't you have a "company account" you can share? Was I wrong?

Stop and think about it for a moment. They want to share it to ten other people, each with their own salaries, in other departments. How much money do they have? 

 

The answer there is simple: I've given you a review key. If you want additional keys, open steam and push the big green "Add to cart" button.

 

Don't really agree there, when negociating a deal you're definately not trying to get 9 sales out of it but to close the deal, sounds like a bad choice to me if it was an actual legit Publisher as it immediately rings their "will be a pain to work with" bell. Also in most companies purchases don't just happen, you have to go through validation, so you made it so that likely only 1 person viewed it and prolly shot yourself in the foot. Really bad call imho.

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Don't really agree there, when negociating a deal you're definately not trying to get 9 sales out of it but to close the deal, sounds like a bad choice to me if it was an actual legit Publisher as it immediately rings their "will be a pain to work with" bell. Also in most companies purchases don't just happen, you have to go through validation, so you made it so that likely only 1 person viewed it and prolly shot yourself in the foot. Really bad call imho.

Well, I suppose that part depends on the publisher.

 

Reading over the post, it was someone from a global company ostensibly asking if they could re-publish an existing game and take a cut. Except they weren't. They were asking for multiple copies so they could show their buddies or add to an internal list of "here are some game keys", with the claim that it will be shown in countries where the game likely isn't translated. All this was done at the company's request, not something the developer was seeking out. In that scenario I fully expect the company to pay for their own copies.  Effectively they are asking you to give them stuff for free so they can provide you with less profit but in additional less profitable regions. 

 

If it were an unfinished game and the company was offering other benefits like marketing or cross-branding or money, that would be a different scenario.

 

If the developer were actively soliciting for a publisher in the region, that would also be a different scenario.

 

But as an unsolicited "We want more retail keys to give away your commercial product internationally", that's a 'no' in my book.

 

If there were more details, that would probably also make an interesting discussion to if it were a bad decision or not.

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