Valve deactivating imported copies of Orange Box on Steam

No Orange Box for you!In an interesting move from Valve, imported copies of their latest release, The Orange Box, are being deactivated on Steam accounts all around the world.

Sounds like Valve is trying to emulate Region Coding, but instead of regions, all games sold in a country can only be played in that particular country. I’ve never been a fan of region coding, and what’s worse is Valve is just deactivating the copies without notifying affected customers, save for a message after the deactivation. Said message simply states that the games are in the "incorrect territory" and can no longer be played.

One disgruntled fan emailed Valve to get an official standing on the situation, and here is the reply from DougV:

"Games purchased in Thailand or Russia can only be played from those countries. If you purchased a game from Thailand or Russia and you do not live in one of those countries, you need to contact the seller for a refund."

A lot of customers imported the games from Russia and Thailand as they are extremely cheap because of heavy pirating pushing the street prices down. A lot of German customers also imported the game from the US after it was found the game had been censored to conform with German laws.

It looks like Valve doesn’t want anyone talking about the deactivations, with all threads on their official forums pertaining to the issue being locked. They can’t control the rest of the Internet though, with the story firmly "dugg" into the front page of Digg.

So far it looks like this issue only affects the Steam version of the game, so Xbox 360 users should be ok if they bought an imported copy of the game. It will certainly be interesting to see how this one pans out, with a lot of very disgruntled customers left with no game and a whole lotta hate.

[via Consumerist]


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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