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Rimworld Steam key distribution halted after devs are “hammered by fraudsters”


Did you know? Rimworld is one of DayZ creator Dean Hall’s favourite games of all time. The Dwarf Fortress-y space colony management sim has been ticking along in alpha for some time and just this weekend arrived on Steam – so if that’s what you’re into, by all means go and buy it there.

Like space, do you? Play some games about space.

What you shouldn’t do is buy directly from the developers in the expectation that you’ll get a Steam key. Rimworld creator Tynan Sylvester has been forced to stop distributing Steam keys after some trouble with fraudsters.

Ordinarily, developers encourage players to buy straight from the source and then activate their keys on Steam – that way, they avoid giving a significant cut to Valve.

In this case, however, Sylvester is losing Steam keys to unscrupulous types buying the game using stolen funds, with the intention of selling it on elsewhere.

“We’ve been getting hammered by fraudsters who are obviously more experienced at this than I,” he writes. “Shutting it down for now is the only way to avoid thousands of dollars in chargeback fees and lost sales. It’s time to take a breather, because I can’t fight this ‘live’.”

If you bought RimWorld before yesterday you’re still entitled to your key, but those who buy directly from Sylvester now won’t get their Steam version. The developer has been in touch with Valve, who have hopefully managed to cancel the stolen keys before they reached the grey market.

“If you don’t want to get ripped off by fraudsters, be sure to buy direct from Steam,” advises Sylvester. “Buying from our site will give DRM-free copies as before, but no Steam key.”

It’s a shame those keen to go out of their way to fund Sylvester’s future work aren’t able to, but the launch appears to have been a huge success nonetheless. Early opinions on Rimworld have been overwhelmingly positive – not my words, but those of Steam user reviews.

Do any of you lot have colonies yet?