Ubisoft is Clamping Down on Key Resales With New Digital Retail System

Ubisoft is Clamping Down on Key Resales With New Digital Retail System

A new way to sell digital PC games could cut down key resellers.

Ubisoft seems to be setting up to clamp down on digital key resales after announcing a new partnership with digital distribution Genba Digital. The significance of this partnership comes from Genba's "Silent Key Activation" system that allows for the automatic activation of digital Ubisoft games sold through Steam and Uplay. This will prevent the keys for Ubisoft games to be put up for sale.

Third-party retailers usually offer keys, which can be typed into platforms like Steam to activate a product. But with Genba, retailers will not be given a list of keys, but instead will have access to a keybank which will distribute keys automatically to customers, and activate the product on their account.

"If someone goes on a website like Fanatical and buys a Ubisoft product, it will take them through the checkout process, then ask you to enter your UPlay account—if you don't have one, it asks you to set one up," explains Genba CEO Matt Murphy to GamesIndustry.biz. "The game is then automatically activated in UPlay. Fanatical doesn't get a key, and neither does the player."

This will limit the number of video game PC keys out in the wild and reduce the chance for illicitly obtained keys to be resold online. So far Genba is working with ten retailers, but it sounds like Ubisoft is very much on board with the system as it has announced it will only sell games that use silent key activation.

Considering this prevents losing out on sales for titles, we imagine major game developers are looking at the system and prevent missing out on profits. But it remains to be seen how this could affect the digital PC market.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Related articles

Are Launch Day Lineups Getting Worse?

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | People are clearly excited for the new hardware, but are the games they'll actually play on it as interesting as they used to be?

Hello Games Teases New No Man's Sky Update Called Origins

It'll be "the beginning of something new," studio founder Sean Murray says.

Superbrothers Delay Jett: The Far Shore to 2021, Pushing Back Another PS5 Holiday Title

Before Jett lifts off, the Sword and Sorcery EP makers say they need more time.

You may also like

What's Your Favorite Nintendo 3DS Game?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Now that the 3DS is officially no more, let's reminisce about our favorites on the portable platform.

Farewell: My 10 Favorite Articles From My Time at USG

I'm moving onto pastures new, so here's a look at my ten favorite articles I wrote while working at USgamer.

Face the Music: Confronting the End in Disco Elysium and Outer Wilds

”I learned a lot, by the end of everything.”

20 Current and Upcoming Games From People of Color That Should Be on Your Radar

From Treachery in Beatdown City to Evicted, these games reflect the diverse viewpoints of their creators.