Frostpunk 2 Dev Calls Kinguin “Crook” For Misleading Preorder Page
Frostpunk 2 developer 11 bit studios has taken to social media to call out gray market key reseller Kinguin. In a sweary social media post, the developer called Kinguin a “crook” for selling Frostpunk 2 preorders using a misleading information page.
Why is the Frostpunk 2 studio mad at Kinguin?
Making an announcement via Twitter, 11 bit pointed out that it’s currently possible to purchase a Frostpunk 2 preorder via Kinguin. Since Kinguin often lists keys from other resellers, 11 bit called the lister a “shitty scammer” and described Kinguin as a “crook” for selling the preorder. Perhaps unbeknownst to 11 bit, the lister is G2Play, another reseller that merged with Kinguin last year. In essence, this means Kinguin is directly listing Frostpunk 2 keys for preorder, giving the game an 18 rating despite there being no release date and no official age rating for it yet.
This is far from the only game available for preorder on Kinguin despite little information being available for it. Remarkably, Kinguin has a preorder page live for Grand Theft Auto VI, despite that game not existing (to the best of our knowledge, anyway). You can also find preorder pages for upcoming Bethesda space RPG Starfield, as well as From Software’s Elden Ring, Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds 2, and Asobo Studio’s A Plague Tale: Requiem. Several of these titles are accompanied by age ratings, all of which are fake; the ratings process usually happens close to release, and only one of the listed titles (Elden Ring) actually has a release date.
What exactly is Kinguin, and what’s a gray market reseller?
Kinguin can essentially be described as a “key reseller”. Unlike authorized platforms like Steam, as well as digital storefronts like Gamesplanet or Fanatical, Kinguin – as well as other “gray market” sellers – usually doesn’t sell keys directly acquired from the publisher. Instead, it’s a marketplace where users can sell keys on a third-party basis, although Kinguin does list keys itself (as seen through the Frostpunk 2 listing, which was created by Kinguin subsidiary G2Play). Sometimes, these keys have been acquired through dubious means; they may, for example, be repurposed review keys, or they could be stolen, or use credit card chargebacks. Another major gray market seller you might have heard of is G2A, which has been the subject of controversy over the years.
We’ve reached out to Kinguin for clarification on a number of matters raised in this story. Additionally, we’ve asked 11 bit studios for further comment regarding its relationship with Kinguin. Naturally, we’ll bring you more on this as soon as we get it.
How do you feel about gray market sellers like Kinguin? Let us know in the comments below!