Refund Exploit the Reason for Steam Pack Removal?

Stunning news everyone: PWE doesn’t seem to like giving away stuff for free. That’s why they removed all Neverwinter and Star Trek Online Packs from the Steam platform yesterday. In the news post Strumslinger stated that they won’t go into details of what happened, only that players were able to claim the Packs for free! The speculation is officially on!

A strong first candidate for a reason seems to be the Steam Refund system. Within two weeks, and if the Pack hasn’t been claimed, a purchase can be refunded. The ARC codes that grant the Packs are delivered on purchase and assumingly not invalidated by a refund. So buying a Pack on a fresh account, using the refund system and redeeming the still active code on another account after the refund has been finalized essentially grants the Pack for free.

It’s not known whether PWE will try to solve the issue or just won’t offer the Packs on Steam any longer. You would think that there is some sort of technical issue or shortcoming on their end. Steam probably informs publishers about refunded transactions and, well, other games can handle the exact same stuff, right?

The worst case scenario is that PWE can’t track the generated and refunded codes. Or that they can only invalidate the codes on accounts that bought them. But it’s probably just that they don’t have an automation for it and now have to manually search for the codes and accounts that used them.

You would also think that this exploit has been going for months, because professional gold selling websites have the Packs on sale for quite some time now. They obviously haven’t bought them and in case you were wondering where they might get them, this offers indeed a very reasonable explanation.

If this turns out to be true it’s going to be interesting how the devs will handle affected accounts. Removing all features and items that come from them might prove to be difficult and time-consuming. So the obvious answer is the ban hammer. You would think that claiming an exploited Pack always comes with fraudulent intentions anyway. Either because players exploited the code themselves or bought them from a third-party website.

What’s your guesswork for the removed Packs on Steam? Share it in the comments below or visit our message board!


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