PC code stripping: ‘Asian market is rotten to the core’

Asia is another major territory selling cheap PC codes to games retailers in Europe, an MCV investigation can reveal.

The news follows MCV’s study last month, which found that widespread PC code stripping is hurting retail margins and misleading publishers.

PC codes are being taken out of boxed PC games intended for markets where games are cheaper (such as Eastern Europe) and sold to unofficial UK retailers for cheap. The boxes are then dumped.

Last month, MCV was contacted by a whistleblower in Asia who sent us pictures showing miles of shelving filled with boxes, warehouse staff taking apart PC boxes and reams of cellophane strewn across the floor.

He told MCV that the Asian market ‘is rotten to the core’ and handed us multiple contacts of businesses that supply cheap codes.

Under the guise of a retail startup, MCV contacted these distributors to obtain price lists of games. Prices offered to us via the likes of Epic Games Limited in Taiwan (no relation to the developer) included The Sims 4 Limited Edition for 23.31 and over 300 copies of Dead Rising 3 on PC for 18.40 each.

Meanwhile, French wholesaler Moeroshop produced a huge price list for back catalogue games (pictured), which included Call of Duty: Ghosts on Xbox One and Xbox 360 for under 20.

Europe has been under siege since day one, and truly I cannot understand how they have resisted the onslaught,” said our source.No one in Asia has clean hands.”

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