Yesterday, Sekai Project affiliate Denpasoft announced that they would not be offering Steam keys and would be removing said complimentary keys from their current releases. Their reasons echo MangaGamer’s announcement last week as they pointed to fraudulent purchases as the cause. Here is their full statement;
We have to remove Steam keys from titles that had Steam key support. Roughly $30,000 worth of keys were stolen from us and we will be contacting Valve to disable the keys that were fraudulently obtained. We’re sorry for the inconvenience but we must protect our relationship with our credit card processor or else we will not be able to offer adult games in the future.
It’s clear from what has happened to both MangaGamer and Denpasoft that there is an organized effort to illegally profit from fraudulently obtained Steam keys. Whether or not this in a problem for games that are not visual novels remains to be seen, however because we know the method for laundering these fraudulent Steam keys have come from bundle sites, VNs Now will be reaching out to some of them to see what they are doing to ensure they are not selling stolen products. In the meantime, we would advise all VN developers and publishers that include complimentary Steam keys with their works to take any and all necessary anti-fraud precautions.
This has been JP3 reporting for VNN.