As you can already tell, both Frostpunk for $3 and Surviving Mars for $3.99 on Amazon were pirated copies of previous versions of the game. That means that you purchase it and instead of being e-mailed a code or something like that, players got a DRM Free version of the games on GOG.
The GOG DRM-free games are widely the most vulnerable ones to pirating. Players that don’t want to spend a $30-60 tag can anytime download a free version of it, however, it is not 100% sure it will work and it’s never updated.
Venture Beat has contacted Amazon and a representative responded with the following statement:
Our customers trust that when they make a purchase through Amazon’s store — either directly from Amazon or from its third-party sellers — they will receive authentic products, and we take any claims that endanger that trust seriously. We strictly prohibit the sale of counterfeit products, and these games have been removed.
Surviving Mars’ team has also taken the matter to Twitter to make sure that players know these are not approved copies of their game. Their post reads:
Hi. This is not a sale we’ve approved and we’re suspect of the legality of it. We can confirm that no updates will work with it and we’d advise steering clear of it. We try to post about any legit deals on our profile, so if you’re interested in the game, just follow us.
Frostpunk developer 11 Bit Studios is also trying to work on a solution for the issue and suggests that everyone who bought Frostpunk through this method should reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org to fix the situation.
Have you experienced a similar experience with pirated games sold as legit copies? Are you pro or against piracy in general?