Valve "Deactivating" Customers Who Bought "Orange Box" Internationally

According to reader Todd, there are quite a few customers are finding their “Orange Box” games have been deactivated by Valve because they bought them from a seller that wasn’t authorized to do business with US customers.

The seller made the mistake, but the gamers are paying the price.

Todd says:

This complaint is about Valve, a PC video game company which makes games like Half-Life 2.

This effects many thousands of customers.

They recently released a product called the “Orange Box”, which is a bunch of games.
All their products are activated online via unique serial numbers through the Steam service.

Many of us bought the product (and hence, the serial numbers) legitimately online via well known international game stores, as they sell them significantly cheaper than American stores.

We were able to activate the products without a problem.
One week later, Valve, via the Steam program, inactivated all Orange Box games (after they had already been active for some time), stating that they are in the “incorrect territory.”
There was no warning or anything, just completely inactivated.

The thread that was started on has been removed by the operators there.

I think this is absolutely reprehensible customer care. We paid for our products, and they just go and remove it without warning from our computers.



Here’s a thread of irritated Valve customers like Todd who are trying to get refunds from their international vendors (with varying levels of success.) Customers who have purchased the game a second time from a US vendor and are having difficulty adding it to their accounts are having trouble communicating with Valve’s customer service.

Date Posted: Oct/22/2007 7:57 PM
Rating: +1

same crap here
this was my question


Customer (xxx xxxxxxxx) 10/20/2007 11:07 AM

Hello my cd-key was invalidated and game removed
i get a steam error
Steam – Game unavailable
Team Fortress 2 is not available in your territory

ok so i contacted retailer to get a refund
and purchased a new copy at a local Circuit City here in Tacoma
but when i enter new cd-key says game is already installed log in to steam
but of course that doesn’t work and takes me back to
Steam – Game unavailable
Team Fortress 2 is not available in your territory

so i guess i need the supposedly invalid cd-key removed
so i can enter my new one


Response (DougV) 10/22/2007 05:06 PM

Games purchased in Thailand or Russia can only be played from those countries. If you purchased a game from Thailand or Russia and you do not live in one of those countries, you need to contact the seller for a refund.


Customer (xxx xxxxxxx) 10/22/2007 05:37 PM
yes did you even read what i said?
and do what i asked you to do
guess not

What a mess!

Valve Orange Box for ~20$ [Fat Wallet]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.