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Sniper Elite 3 keys stolen, canceled, buyers left to fend for themselves

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Numerous keys for Sniper Elite 3 have been invalidated and their owners left practically empty handed after Steam and developing studio Rebellion discovered they were stolen and then re-sold to other vendors.

Rebellion is offering the "Target Hitler" DLC extension as a make-good for those affected, but as far as the full game, they're being told to contact the reseller and demand a refund. Neither Rebellion nor Steam are offering that.

Rebellion, in a forum thread now stretching more than 700 comments, explicitly held the resellers blameless. "One of our PC retail distributors informed us that some of their allotted Steam keys were stolen," Rebellion wrote. "We believe these keys were then resold to multiple companies, with no payments going to either Valve or the retail distributor."

Rebellion informed Steam of this, and Steam revoked these keys.

"We have in no way targeted any specific vendors (who may have also thought these keys were legitimate)," Rebellion added, "just this one set of keys."

Rebellion is facing a storm of angry responses on the game's Steam page as well as the studio's Facebook page. The most it's offering is the DLC, on the understanding that some may have preordered these keys and, therefore, if they lose the game they would also lose "Target Hitler," which for now is available only as a preorder incentive.

Buyers of the revoked keys have until July 4 to claim that DLC.

"All we can suggest if you have been affected is to please contact your vendor and first ask for a replacement key, and then contact us for the free pre-order DLC if you are successful," Rebellion wrote.

Polygon has contacted Rebellion for additional comment and will update this story if any is provided.