One of the biggest, and little talked about, problems with marketing video games is the insane number of people there are who try every method possible to scam game developers out of review codes for their games.

In this episode, I go over some of the many ways that game developers are conned out of their codes and ways to spot these scammers and to figure out if people asking for codes are legit or not.

Click here to read Leszek Lisowski’s blog post on key scammers.

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YouTube Checklist:

  1. Recent Videos
  2. Rate of video releases (how long to make your video if they do)
  3. Commentary
  4. Similar games
  5. Your platform (might take a while to search through their videos)
  7. Subscribers
  8. Views/subscribers
  9. Type of content they provide (commentary, reactions – Markiplier, walkthroughs, Trophy guides, etc.)

Fake review websites

  1. Usually websites in languages other than English
  2. Oftentimes all posts are from a few days to a few weeks timeframe (nothing after or before certain dates)
  3. Usually look the same and are based on square images with text – no ads or complicated website designs
  4. May have YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter accounts connected – don’t be fooled

My thoughts:

  1. Don’t send keys to everybody
  2. Only send keys to people who make similar content
  3. Don’t send keys to people who publish entire games
  4. Don’t send keys to people who publish content without any commentary
  5. Actively search for walkthrough and trophy/achievement guide types
  6. Look through every single request (or ask that everyone fills out a guide – Keymailer or an online form you make)
  7. Double check all lists sent from publishers and marketing teams
  8. Don’t send keys to people with 8,000 games activated, unless if they have a large body of created work
  9. If you use Keymailer, you must subscribe.
  10. You can revoke keys from Keymailer (such as keys sent long ago) and on Steam

This episode was sponsored by Hanami Clothing.

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