It seems there’s a little bit of a problem in Tamriel. Specifically, people are gaining access to The Elder Scrolls Online via stolen keys, and Bethesda has had enough of it. Starting real soon now, the studio will be wielding the banhammer, bringing it down upon people playing with fraudulent, stolen, or otherwise dodgy keys.
Bethesda community manager Jason Leavey explains that – in some cases – people might not even know they’re doing the wrong thing, as they simply bought what they thought was a cheap copy of a game.
We want to remind gamers to shop wisely and only purchase online keys from a reputable source. Fraudulently obtained keys obtained via Steam and then re-sold via third-party websites is a violation of both our and Steam’s Terms of Service. We will be deactivating all game accounts created with such stolen keys starting on Tuesday, May 26th. Affected users will receive an email with instructions on how to regain access to their game account via a valid game purchase.
Some of the keys have been purchased from Steam using stolen credit cards, or using legitimate cards without the customer’s knowledge. The freshly-acquired keys are then sold super-cheap from an assortment of less-reputable online retailers, something Leavey warns against:
Extreme discounting below the published prices on our website may be a clue that the digital key purchased for the game may have been fraudulently obtained.
…you’re forgiven if you’re wondering where you can buy a legitimate, legal, unlikely-to-be-banned key for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, but – happily – Leavey’s got the answers. He’s compiled a list of official retailers for you to peruse, and hopefully you’ll find one that fits your needs.