You may have noticed a handful of people selling, or talking about people selling, extremely cheap digital download codes for the new Gears of War 4 game (which hasn’t been released yet). While the codes are legit codes, Nvidia has locked down the redemption method and is well aware of what is going on, so I would definitely be wary of buying these codes anymore.
On Friday night I was browsing reddit and came across some threads about people buying codes for between $10-20 bucks for digital downloads of Gears of War 4. I obviously thought it was a scam, but there were lots of people verifying that they had indeed sent their money to strangers via paypal and now had the digital version of the game sitting in their download queue waiting for launch day. I actually considered trying to grab a copy for myself… for about two seconds, then I realized what these people were doing.
The codes that people were getting are definitely legit codes, and will get you a copy of the game, but what the people selling these codes are doing is taking advantage of the ‘Buy an Nvidia video card, get a free copy of Gears of War 4″, promotion. Nvidia is offering a free digital download version of Gears of War 4 to those people that purchase GeForce GTX 1080 or 1070 graphics cards. So people were essentially scamming the system by ordering these video cards from Amazon, using fake credit card numbers, getting the digital download codes emailed to them, and then selling those codes. And since the credit card numbers are fake, the purchases will most likely be declined eventually anyways, but the Gears of War 4 code would have already been emailed to them and then sold for a few bucks. So essentially it was just stealing a bunch of codes and selling them.
I’m glad I decided not to go through with this purchase once I figured out what was going on. Nvidia has wised up to the scam and who knows what will happen to all of those codes that were bought/sold for $10 across the internet this weekend. I’m guessing that there’s not much Nvidia can do, since the codes were technically legit and it might be hard to figure out which ones were scammed and which ones weren’t, but they still might be able to track the codes back to Gamertags or email addresses and contact you about them (which I’ve heard they were doing).
Last I checked, Nvidia had closed down the ability to redeem these codes on their website once they caught on to what was happening, so definitely don’t send any money to someone claiming to have a cheap code for you. The codes had to be redeemed through an account on the Nvidia website, which you would then link to your Microsoft/Xbox account, so they weren’t even just straight Microsoft/Xbox codes. So by redeeming these codes, Nvidia definitely knows who you are, it’s just a matter of what they can really do about it at this point.
Update – I finally got a copy of Gears 4 and played through the campaign, check out our review here.
If you’re looking to pre-order Gears of War 4, we suggest doing it the legit way…