Ubisoft has said it is actively deactivating keys it believes were "fraudulently" obtained and resold via third-party websites.
Over the weekend a number of Uplay users took to the Ubisoft forum to complain about the unexpected removal of games such as Far Cry 4 from their libraries.
Websites such as Kinguin and G2Play sell games for a significantly cheaper price than the likes of Steam, Origin and Uplay. The companies behind them source cheap, region-unlocked keys to sell on to their customers - thus undercutting the major players who stick to official, publisher-approved pricing.
It seems a number of affected customers used third-party website G2A to buy Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed: Unity - and it's easy to see why: G2A is selling Assassin's Creed: Unity Uplay keys for $27.87. In the UK, Unity costs £44.99 from Uplay. A Far Cry 4 Uplay key from G2A will set you back $31.24. Far Cry 4 is £44.99 from Uplay.
G2A was in the firing line back in April 2014, when Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital cancelled keys for its games bought through the site.
Devolver Digital games purchased on @G2A_com are not legitimate, not guaranteed, and not supported. We are actively canceling those keys.— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) May 14, 2014
This afternoon a Ubisoft rep issued Eurogamer the following statement:
"We regularly deactivate keys that were fraudulently obtained and resold. In this case, we are currently investigating the origin of the fraud, and will update customers as soon as we have more information to share. In the meantime, customers should contact the vendor from whom they purchased the key."
The suggestion here is that Ubisoft is targeting keys bought with fraudulent credit cards. Sites such as G2A also act as a platform for private sellers to shift video game activation keys. It's understood that those buying these keys do so at their own risk, although many of the third-party websites promise to refund customers who find their keys do not work.