I had wanted to get Empire:Total War for my computer. However, not wanting to spend the full retail price if I could help it, I went on ebay, and found a used copy (the seller couldn’t get it to work on his or her computer, because it’s pretty hardware intensive, and of course, most computer stores won’t take back open software). Anyway, I won the auction, and managed to save about fifteen bucks, or so I thought.
Fast forward to today, when I got the game in the mail. So, tonight, I decide to try to install it. Now, it used to be in the old days, you’d put the disk/CD in the drive, install it, and away you go. But with Empire: Total War, you don’t get to do that. Apparently, because of software piracy and such, the game uses a program called “Steam”. You need to download this Steam program, and set up an account on their servers. You then have to enter in this cd registration code, and only then will it let you install the program.
So I download the Steam program, set up an account, and enter in the CD registration code. It then gives me an error, saying, “Hey, this registration code has already been registered with another account. Contact tech support”. Now, this makes sense, because, of course, the person who had the game originally had to install it on their computer to find out it didn’t work.
So, I go to the Steam customer support website, and it tells me that I can solve the problem by requesting that the CD code be reassigned from the old Steam id to my new Steam id. But, it tells me, in order to do that, I need to send them a few things, including a scanned copy of the retail receipt, and it warns me that receipts from auction websites, such as ebay, aren’t acceptable.
So, in effect, I’ve just spent $35 on a game manual, a map, and 2 large coasters/small frisbees. I’ve contacted Steam tech support, but they’ll likely tell me they can’t help me. So, needless to say, I’m annoyed, and I would recommend to anyone that if there is a game you’d like to buy that does use Steam for verification, you not buy the game from e-bay or any sort of used copy of the game, as you will likely not be able to install or use it.