_vandaL Apr 19, 2013 @ 2:14am
Activating a different serial for a game I already own
So long story short I have a boxed copy of Portal 2 for PC that was given to me as a gift by someone in the game industry. They gave it to me included in a bundle of other games, and obviously I can't return it to a store. I pre-ordered Portal 2 directly on Steam long before I received this gift.

Now I'm trying to add it to my Steam inventory so I could maybe trade it to someone or send it as a gift, but when I enter the serial it tells me I already own the game associated with this serial key (gee thanks, like I wasn't aware of that). Is there some other way to get this game into my library as a duplicate copy that I'm overlooking here?

I guess I might be out of luck but this really makes no sense. If they prevent it from becoming a duplicate copy, the only reason I can think of is so you can't sell the boxed copy to someone else with the used up serial. This reasoning doesn't even make any sense though, because I could just as easily register the game to another Steam account and still sell the box if I wanted to. I guess maybe eBay is my only option, but who would really buy an opened box PC game and not expect the serial to be used?
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Tsundere Kanojo Apr 19, 2013 @ 2:20am 
You can't activate CD keys for games you already own and expect inventory copies since that's not how it works.

Even if you do use the key, it will stay unused seeing as you already own the game in question.

Just give it to a friend or something because there is no way to get an extra copy or convert a CD key into a Steam Gift.

As for the reselling of boxed copies, most people are savvy enough not to buy second hand copies of Steam retail games.
Last edited by Tsundere Kanojo; Apr 19, 2013 @ 2:21am
_vandaL Apr 19, 2013 @ 2:38am 
Originally posted by Tsundere Kanojo:
You can't activate CD keys for games you already own and expect inventory copies since that's not how it works.

Even if you do use the key, it will stay unused seeing as you already own the game in question.

Just give it to a friend or something because there is no way to get an extra copy or convert a CD key into a Steam Gift.

As for the reselling of boxed copies, most people are savvy enough not to buy second hand copies of Steam retail games.

Yeah I figured there wouldn't be a way to do it but it was worth a shot asking. I would like to sell the Box with the CD key in it or just the CD key itself, but like you said it will be hard to find a buyer because everyone would think it is a scam.

Most of my friends already have the game (it has been out for 2 years now after all) is the problem. Therefore I don't really have anyone to give it to so I would have rather traded it through Steam for some other game.

I just don't see what's so bad about activating a key as an inventory item; they want people to use the marketplace or trade games yet they have so many restrictions preventing people from doing so.
Tito Shivan Apr 19, 2013 @ 3:23am 
Steam cannot know where a external game key comes from. If it has been stolen, fraudulently purchased or generated.
As it works now, if you activate a fraudulent key on your account and something happens, well it's your problem.
If a fraudulent key were meant to be added as a gift and traded within the system, if something happens to it... It's your problem AND Steam's problem (since they facilitated the trade through the official channels).
But most important, it becomes a innocent user's problem, which did nothing wrong and found himself in the middle of a mess for doing things the right way.
Also, imagine if some publisher made a public key giveaway, posting a thousand keys for people to redeem.
_vandaL Apr 19, 2013 @ 4:14am 
Yeah I guess you're right, a lot of that makes sense from a liability standpoint.
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Date Posted: Apr 19, 2013 @ 2:14am
Posts: 4