Metro Exodus publisher Deep Silver, have officially confirmed that all illegally obtained Steam keys have been deactivated due to criminal nature of these keys, and that everyone who got one should contact the seller for a refund.
Deep Silver have confirmed that a certain number of Metro Exodus Steam keys have now been deactivated after the publisher blocked these keys earlier this month.
These keys have been obtained from the factory, where physical key printing had taken place, prior to the announcement of Deep Silver's exclusive deal with Epic Games Store, that saw Metro Exodus swap Steam for Epc's launcher.
According to the announcement on Steam, Deep Silver have been made aware of illegal, stolen keys being sold by an unofficial key reseller and due to criminal nature of these keys, the decision has been made to deactivate all unlicensed keys. The download or activation of 4A Games' post-apocalyptic shooter will no longer be possible without the executable file.
Additionally, Deep Silver will remove the game from the Steam library of any players who used an unauthorised code. Deep Silver say that keys being "on this platform are stolen goods" which makes them illegal.
If you are one of the players that got affected by Deep Silver's decision to deactivate the keys, the publisher strongly recommends that you contact the seller who sold you the unlicenced key and demand a refund directly from them. At the moment, it looks like Deep Silver won't offer new keys to affected players.
They concluded by saying that the only two supported key sellers for Metro Exodus were Humble Bundle and the Razer store, and if you're looking to buy a PC key right now, you should do that only trough Epic Games Store.
When asked if they know who is the third party store that sold these keys, Deep Silver replied that they were not aware that these keys had gotten into the wrong hands and that binaries on them were disabled from the beginning.
They only noticed the issue when some players started to report that their games were not updating and after a short investigation, they become aware that these keys were indeed the stolen ones.