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Ubisoft to tackle key reselling with silent key activation system

Published: 16:56, 03 May 2019
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Ubisoft partnered up with Genba Digital to bring some changes to digital key sales through third-party stores such as Fanatical and Games Republic. With silent key activation system Ubisoft will now automatically activate keys on Uplay.

French publisher Ubisoft have joined forces with UK tech company Genba Digital to change the way they sell digital keys through third-party stores like Fanatical and Games Republic.

According to, the two companies have worked on a brand new system for key selling, named silent key activation or SKA. Apparently, both Ubisoft and players will benefit from the changes as the system aims to make it easier to buy games and also prevent these games from being sold illegally through other channels.

The UK company specialises in third-party digital games distribution, sending games for digital retailers to sell. With silent key activation, the key doesn't pass on to the e-tailer, instead, it stays with Genba who take a number of keys from Ubisoft. 

Then, if someone goes on a website like Fanatical, and buys a Ubisoft game, it will take them through the checkout and instead of delivering the key to email, the system will ask you enter your Uplay account. 

If you don't have one, the system will ask you to set it up so your game can be automatically activated in Uplay. This way, the third-party store doesn't get a key and neither does the player. Once you log into your Uplay, the game will be there as if you purchased it from the Uplay Store.

According to Genba CEO Matt Murphy, this way they will prevent keys being "bandied around the market" so they can't be resold. The only way to resell games would be to sell your account, but Murphy claims Ubisoft will pick up this shady practice very quickly as it's a " very messy way of reselling games".

The driving force behind this new system is Ubisoft who won't sell PC games through stores that don't support silent key activation. At the moment, Genba handle this system for 10 retailers while others like Green Man Gaming have their own, very similar technology.

Ubisoft Picture of Alexios kicking another Greek warrior Assassin's Creed: Odyssey


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