The old saying 'if something looks too good to be true, it probably isn't' has been very much ignored in the case of video game deals and store discounts. We've become practically inoculated to the idea of a "deal too good", what with various Steam sales and whatnot, and so it isn't particularly surprising that someone came up with the idea of selling pirated games on Amazon at extremely low prices.
How is this even possible in a world where DRM and IP hounding is a thing, you ask? Well, firstly, whoever's doing this is targeting small-ish indie developers who can't really kick up much of a fuss. Secondly, they are doing this by repacking GOG releases.
As many of you will know, GOG releases are DRM-free, old-school packages. Once you buy a game, you get the installer with all required files, go through the process of installing the game and that's that, no online checkups, no license confirmation. It's a one-and-done deal, really. Of course, this makes GOG game releases particularly easy to pirate.
The idea behind this latest Amazon fiasco is for the pirate to buy or download a pirated GOG release, repack it with a different installation skin and then sell this new build of the game under the pretence of it being a legitimate, legally-obtained instance of software in question, which was Frostpunk in this particular case, a fairly new strategy game from the makers of This War of Mine.
Though the suspicion was there from the start, what tipped Resetera users off was the fact that the Amazon release they purchased had no uninstall files, and that some of the installer's configurations referenced GOG code which, understandably, wasn't present.
It would seem that developers themselves have been aware of this for quite some time now, though Amazon has been fairly slow in responding to the issue.