Officials from Half-Life 2 developer Valve have announced that they have suspended almost 20,000 accounts on its online distribution system Steam. The move was related to gamers trying to register pirated copies of Half-Life 2
, all of whom apparently tried to use the same CD key.
The accounts for all those concerned have been suspended indefinitely, although the company has given no indication that they will try to take legal proceedings against any users concerned.
Valve have also moved to deny rumors that the company purposefully released a doctored version of the game online in order to trap gamers trying to using it.
"The method used was extremely easy for Valve to trace and confirm and so there is no question that the accounts disabled were used to try and illegally obtain Half-Life 2," said a spokesperson. "Valve did not put out any kind of fake key or fake warez or hack instructions to trap people. The hack came from the 'community' as do they all."