I was searching for sites where I can buy Minecraft for the cheapest when I came across this site with things called 'vpn activated keys'. They were a lot cheaper than the regular keys. The thing was that it was only available in Argentina which was unfortunate because I live in the United Kingdom.

Then I saw it linked to how I can use them. It says I can use a vpn (they even mentioned a free one) to activate the key by changing your location to Argentina then going to redeem.microsoft.com to redeem your activation key. They claim that even if you turn of the vpn the game will run just it would if you bought the regular key. This includes multiplayer.

Then I went to a different site where I could buy games for discounted prices. There I saw the option to buy a key from Argentina again on a different website. On there it said it is only for in Argentina, going against what the first website said. I did a search which only yielded one post on the Microsoft forum. The person was asking if they were allowed to buy products from the UK Microsoft store even though they lived in Argentina. This was different to my question because I was using a product key. One of the answers said you can get your Microsoft account banned for doing that.

Would doing this be legal? Would it result in my account being banned, or any other restrictions? Would Minecraft work as normal, without the need for a VPN?

Just to clarify, I am talking about the Windows 10 Edition of Minecraft, also known as Minecraft Bedrock Edition.

  • im not sure about windows 10 edition, but for java edition the equivalent is "alt shops" and they are very illegal, however i dont think this is exactly the same as that. From what i can tell this site is probably abusing the fact that some games cost less in some regions, which is why it requires you to change your region to redeem.
    – Topcode
    Mar 21 at 16:42
  • So is it legal? Also should I provide the links to the sites?
    – Soumil30
    Mar 21 at 18:40
  • Don't link to the sites. Bypassing regional pricing with a VPN is unethical and generally against the terms of service, but not illegal -- i.e., your account could possibly be terminated (though it is unlikely), but you won't be prosecuted or fined.
    – Schism
    Mar 21 at 19:27
  • @Schism can you please post that as an answer not as a comment.
    – Soumil30
    Mar 21 at 22:17
  • To the dude voting to close, this is on topic just as the other "can i buy x for free/cheaper" are on-topic.
    – Penguin
    Mar 22 at 5:42

Bypassing regional pricing with a VPN is usually regarded as unethical and generally against the terms of service, but not illegal -- i.e., your account could possibly be terminated (though it is unlikely), but you probably won't be prosecuted, fined, or sued.

For games like Minecraft, which are not strictly region-locked, it is true that after redemption, you would be able to stop using a VPN, and the game would function normally. This would break the Terms of Service you agreed to, and is grounds for account termination, but Microsoft might not take any action on your account. You can weigh this risk however you like.

As for the ethical issue, the reason this kind of regional pricing exists is because of the weaker currency or wage rates of the specific region. Microsoft selling this game for a lower price in Argentina makes it accessible to people who live there, who may not be able to afford the international price. Buying from this market from the outside could motivate Microsoft to stop this preferential pricing scheme, which might make it out of reach for people living in Argentina.

I would suggest buying it in your regular market instead, but at the end of the day, it's mostly an ethical issue, meaning it's up to you.

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