If your primary concern is getting an affordable, working game key, then Gamivo is a legitimate site to buy keys. However, business practices such as opt-out subscriptions and added-cost customer protection left a sour taste in our mouth.
If you’ve been scouring the internet for cheap game keys, you’ve probably stumbled upon Gamivo. It certainly makes a good first impression, with its aesthetically-pleasing design and affordable prices. But with all the issues surrounding gray market key resellers, it’s fair to ask, “is Gamivo legit”? That’s what we’re here to find out in our Gamivo review. Let’s get started.
What Is Gamivo?
Gamivo is a relatively new third-party marketplace that allows users to buy and sell game and software keys. It operates similarly to other marketplaces like Kinguin, with many of the same drawbacks (which we’ll discuss later).
Gamivo’s game selection covers a wide range of platforms. Of course, you get the usual PC gaming staples such as Steam, Origin, and Epic. But Gamivo offers more than just PC game codes; you can also buy PlayStation, Xbox, and even Switch games on the marketplace.
It doesn’t stop at videogames, either. There’s also a decent selection of software on the site, from third-party marketplace staples such as Microsoft Office and ESET Internet Security to more niche tools such as AIDA64 and even Guitar Pro.
Are Gamivo’s Keys Legit?
The primary issue with gray markets such as Gamivo is whether the keys are legit and legally sourced. As with all gray markets, there’s no clear-cut answer on Gamivo.
Some third-party marketplaces, like Eneba, make reasonable attempts to ensure the legitimacy of the keys on their site. Others, like Kinguin, are more hands-off; case in point, the recent controversy of nonexistent pre-order keys for games on Kinguin. Gamivo’s approach feels more in line with Eneba, at least because we couldn’t spot any major recent controversies.
Gamivo claims to be “the only digital [game reseller] registered and operated with European Union and [its] laws,” and a quick search on the European e-Justice Portal backs it up.
Does this eliminate all our usual doubts about gray markets? Of course not. There’s still no way to ascertain the legality of a key you’re buying. It’s impossible to tell whether a seller is simply reselling cheap bulk keys for profit or a hacker making money off stolen credit card info.
That said, if we had to buy from a third-party marketplace, Gamivo’s cleaner track record and EU registration make it more appealing than Kinguin or G2A. It at least signifies they want to conduct business properly; it’s a good start.
Is Gamivo Safe? We Find Out
Say our doubts about key legitimacy don’t concern you, and all you’re after is a good deal. What’s it like buying a key on Gamivo? Is it safe? How does buyer protection work? Let’s find out.
Looking for a game to buy is simple enough. You can use the search feature to find the exact game you want or use the robust filters to narrow your options down if you’re simply browsing. Once you find a game you’re interested in, clicking on it will take you to the main product page.
The product page is one of the better ones we’ve seen on a third-party marketplace. It lists all the pertinent information and quickly lets you switch between regions, editions, platforms, and languages, where applicable. There’s also the ever-important activation confirmation, which will tell you whether your chosen version will activate in your country.
You also get a list of all the sellers offering the exact key you’re interested in, so you can quickly browse to look for the best offer (or the highest-rated seller). Gamivo doesn’t make any claims about having a strict verification process, but it’s easy enough to evaluate sellers to find one that seems reliable.
We recommend looking out for those with a small “S” icon on their avatar. This indicates sellers with a “significant amount of completed orders and high quantity of the stock.” Once you’ve settled on the edition and a seller, you can add the key to your cart and check out. This isn’t quite as straightforward a process as it is on other retailers, so read on carefully.
First, Gamivo defaults you into paying for its Customer Protection Program (CPP). In our case, the CPP would have cost us an extra $0.28. That’s not too bad, but we’re still not keen on sites asking you to pay extra to get customer protection.
Gamivo’s CPP entitles you to “priority support,” “fast mediation,” and, oddly, guarantees that you get pre-order keys before those who opted out of the CPP. Are these perks worth the extra cost? We’ll let you be the judge. Note that you don’t need to pay for the CPP if you want to return an unredeemed key, so you can safely untick it if that’s your primary concern.
Another issue to watch out for during the checkout process is Gamivo’s SMART subscription program. Gamivo opts you into subscribing by default, and it’s on you to opt out if you’re not interested.
Sure, subscribing to SMART does have its benefits. However, we dislike retailers that opt you into recurring charges such as a subscription by default. We’ll stop short of calling it scummy, but it’s certainly a red flag in our book.
Even less appealing is that the checkout process only states the cost of the first month’s subscription, which is €0.99 ($1.09). You’ll need to read the terms and conditions to find out that the subscription costs €2.99 ($3.26) from the second month onwards. It’s not outrageous, sure, but it’s also not the €0.99 the site dangles in front of you during checkout.
Of course, Gamivo isn’t the only company to do this. Hiding full monthly charges in the terms and conditions isn’t uncommon, and even Dell has been caught sneaking recurring payments into its pre-built PCs. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. So keep your wits about you, and make sure you opt out from one (or both) if you don’t find them appealing.
Beyond these issues, the checkout process doesn’t throw up any other surprises. Once you pay, Gamivo immediately shows you the game key, which you can copy and activate in your storefront of choice. You can also view your past purchases and keys from the Purchases section of your profile.
Is Buying From Gamivo Worth It?
If you’re interested in deals, then Gamivo is a great place to buy games. Older games often represent the best deals, as Sid Meier’s Civilization VI shows. You can get a global key for less than $6, a great price that equals the game’s lowest-ever price on Steam.
But you can find some deals on big-ticket Triple-A titles, too. Take Hogwarts Legacy, for example. At the time of writing, you can get an EU-only pre-order key on Gamivo for $55, slightly cheaper than the €59.99 it costs you on Steam. Not a huge savings, sure, but still worth it if you’re trying to save as much money on the game as possible.
However, that doesn’t extend to other versions of the game. A global pre-order key for Hogwarts Legacy costs $86 at the time of writing. That’s significantly more expensive than even the highest regional for the game on Steam, so you’d be better off buying it directly if you’re not in the EU.
So, as ever with third-party marketplaces, keep your wits about you and don’t blindly buy because a game should be cheaper on Gamivo than on Steam. It’s also worth remembering that most storefronts have regional pricing, making some games cheaper than even Gamivo depending on where you live.
For example, the Dead Space Remake only costs MYR199 ($46) if I purchase it from the EA Store in Malaysia. That’s cheaper than the $60 it costs in the US and still more affordable than the $54 global pre-order key on Gamivo.
One feature that may tilt the scale in Gamivo’s favor over other third-party key marketplaces is the SMART subscription program we discussed earlier. It’ll cost you €2.99 ($3.26) a month and gets you free games, subscriber-only discounts, access to 24/7 live support, and giveaways.
You also get all the benefits of Gamivo’s Customer Protection Program rolled into it, so you won’t have to pay extra for that option when you buy a key.
It’s not a bad deal for a subscription service, especially if you intend to buy a lot of games from Gamivo. The basic 10% SMART discount alone is worth the €2.99, knocking high-priced games such as Elden Ring down to $39 from $43. There are the special daily 20% discount codes to consider, too, and you may get lucky with an even better deal there.
We’re not convinced by all of the benefits, but the discounts make a Gamivo SMART subscription worth considering if you intend to stick with the site in the long term.
Overall, Gamivo is a solid place to buy games, provided you’re OK with the potential ethical issues associated with all third-party marketplaces. The site offers great deals on new and old games, and the subscription service provides genuinely valuable bonuses for regular customers.
So, Is Gamivo Legit?
As ever, answering the question “is Gamivo legit” depends on what you mean by legit. If all you ask for from a key seller is that you get working keys, then Gamivo is a safe and legit site to get game codes. We had zero issues with our key, and generally good reviews show that most of its customers are happy with the site’s service.
While it’s not perfect, we feel that Gamivo is one of the better third-party key marketplaces out there. While our standard misgivings about key legitimacy still apply, Gamivo seems more above board than Kinguin and G2A. While we’re not big fans of Gamivo’s checkout process, it’s not a big enough deal to recommend against it. Just keep your eyes open and opt out of any addons you’re not interested in, and you’ll be fine.