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Update 2/19/2017:

Capcom has indicated that the problem has been fixed, and those who were affected by the issue should not run into the problem for the time being.

Wbacon, a Steam user and Capcom Community Manager, made a Steam announcement indicating what the issue was here. Basically, the 3rd party service of Games for Windows Live, despite not being used in the game directly anymore, had an element left in the Steam version of the game that allowed previous GFWL users to import their old saved games. That connection seems to be at the core of the problem that led to the error message regarding the keys in question, so Capcom requested Valve to disable the missing key system notification so people can get past the error.

However, this may have had side effects. Users on Steam are indicating that they can’t seem to import the GFWL version anymore (as that may be related to the disabled message). Community members have pointed out however that there’s a patch developed by the community that gets around the issue and fixes some bugs with the steam version as well as region locks on online multiplayer.

Original Story Below


First identified through a post on /rresidentevil, it looks like those players who have purchased or recently activated a copy of Resident Evil 5  over the last 5 days on Steam are running into major problems since Saturday, February 11th, 2017. While the hit Resident Evil 7 may be on people’s radar more, recent bundles including older games in the franchise have a new set of players for those old games. Sadly, the only evil zombies those gamers are running into are in the form of error screens, regardless of where the game was bought from, even if you bought it from Steam itself.

Resident Evil 5 Gonna Eat Ya

Sure, Zombies can be scary. But not being able to play a game you bought? The true horror.

User ErikaeBatayz provides a prime example of what’s going on. Despite buying Resident Evil 5 over a year ago, he was unable to play the game when he recently attempted to. Specifically, he would get an error message reading: “#SteamUI_JoinDialog_KeyRequestFailed_Text”. This is an error message that has been seen time and time again with games such as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and War Thunder. The problem is associated with the game “running out of keys”, even if the player had bought the game over a year ago. The key gets “allocated” the first time the game starts up, so if you haven’t played it, it doesn’t count against those numbers. It seems that if you played Resident Evil 5 before Saturday, then you were in the clear, even if you uninstalled or reinstalled the game.

Now you may think this is not normal, but this isn’t uncommon for older games on Steam that have a surplus of sales at once. This isn’t the first time that Capcom has had games have similar problems with key-related issues either, as TechRaptor has reported on games such as Dark Void having similar issues related to key activation problems.

But, what has made the situation worse here is the lack of reasonable response time from Capcom and Valve, as those affected by the change have not heard positive feedback on how to get their issue fixed over the past 5 days. Not only does the Capcom support link that Steam provides lead to a 404 error, but no explanation or comment has been made by Capcom, despite various emails being sent to customer support.

TechRaptor has contacted Capcom and Valve to get their response on their issue and will update the article if we get responses from them or anything changes.


Quick Take

How is there not a process to indicate to someone in a back end when a good amount of these errors occur? I understand that yes, you can’t expect a minute turn around on issues like this: but 5 days? That’s absurd, and Capcom and Valve really need to take a look at their practices to avoid incidents like this in the future.  If a key is purchased and never activated, that may be something that these organizations should track, and take care of considering the past history both companies have had on games actually activating correctly on the platform. 


Shaun Joy

Staff Writer

YouTuber Dragnix who plays way too many games, and has a degree in Software Engineering. A Focus on disclosure on Youtubers, and gaming coverage in general.



  • Travis

    On the upside, it saves people from having to suffer through Resident Evil 5.

  • Shaun Joy

    I will say that I wasn’t a fan of Resident Evil 5 and its new direction, but my god it feels so much better then RER2.

    RER2 was a nightmare to review and I hated every second of it.

  • Michele

    RE5 was a good game. Not much of a RE game, but a good game. Expecially in co-op.

    But still, even RE7 is not a RE game.

  • Michele

    Valve should prioritize responding to this issue, which is serious. Being unable to play something that you purchased should never happen. I believe they should be fined for the mere fact that someone clicked on the game and it didn’t work.

    This however, shows again the issue of having your games lent instead of owning them. We risk of lose those games forever in a near future.

  • What a fantastic advert for piracy.

  • RE5 is a lot of fun on NG+ because you have decent weapons and so can completely disregard the absolutely useless AI partner.

  • DrearierSpider

    RE5 was literally a rehash of RE4 with tacked on co-op (that took all the tension out of the combat), worse level design, inventory system, enemies, bosses and a much shorter run time to boot. If your game is worse in every way to its predecessor, it isn’t a good game at all.

  • DrearierSpider

    Keep in mind Capcom also stripped out the code that allowed modders to add split screen co-op when transitioning the game from GFWL to Steamworks. What a joke.

  • Michele

    They like their games broken and featureless, who are the modders to go against that? 😛

  • Michele

    That’s only if it is actually worse that its predecessor, which is not the case. The co-op alone do a great service to the game and I don’t think it takes the tension away, at most it shares it.

  • Travis

    I keep going back to RER2 because it looks like the kind of Resident Evil game I’ve wanted since they screwed up the franchise… but goddamn. There’s something wrong about it. I haven’t been able to force myself to play past Chapter 2.

  • Da Big Git

    Meanwhile, while legitimate buyers can’t play their game, pirates broke their own record and cracked it in 5 days, allowing people who didn’t pay a dime to fully play the game while avoiding any Denuvo BS. Just awesome.

  • DrearierSpider

    Co-op made the game suck a giant bag of dicks for me. To each his own I guess.

  • DEADBEEF

    This is a great example of why DRM ia awful for consumers. Especially as games get older, you risk losing access to the product you purchased.

    Deapite you paying $ for the game, it’s not your property to do with as you will. You don’t need to worry about your Monopoly game board not unfolding several years after you buy it. You don’t need to worry about a shovel you buy refusing to dig dirt unless you get it audited to make sure it’s authorized.

    DRM just results in pirated games being the superior product to the consumer. They’ll still work even after licensing servers go down and “authorized” copies rendered unusable.