Now contact EA and ask them if that shop is among their business partners, and if that shop is an authorized vendor of their games. Prepare to be surprised.
Indeed. It's probably 99% 'Gamestop' and the like, and if they ever get it direct from a publisher it's no doubt retail copies under the guise that they're selling them locally, which would be in the agreement if they get retail copies. A publisher wouldn't agree to digital reselling like this.
Sometimes the keys don't even come from retail boxes, like with Natural Selection devs, who had to disable over a 1000 keys.
Beware Shady Key Resellers and Discount Steam Keys
Recently we asked Valve to deactivate 1,341 Steam keys that were purchased through our website. As a result, some Natural Selection 2 players who were previously able to play the game on Steam are now receiving a “Buy Again” option instead of the “Play” option. This episode is a prime example of why all gamers need to beware discount steam keys and those offering them.
We deactivated these keys because they keys were purchased with credit cards where the card-holder initiated a “charge-back.” A charge-back is a consumer protection mechanism offered by payment companies such as Visa, allowing a card-holder to dispute a charge on their credit card statement. This means we never received payment for the game. In fact, we were charged a fee by the card issuer for the charge-back. For these 1,341 keys, these fees totalled around $30,000.
Right now there are only two official places to buy Natural Selection 2; through Steam or through our website via the Humble Store (The Humble Store option is temporarily disabled due to this issue). If you see Natural Selection 2 available anywhere else — like the many sites out there that sell Steam keys at a discount — then you are not buying it from us and there is no way to know if that key is legitimate. As as result, we strongly discourage purchasing from these sites.