Game Key Reseller G2A Offers Royalties To Developers

Last week G2A, a sort of eBay but for video games keys, and tinyBuild, the publishers of Speedrunners and others, had a bit of a tussle after tinyBuild accused G2A of facilitating the sale of $450,000 worth of fraudulent game keys. Both sides exchanged demands, and today G2A seems to have pulled back on their stance and is now rolling out a program that will, in part, offer developers and publishers up to 10 percent royalties on each sale of their game. But is that going to be enough?

All of this stems from a blog post last week by tinyBuild accusing G2A of selling $450,000 worth of their games without tinyBuild seeing a single penny from the sales. tinyBuild accused G2A of facilitating a “black market economy” by allowing merchants to use stolen credit cards to purchase keys from bundles of third-party resellers and then sell them for much lower than their going rate.

This is far from the first scuffle over keys supposedly obtained fraudulently. Ubisoft notably killed a load of Uplay keys last year, and there are many more stories.

In the case of tinyBuild’s own store, tinyBuild CEO Alex Nichiporchik said, “the shop collapsed when we started to get hit by chargebacks. I’d start seeing thousands of transactions, and our payment provider would shut us down within days. Moments later you’d see G2A being populated by cheap keys of games we had just sold on our shop.”

In response, G2A demanded that tinyBuild cooperate with them by providing a database of the keys that tinyBuild believes were illegally obtained and sold through G2A within three days, which Nichiporchik promptly refused. In an interview with Polygon, he said: “Everybody knows their reputation. Why would anyone even consider giving them a list of keys to ‘verify’? I believe they’d just resell those keys and make more money off of it.”

In response, tinyBuild issued their own demands that G2A:

  1. Allow publishers to set a minimum price for the distributed products
  2. Set a minimum cut for all 3rd party sales of said keys (these would come out of merchants’ cut)
  3. Actually verify your merchants. I just made an account and within an hour was able to sell a ton of keys, no verification whatsoever. If Ebay allowed you to sell merchandise without verifying sellers’ credentials (they ask you for IDs, statements confirming addresses, tie it to your bank account, etc), they’d probably under similar fire right now as they’d facilitate stolen goods trade.

Now it would appear that G2A is, at least in part, trying to restore its reputation with tinyBuild and other developers angry over the “fundamentally flawed” business model that it operates on. In a release sent to Eurogamer, G2A have outlined a new program that will be rolling out on July 29th.

“Recent events have demonstrated that we need to move faster to introduce new benefits designed with developers in mind, and invite them to play an even bigger role in creating the marketplace of the future,” G2A said.

Part of that new program includes developers being able to apply to earn up to 10 percent royalties. G2A is also responding to accusations of facilitating a black market for fraudulent keys by allowing developers access to their database to verify sales and volume in order to help identify illegal selling. There’s also a new funding option which lets consumers contribute funds through a special button on a developer’s product page.

Still, judging by the reaction of tinyBuild, G2A’s new program is not enough. For one, it doesn’t address the first point in their demands about setting minimum prices for keys and it also fails to address allegations of widespread credit card fraud fueling G2A’s economy. Secondly, it also requires companies like tinyBuild to cooperate with G2A, something that they might not be willing to do if, like tinyBuild, they think that the reseller is screwing them over.

“The only tangible part about their program is royalties to developers and database access which undoubtedly is a good step — we will need to see how it works in practice,” Nichiporchik said in another update to tinyBuild’s blog post after G2A announced this. He continued:

“It still doesn’t solve the issue of stolen keys, or the shady business practice of forcing down insurance on consumers. Try buying something on G2A, you won’t get a guaranteed key unless you sign-up for their insurance service. It seems they want it all to be on developers’ hands, and unless the devs become actively involved in policing G2A (and thus working with them), they’ll wash their hands off any responsibility.”

“We as a community want to see more extensive merchant verification to go alongside this.

“Unless they actually solve the main issue — fraud on their platform — this initiative invites developers to become accomplices. G2A claims that fraud is a very small part of their economy. If so, it shouldn’t be that difficult to implement ethical business practices of extensive merchant verification?”

From this site

37 Comments

  1. Nokturnal says:

    link to megagames.com

    The url is fairly descriptive itself, but basically some developers are now telling people to pirate the game instead of paying thieves, with Action Henk’s devs even offering to provide a link.

    The reddit posts seem to have been removed but another site, and some reddit discussions appear to confirm it.

    link to reddit.com

  2. Chalky says:

    G2A are parasites. Their site does nothing but take money out of the pockets of hard working indie developers.

    If you want to support your developers, buy the game legitimately. Otherwise you’re just funding fraud and you might as well just pirate it.

    • frightlever says:

      By your argument, Cash Converters encourage burglary. G2A may re-sell stolen keys, but the core business model is sound.

      The problem isn’t ENTIRELY down to G2A, the main problem is the charge backs from fraudulent sales which get passed on to the developer when they set up their own store front and pick a payment processor. If the developer was using Steam, they wouldn’t be getting hit with the charge backs when a key is purchased with a stolen credit card.

      G2A doesn’t sell the original code, remember, they re-sell. When tinyBuild says G2A sold $450k of THEIR game codes, they mean THEY and their official partners sold “$450k” of games codes, which have been put up for re-sale on G2A. You don’t buy the original game code from G2A, you re-sell your spare codes. If the codes are bought off a site like Steam, then those codes get revoked quite quickly. I don’t know the particulars, but it may even be more difficult to buy a code off Steam with a stolen credit card – a lot of the recent changes to trading items on Steam has been to combat fraud – are those small store fronts taking similar steps?

      If there’s wholesale fraud going on at tinyBuild’s web store, they obviously need to improve their fraud detection. Or their payment processor needs to. I dunno. Indie devs use people like BMT, because they want a bigger cut of the sale, but then this happens.

      If most of G2A’s business was stolen keys, and those keys were being revoked by the issuer, then G2A wouldn’t exist. Most of their business is selling cheap Russian keys that have been bought legitimately, and which probably aren’t intended to be sold out of the Russian market, but you know, if that’s an issue, use a geo-lock on your key if you care so much. Which is another thing Steam will do for you, but which is pretty much impossible if you’re an indie developer using your own store front.

    • Heavens says:

      The major reason I resort to buying “second hand” codes is that Steam has a ridiculous price-up in Switzerland for no reason at all.

      I made a comparison on Dark Souls 3 prices in multiple shops:

      – 74.- CHF DS III pre-order via Steam in CHF
      – 64.90 CHF purchasing a physical copy of DS III via swiss internet shop
      – 60€ (~66 CHF) DS III pre-order via Steam in Euros (based on website data)
      – 59.99$ (~60 CHF) DS III pre-order via Bandai Namco in US Dollar
      – 59.99$ (~60 CHF) DS III pre-order via Steam in US Dollar (based on website data)
      – ~50.- CHF DS III pre-order via G2A.com in CHF

      When it’s cheaper to buy a physical copy in a swiss shop than it is to buy it via Steam then I’ll either get the physical copy or just buy it off G2A instead.

      I’m trying to support devs as much as I can, I just can’t put up with paying more just because I live in Switzerland.

  3. MuscleHorse says:

    Even if you pay for the ‘insurance’, there’s no guarantee it’ll work. I bought Hitman from them a couple of months ago, got sent a duff key and they spent a month facilitating back and forths between me and seller. Mostly it was my having to show proof that I had a Steam account, asking me to contact Steam and ask where the key had been activated (something which I told them was patently ridiculous), all stuff which proved nothing. They eventually ruled against me with no explanation. Luckily Paypal refunded me when I filed a complaint with them. I had no idea what the insurance bought me.

    Never, ever give your money to G2A. Complete crooks.

    • Freud says:

      I do think buyer beware applies when it comes to G2A and you have to be aware there is a chance that your key is the result of fraudulent activity. Most likely it’s just the result of someone taking advantage of massive differences in regional pricing of computer games.

      I do think most of their customers are happy with the product. If they weren’t, the site would be out of business. But if Steam/GOG removes your game, that’s one of the risks you get for buying dirt cheap cd-keys.

    • JFS says:

      I suppose these things happen, but I have never had any problems with G2A, Kinguin or others. Far from it, actually. But YMMV, and it is of course a grey area.

  4. RegisteredUser says:

    They are just trying to put up a smoke screen in front of the truth that is them running an openly accepted black market for fraudsters, scammers, credit card abusers/thieves etc now that youtubers and reddit and game devs are becoming more and more outspoken about how G2A is literally killing businesses and indie devs off.

    Screw them. If you buy games on sales you get the same or better prices and you at least know your money is going to the devs.

    Heck, several devs have openly posted on reddit they would rather have you pirate the games for free than pay G2A and suppor this den of thieves and fraud enablers.

    I agree 100%. Do not give G2A money. Use sales and patience if you are low on funds. Support the devs and games you love, or there won’t be more of them.

  5. HothMonster says:

    From my understanding this all stems from people allegedly buying keys with stolen credit cards which of course end up becoming chargebacks. These fraudulently acquired keys are then resold on G2A and the like. Which really begs the question, is it that hard to associate the keys with a transaction and then cancel the key if that transaction falls through? Tiny’s whole argument is based on their legitimate resellers getting crushed by chargebacks, I wouldn’t think it would be that hard to provide a few known bad keys if that was the case.

    I have always thought G2A was shady and am not trying to go the victim blaming route but from an outsider prospective it seems like it wouldn’t be that hard to guard against, or at the very least have record of. Obviously the chargeback still hurts even if you cancel the key but if they couldn’t resell them it seems like this practice would die off pretty quick.

    • nearly says:

      Close but not quite. The issue they take with resellers is that they are a great marketplace for fraudulently acquired keys, whether it’s based on stolen credit cards (which result in a chargeback) or just outright chargebacks. Publishers like TinyBuild also complain that the lower prices on resellers drive down prices and make potential buyers less likely to hop on.

      Whether the issue gets dicier is that TinyBuild basically took the sum of the retail price for all of the codes that passed through G2A and said that they lost that much money from resellers. That’s probably a pretty familiar argument from people that have seen any of the (mostly extinct) arguments about piracy. It’s not realistic to say that every one of those discounted sales would have been a sale at full retail price.

      On top of that, TinyBuild did a compare and contrast of the number of copies sold on G2A * the average price and compared that to same number of copies * retail price. Unfortunately, anyone can pop on isthereanydeal.com and look at price histories for the titles and see that they’re frequently on sale. The most resold title also launched at a lower price than the current retail, though that was probably a launch discount.

      The issue with this is that they’re not using an average price of their own to more accurately depict the “lost” revenue, and it all is predicated on the notion that any key resold is somehow a “lost” sale. Again, the debate differs from the piracy argument here because money for some of those keys may not have actually ended up in the hands of the publishers/developers.

      Realistically, though, there’s not really any proof that those keys or even the vast majority of them were fraudulently acquired. Their blogpost talks about seeing “thousands” of bad sales, but they never produce concrete numbers for how many keys were “lost” or stolen.

      G2A also invited them to submit a list of codes so they could verify which keys on the market were legitimate and which ones weren’t. This is another place where it gets dicey. TinyBuild outright refused, and part of their argument all along has been that their system isn’t set up to support finding all fraudulent keys. Sure, that sounds like it sucks, and the onus is mostly on them. But it also sounds like G2A has a system in place to do what TinyBuild can’t, and for a system that has to be operating at a significantly higher scale. Keep in mind that the most resold TinyBuild title on G2A sold under 30K copies. That’s probably a tiny, tiny fraction of the number of keys that are moving through the marketplace on any given day.

      Again, without victim-blaming, it sounds like the main issue was that TinyBuild built a retail portal that wasn’t set-up properly and people took advantage of it. Their response to that was to blame G2A for enabling or encouraging it, though there’s still no evidence that they have any real involvement in the process.

      Of course, TinyBuild selling their own titles v. sending them off to distributors has perks and drawbacks. On the one hand, they don’t have to give Steam, etc., their 30% cut. On the other hand, if their system isn’t set-up properly, they can be scammed en masse. From their blogpost on the topic, they explicitly describe watching illegitimate sales come in and allowing them to continue until their payment company shut down the retail store. Even if they have no way of tracking the fraudulent keys, it should still be obvious that you need to pull the plug on the system if you see “thousands” of fake purchases coming in. In that respect, it’s entirely on them.

      Part of the issue is also the pricing, but again, their titles regularly see discounts. The most resold game on G2A appeared in two separate Humble Bundles (meaning it was packaged with several other games for 1$ or less), and is currently on sale on Steam for even less than half of the average G2A price.

      The gray market obviously has issues that need to be worked out, but most of the issues in this particular case are not really even their responsibility, and they were clearly more active in dealing with it than TinyBuild were when they let it happen and tried to make it sound worse than it was. TinyBuild didn’t want to give Steam a cut of their money and ended up finding a way to make a different retailer entirely give them a cut for every transaction that passes through.

      The real problem I see is that no one seems to have produced any evidence that what’s happening is mostly fraudulent. That seems very easy to prove if TinyBuild can say “here’s X amount of fraudulent purchases and it’s very similar to the X amount of keys resold on G2A.” That they haven’t said that, and the really selective information in the blogpost makes me feel like they’re trying to misrepresent the situation. The gray market is very much buyer beware but if you’re paying attention to when sales and promotions are, you’ll see that a lot of titles match price pretty closely and there are plenty of explanations other than “G2A stole the keys and sold them” (which is actually one of the things TinyBuild alleges).

      • Emeraude says:

        Thanks for that one.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        You need to seriously start reading up on these issues rather than in essence say “Oh, this indie dev was so stupid, trying to sell their own product themselves. They should have expected that people would use theft and credit card fraud to drive them bankrupt, that’s how the business world works.”.

        • vahnn says:

          Like he said, it’s dicey. They took a different route to make more money than going through Steam, forgoing any protections Steam might give, but they didn’t take precautions on their own by implementing a system for tracking keys like G2A uses.

      • froz says:

        Chargebacks mean additional fees, not just loosing money that was paid to the shop. If there is that high amount of them, I can believe it can easily bankrupt small company. Anyone supporting or helping with such activities should be treated as fraud and fence, simple as that.

  6. RegisteredUser says:

    In case anyone is curious, since I mentioned devs speaking out:

    link to reddit.com

    and a nice video about this issue:
    link to reddit.com

    Hope the post is allowed through.

  7. Premium User Badge

    caff says:

    The so called “grey area” CD / Steam key sites are something I’d like to see RPS do a bit of an investigative journo piece on. I know RPS aren’t really into trench coats but surely there’s a lot we can all learn if we knew what was going on behind the scenes.

    • Frank says:

      Yeah, or Eurogamer or Gamasutra. RPS doesn’t seem to be too into the big investigative stuff.

  8. Czrly says:

    I agree that G2A are parasites but I still think that their existence and survival stems from the fact that there are people, myself included, who have legitimate keys they want to sell. Perhaps if developers gave people an option to “cash in” unwanted keys in exchange for a future discount on that dev’s games – released or still to come – people like me would burn our extra keys, taking them out of distribution.

  9. Riaktion says:

    Once again with no evidence, my perception of G2A is that they are just plain dodgy. It feels like the games are too cheap to be legit and the request in some cases to use VPN to trick Steam and other vendors into thinking you’re in another part of the world seems dishonest, or at the very least a manufactured attempt to circumnavigate something that is in place for legal reasons. I will never use them, I want to sustain and fund my favourite hobby, not undermine it by supporting a race to the bottom were games are so devalued they can no longer sustain an industry. If a game is too expensive to purchase through established official vendors, then it isn’t purchased and I vote with my wallet. Going to a perceived black market seems counter intuitive and as a gamer it feels like shooting myself in the foot. Just my opinion on G2A, for all I know they are an upstanding outfit, complicit to the law and morally bulletproof but it isn’t the perception I have of them and when it comes to the internet, sometimes you need trust yourself when your hackles are raised and something feels off.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Those that require VPN usage (and also many that are cheap) are bought in cheaper currencies.

      This thread is interesting, people hate these sites with a passion. But for every key that was bought with a stolen card there’s one that was bought because Steam sells some titles at 20% of the price in some territories compared to others.

      Bogus territory pricing that magically changes the value of a good is a problem here. And Steam.

      Where’s the steam hate?

      • Riaktion says:

        For me I don’t see Steam prices as unreasonable, and where you say the pricing differences are bogus, I say they are tailored to the market they are sold in, and I’m fine with that. I’d much rather pay for the game at the price being sold in my territory rather than deal with this grey area. Perhaps I am more straight laced than most, I don’t know, just for me, the ends don’t justify the means and undercutting a dev by buying through a weaker currency than your home territory seems like a bad idea in the long run for the industry. If the price is too high, don’t buy it or shop around without resorting to having to pull tricks and loopholes. That is my opinion anyway.

        • ButteringSundays says:

          Sure, I mostly agree with you. However the reason steam and devs offer the product for less in these territories is to avoid missing out on a sale. They’re the ones devaluing their own product, not the reseller. If you could buy a Sony Bravia from Polish Amazon for £40, wouldn’t you? If they can’t afford to sell the product for that price then it shouldn’t be that price.

          Can’t have it both ways, IMO. That’s the consequence of playing those games.

          However the reason I mostly agree is that I buy a lot of indie games, and want to be supporting the dev. It’s a different kind of financial decision. If I bought more multi-mil big publisher games I’d care far less – I’d be happy to take it for whatever they’re willing to sell it for. They can pretend I’m from Botswana if that makes their accountant happy.

          • Riaktion says:

            True, but in that example you gave, I would pay any taxes, customs etc etc, so in some way there would be some leveler, even if that money didn’t end up in the pocket of the manufacturer. It wouldn’t be as easy. That is of course up to the manufacturer as you say, but when it comes to digital products I don’t think the comparison stands up as well to scrutiny. I am not expert in these matters, so probably can’t properly debate on that, but I can say that this still feels wrong. If G2A want to get a legit key for a Steam game and sell it to me at 90% off the Steam price and I can activate that key no problem, then fine. Greenmangaming does this among others but when we start messing around with VPNs etc, it starts feeling like I am breaking the law, doing a backhander or in some way at the very least not following the rules, and maybe it just the person I am, but that usually means someone is losing out and I am not comfortable with that.

            Regarding stolen goods, there isn’t much to on that other than, stolen goods are stolen goods and against the law. Whether it is eBay, Amazon, G2A or the local car boot sale, it should be stamped out where possible. I think when it comes to G2A however, my perception of them is one that makes me feel like they don’t care, they don’t ask questions as long as they get their cut. Perhaps unfair but that is what I have come to associate them with, and any gestures of goodwill or PR messages they put out seem like lip service to me.

            I don’t have a problem with key resellers, after all that is basically what Steam is, but they need to work within the bounds of acceptable practice for me and don’t stretch laws, provide loopholes with instructions on how to exploit those, actually transmit some integrity and don’t work within grey areas.

            I am not the only one that feels like they are dodgy, but I also know thousands use them everyday too. So again, whether they are perfect or not, legit or not, to me they scream dodgy with how they go about things, and I avoid dodgy like it is the plague, and I would understand anyone else that had the feelings, with or without evidence.

          • froz says:

            There is no such thing as Polish Amazon (I know, ridiculous, as it’s possible you will get goods from Polish Amazon warehouses if you buy in on German or UK Amazon).

            I know this is a very difficult concept for people who live in the most wealthy countries of the world, but price of goods is not the same all over the world. For most goods, it depends on the market and how much people can afford. And it’s not something entirely artificial or something publishers can simply ignore.

            You have to understand that if publishers were really forced to use the same price everywhere, they would scale the prices up, not down – because a massive majority of their profits comes from just a few richest countries. They would much rather forgot about the little (in comparison) earnings in other countries then lower their prices everywhere.

            Keep also in mind that having high price everywhere was already tried and didn’t work due to piracy. People who are able and willing to buy a game for 20 or 30 € are much more likely to pirate it if it’s sold for 50-60€.

            Another point worth remembering is that the cost of a game is not just what it cost to develop it. You also have costs of customer service and, for non-digital versions (which are still a big part of the market) other costs that highly depend on local factor.

            So, in reality, quite opposite to the common misconception in western countries, dividing world into different price brackets works ultimately in favour of players and publishers both. You are not loosing anything, if it didn’t work like this, your games in UK would not be cheaper. Moreover, for some multiplayer games it could mean worse value for you, as there would be less players in game.

        • Emeraude says:

          I think one problem is that, those companies have no calms about undercutting us. One way or another, whether by “tax optimization” using alternate legislation or exporting their costs – labor or otherwise – to other cheaper territories.

          If they can sell it at a low price in one territory, and still profit from the sale, there’s no reason other territories shouldn’t demand for a similar price (taxes and all being something to take in account.

          It’s funny how the free market is only good when it benefit companies. People tend to forget that in a perfectly competitive capitalistic society, companies make no benefits.

        • Heavens says:

          For me I don’t see Steam prices as unreasonable, and where you say the pricing differences are bogus, I say they are tailored to the market they are sold in, and I’m fine with that. I’d much rather pay for the game at the price being sold in my territory rather than deal with this grey area.

          Well I live in Switzerland and ever since Valve added our currency (Swiss Francs) to their shop I’m paying about 10-20% more than before where I had to pay in Euros.
          This is just retarded and in no way, shape or form justified. It’s what we call a “swiss-markup”. Swiss people are “rich” so we just charge more.

          When I compared Dark Souls 3 versions in various shops I was actually better off buying a physical copy in a local store than buying it off Steam.

          Price on Steam: 74.- CHF
          Price in Euros on Steam: 66.- CHF (converted)
          Price in store: 64.90 CHF

          That’s a 15% markup just because it’s now available in my currency.

          I understand that prices in my country are usually higher due to higher loans and wages but Steam doesn’t have much employees in Switzerland justifying the higher costs and the fact that a local shop can sell a physical copy cheaper just shows that Valve is ripping me off.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        Edit: also Steam sales. I’ve never bought from these sites, but the couple times I’ve checked it’s clear that the keys available on the titles I’ve been interested in have been bought during the last sale, the prices often correlate quite clearly.

        It’s a marketplace. That’s all. Unless you want to remove the concept of a transferable key then they will always exist. Are people this vitriolic about ebay? You can buy stolen goods there too.

        • nearly says:

          I agree, they tend to very closely match sales prices, and you can see them gradually creep up when titles are no longer on sale (because people buy, wait, and then increase price). You could probably make a neat profit you bought a handful of Fallout 4 Season Pass keys, even without a discount on somewhere like GMG. As more games up the prices on Season Passes (Dying Light), this could be a lot of money. That assumes the sales go through legitimately.

          There was also some speculation here on RPS when Ubisoft pulled their games from Origin after the fraudulent keys that the wording was strange for talking about stolen cards / chargebacks. I seem to remember someone suggesting that the issue might have actually been people taking advantage of regional pricing (Origin Mexico, etc) rather than any “real” fraud.

          The other thing people seem to under-acknowledge is promotions. Individual sales might drop prices, Humble Bundle can drop things lower, but there’s also stuff like hardware promotions. Prices for Wild Hunt and Arkham Knight dropped to half of launch price well before launch because nvidia packaged them with cards. I honestly wonder if hardware makers also ditch keys somehow also if they don’t sell as many units as they bought keys for (assuming they buy keys upfront based on how many units they expect to move rather than making a deal to buy X based on sales of packaged hardware). That honestly seems a lot more likely than widespread theft. It seems like people are utterly insistent that the website can’t function without relying mostly on widespread fraud but they seem to not realize that would be incredibly easy to show if it were true, rather than just claiming that’s what it must be.

    • malkav11 says:

      I don’t understand why people think these prices are too low to be legitimate. You might sometimes save 20-30%, which is only a few percentage points past where Steam preorder pricing usually is, and competitive with Amazon’s Prime discount. If it’s notably lower than that, it’s usually either something people have been getting for free with hardware or similar, or it’s been out long enough for major sales/bundle pricing. or it’s become clear it’s a disaster and people are cutting their losses. We’re not talking 66% off a brand new game here (and Steam went that low on Evil Within within a couple months of launch).

  10. Emeraude says:

    Rolling out a program that will, in part, offer developers and publishers up to 10 percent royalties on each sale of their game.

    Have they not been paid already when the key was first sold? This looks uncomfortably close to a second-hand tax that has no reason existing.

    I mean, I understand that the publishers/developers want to conflate the fraud issue with the reselling issue – gives them a sort of moral high ground – but those are two separates problems, aren’t they?

    • jrodman says:

      They are, but it pays for G2A to confuse the two issues, because they’re not going to try to solve the fraudulent sales issue. It’s most of their volume.

      • asret says:

        This is total crap. It’s the developers/publishers who conflate the two – they want control even past the first sale.

        Fraud hurts G2A just as much as it hurts small developers running their own store. Charge backs cost them both. If most of their sales were fraudulent they’d be out of business.

  11. Neurotic says:

    F*** G2A with a gigantic stick, tbh. They need to be taken down, for good. Pinguin, G2A, all those crooks. Facilitators, the lot of ’em.

  12. pelwl says:

    Not trying to defend G2A here but the part where tinyBuild refuses to give them a list of fraudulent keys makes no sense:

    “Everybody knows their reputation. Why would anyone even consider giving them a list of keys to ‘verify’? I believe they’d just resell those keys and make more money off of it.”

    Are they saying that G2A would try to resell keys that they know have already been de-activated? They might as well just make up the keys using a random generator.

    To be fair, according to the polygon article, “the tinyBuild CEO maintains that the cooperation that G2A wanted was not merely a list of codes, but his company’s participation in the G2A.Pay payment solution. Only then would they agree to work with him to root out fraud on their platform.”

    This makes more sense as a reason for them not to co-operate.

  13. jrodman says:

    I think the first sale doctrine should apply to digital goods, so I don’t really agree with minimum prices settable by the creator.

    However, turning a willful blind eye to black market goods is also completely unacceptable. If it’s the only viable way for the marketplace to drive out the crime, then so be it, it’s the responsibility of the market owner to run a crime-free (as is reasonably possible) marketplace.

    It’s no secret that G2A doesn’t even try to run a legit market. It’s not a good risk for buyers anyway, you can pirate software for free, so why pay thieves and possibly lose access? I mean, personally I have a complex stand on piracy but that’s not the point, there is literally zero reason to do business with G2A as a purchaser. There’s a lot of risk no real upside.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Ingix says:

    To all the people who say that it is totally clear that G2A is shady and “doesn’t even try to run a legit market”: Is there any explanation or evidence or something else to convince someone like me, who hasn’t any personal experience with them, that this is true?

    I find it really strange that many people apparently hate G2A with such a passion when it is providing consumers with cheap things they want. Of course, most people don’t want to buy stolen goods, and I can totally understand the problem of tinybuild with the charge backs due to stolen credit cards used to buy from their shop.

    But isn’t it a bit strange that they make G2A responsible for that, instead of just realizing *they* have have been scammed and G2A is just a tool used by the scammer. It’s like a bank complaining to a car manufacturer that they made the car that allowed the bank robber to escape.

  15. Skandranon says:

    I haven’t ever heard any actual news implicating G2A itself for anything.

    When pressed, people continue saying that some of their keys are stolen (an unknown amount) – which is bad of course, but not actually on G2A.

    I’ve bought three games from them, no insurance, and haven’t had a problem. I’ve also bought keys on Ebay for far lower than market value. What’s the difference?