Whenever G2A is in the news, it’s usually for the shadiest of reasons. Today though? It’s for cocking up in the grandest fashion possible. A quick history lesson for those of you who happen to be unfamiliar with the site: G2A runs a grey market for selling and reselling PC game keys, with the site being regularly accused of dealing in stolen keys on the side.
After a ton of bad press last year, G2A went on a publicity spree as they sought to clean up their image, going so far as to offer studios a hefty sum if anyone could jump through their hoops and provide proof of their game being sold on their market with an alleged stolen key. One company decided to throw their hat into the ring, leading to an investigation that proved that said shady business was happening on their site.
Factorio creators Wube Software were willing to go through the lengthy efforts detailed by G2A last year to bring this issue to site, although the investigation eventually dropped the third party auditor part of the deal and the sleuthing was done between G2A and the affected developer. G2A’s own investigation via their “Keeping our promise” blog post found that of the 321 keys that Wube claims were stolen, 198 of them had been sold on the site.
Which has resulted in G2A claiming that they would pay “ten times the value of any bank-initiated refund costs that Factorio paid in relation to each of the 198 illegitimate keys sold via its Marketplace.” Or $39 600 if you want to be more precise.
When we launched this offer, we wanted to send a clear message to the gaming community that fraud hurts all parties. As we spell out in this blog, fraud directly hurts individuals who buy illegitimate keys, it hurts gaming developers and it ultimately hurts G2A because we are forced – as the transaction facilitator – to cover costs related to the sale. We wanted to amplify that message and capture people’s attention, so pledged to compensate developers ten times the value of any chargeback fees they incurred, despite the fact that we had nothing to with the illegal acquisition of these keys.
The gaming developer community has our solidarity and sympathies on this issue, and we want to continue building bridges. With our main point being made, about the seriousness of fraud in the industry, from now on we will compensate developers the full value of any chargeback fees they incurred for any keys sold via G2A Marketplace, if they are able to prove they were illegitimate.
I genuinely don’t think a round of self-congratulatory patting of the backs are in order here. G2A has essentially admitted that their operation does deal in stolen keys, and it’s all thanks to one studio taking them up on their offer and backing them into an investigative corner by providing hard proof the illegal dealings going on through their site.
And that’s just for a smaller game, because lord knows how many pilfered keys for bigger budget games have been sold on that site over the years. While G2A is attempting to put its own spin on the outcome of that investigation by playing for sympathy, it’s still a damning outcome for a site that regularly shifts blame to anyone but itself.
Last Updated: May 21, 2020