G2A: We will pay indie devs '10x' the money they've lost to fraud chargebacks
As long as the fraud can be provenBy Cohen Coberly
In context: For those who don't know, G2A is a key re-selling website that functions much like eBay -- users can sign up and sell their game keys there. Buyers and sellers alike can leave feedback for each other following successful transactions but the main draw of the website has always been its pricing. In many cases, games sold on G2A are significantly cheaper than they would be on other platforms.
Sounds like a good deal, right? Well, unfortunately for G2A, the site has always been followed by controversy. Journalists, ordinary gamers, and gaming-focused YouTubers alike have often accused G2A of being a shady "gray market," where users are allowed to sell game keys that they've obtained by using stolen credit card details.
G2A has deflected these criticisms in the past, but these accusations were revived recently when numerous indie devs openly asked would-be G2A users to pirate their games instead of buying them on the site.
The devs state that the amount of time and effort they spend dealing with chargebacks caused by fraudulently-acquired keys costs them more money than simply losing the sale to piracy in the first place.
Some smaller developers and publishers, such as No More Robots, have even gone so far as to create and sign a petition that asks G2A to stop selling indie games.
Now, G2A has responded to these new complaints, and quite boldly, at that. The site says that if any indie developers can offer proof of any sales lost to chargebacks, G2A will compensate them for the loss -- multiplied by ten. The following excerpt from the site's full statement summarizes the situation:
Let's lay all cards on the table. We will pay developers 10 times the money they lost on chargebacks after their illegally obtained keys were sold on G2A. The idea is simple: developers just need to prove such a thing actually happened on their stores.
To assure honesty and transparency, we will ask a reputable and independent auditing company to make an unbiased examination of both sides - the developer's store and G2A Marketplace. The cost of the first three audits is on us, every next one will be split 50/50.
G2A goes on to say it will "publicly report" every step of the procedure in the interest of transparency, adding that any developers "willing to cooperate" can contact the G2A Direct Team to start the process.
The company notes that only 8 percent of the games sold on its Marketplace would fall under the indie category, and in the case of the aforementioned petition's creator -- No More Robots chief Mike Rose -- only five copies of his latest game, Descenders, have been sold on G2A. As such, G2A says it has "no significant impact" on the publisher's business.
Indeed, the company seems to feel it has been unfairly targeted by developers.
"We want to believe in the developers' clean motives [but] we also know that if there was a real problem, the most obvious reaction to that would be trying to fix it,"
"We want to believe in the developers' clean motives [but] we also know that if there was a real problem, the most obvious reaction to that would be trying to fix it," the site states. "If you had a reason to believe your keys were illegally obtained and ended up on G2A - what would you do to solve the issue? Write to G2A and solve the problem together [or go to Twitter and write 'F**K G2A'?]"
It's tough to say which side is in the right here, but we'll leave any final judgements up to you. We recommend reading G2A's full statement, as well as No More Robots' petition -- either way, we'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.