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More G2A Follow-up

The recent post on the G2A Website has an update from the keyseller following user feedback to their original post and a petition asking G2A to Stop selling indie titles that was started by Mike Rose. This all began with comments from some developers saying they'd prefer to have their games pirated over being purchased from G2A, alleging that shady practices keep them from seeing any revenue from such sales. Now G2A attempts to clarify one of the points many have seized upon, and says they will come back "in a couple of days" with a solution:

We received lots of feedback – both positive and negative. Developers themselves have offered some ideas and suggestions regarding the ways we can solve the issues they have with our platform. We need some time to put it all together. We’ll get back to you in the next couple of days with a solution.

Of all the negative comments, the following sentence was the most common:
“G2A admits they’re the problem because if not them, someone else would do it anyways”

Some developers cannot accept the fact that people have full rights to re-sell the things they own. It’s a problem for those developers, but not for us or anyone else. And certainly not for gamers who have access to cheaper products, games included, thanks to marketplaces such as G2A.

What we are saying is: “It’s a good thing that people can re-sell keys and, with or without G2A, they will continue to do so.”

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19. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 10:05 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Creston wrote on Jul 8, 2019, 14:46:
thestryker wrote on Jul 8, 2019, 13:48:
they don't give a shit about anything but profit.

By that standard, they fit in well with the large majority of the gaming industry human race...

Fixed that for you.
 
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18. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 05:11 Jerykk
 
DarkCntry wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 02:44:
I figured the take-away here was that they offered the service in the first place...but hey, I guess because they don't do it now means that it shouldn't be a checkmark on the box of shady things they do.

I don't care what they claim they meant by that statement, the inference was in regard that if they weren't around to be a key reseller (legitimate or not), someone else would take their place. Which they are implying that it doesn't matter if they resell fraudulent keys because someone else would be doing it if they weren't.

I never said that improving relations with devs was bad, I said that this being their, at minimum, 5th time saying it should be pretty clear that they don't intend on actually doing anything.

We hear about G2A all the time simply because they are the largest and they literally throw money at advertising campaigns, but Kinguin and CDKeys.com come up as well. The reason we don't hear about Kinguin is because almost everyone avoids it because of just how shady they can be. The reason CDKeys is not mentioned nearly as much is because, the last I saw, they are their own marketplace in the same vein as GMG and don't allow a user marketplace and has a whole can of worms of their own to deal with in that regard.

I'm also at a loss at how you can say Kotaku and journalism with a straight face...as for my 'ignorance', it again doesn't matter, they offered it in the first place because they saw the 'issue' they have with revoked keys...they then monetized it and pushed it to 'protect' the buyer. A service that, at worst, should've been free to begin with and at best shouldn't even be needed if they vet their sellers in any meaningful way.

It's a bit of a stretch to equate "key reselling would exist without us" with "it doesn't matter if we sell stolen keys." As I mentioned earlier, G2A has taken measures to address fraud. New sellers are required to verify both the source and proof of purchase of their keys. I know this because when I first started selling keys on G2A, I had to do that all the time. This has been their policy for years but you wouldn't know that unless you've actually used G2A to sell keys. The problem is that verifying the legitimacy of keys is extremely difficult. You can't test them without activating them and if the seller sells the keys before the credit cards are reported stolen, they'll have sufficient proof of source and purchase. The only way to counter this is to put a month long hold on all key sales to ensure enough time for chargeback and stolen card reports. Needless to say, this hold would be a significant setback for legitimate resellers (i.e. the majority of resellers).

Secondly, the fact that they removed the "protection" subscription service is pretty obvious proof that they are listening and responding to feedback. They also added the ability for devs to sell their games directly through G2A.

The issue Mike Ross and other devs have with sites like G2A isn't limited to potentially fraudulent key sales. They take issue with unauthorized reselling as a whole. Key reselling is perfectly legal but they don't like it because it reduces their control over pricing. When they deal with authorized resellers, they have much more control (which is why Borderlands 3 isn't discounted on any authorized resellers). With unauthorized resellers, they have none.

As for Kotaku, if you actually read the site, you'll notice that they do a fair amount of investigative journalism. They've broken numerous stories on things like layoffs, development troubles, cancellations, unannounced games, poor working conditions, etc. They've even been blacklisted by several publishers as a result. The same can't be said for pretty much any other gaming site that either serves as a marketing tool for publishers or a headline regurgitation machine.
 
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17. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 02:44 DarkCntry
 
Jerykk wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 02:12:
You didn't refer to the protection service in the past tense. You referred to it in the current tense, suggesting that it still exists. That was incorrect.

The "if we weren't doing it someone else would" comment was in reference to key reselling. That's not shady. It's completely legal and a consumer right. Also, G2A isn't the only site that facilitates key reselling so that comment is pretty accurate.

As for stating that they're working on improving their service and relationship with developers... is that bad? Would you rather they just ignore all the feedback and remain silent? Developers clearly don't like unauthorized reselling. Consumers feel the opposite. G2A is apparently trying to accommodate both audiences though that will be tricky.

We hear constant stories about G2A because the gaming media is an echo chamber. Someone writes a controversial tweet or forum post, then a gaming site makes a headline about it, then 50 other sites repost that headline without doing research or verification. I think Kotaku is the only site that does anything actually resembling journalism. Every other site is just regurgitating headlines. For example, you were ignorant of the fact that G2A no longer has a paid "protection" service because nobody actually reported that. Meanwhile, Kinguin (another site that lets people sell keys) still has a paid protection service. You've probably never heard of that site because no gaming sites have bothered writing about it.

I figured the take-away here was that they offered the service in the first place...but hey, I guess because they don't do it now means that it shouldn't be a checkmark on the box of shady things they do.

I don't care what they claim they meant by that statement, the inference was in regard that if they weren't around to be a key reseller (legitimate or not), someone else would take their place. Which they are implying that it doesn't matter if they resell fraudulent keys because someone else would be doing it if they weren't.

I never said that improving relations with devs was bad, I said that this being their, at minimum, 5th time saying it should be pretty clear that they don't intend on actually doing anything.

We hear about G2A all the time simply because they are the largest and they literally throw money at advertising campaigns, but Kinguin and CDKeys.com come up as well. The reason we don't hear about Kinguin is because almost everyone avoids it because of just how shady they can be. The reason CDKeys is not mentioned nearly as much is because, the last I saw, they are their own marketplace in the same vein as GMG and don't allow a user marketplace and has a whole can of worms of their own to deal with in that regard.

I'm also at a loss at how you can say Kotaku and journalism with a straight face...as for my 'ignorance', it again doesn't matter, they offered it in the first place because they saw the 'issue' they have with revoked keys...they then monetized it and pushed it to 'protect' the buyer. A service that, at worst, should've been free to begin with and at best shouldn't even be needed if they vet their sellers in any meaningful way.
 
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16. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 02:18 Jerykk
 
Sepharo wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 02:05:
I don't really care to get into technical particulars, I'll just leave you with your own words... ones that I happen to agree with:
"If you're more concerned about saving money than rewarding the creators of the games you enjoy, you might as well go all the way and just pirate them."

That's fine but a pretty slippery slope. Are you suggesting that you always buy games at full price directly from the developers so that they get maximum profit? Do you pre-order the most expensive version of games? Have you never purchased a bundle or bought a game at a discount?

There needs to be a balance between consumer rights and creator profitability. I believe key reselling provides that balance. I don't believe used sales do. At least, not for games.
 
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15. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 02:12 Jerykk
 
DarkCntry wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 01:52:
Oh, so because they don't offer the service anymore means that it should be forgotten about?

As I said, these should be major red flags that a service was created in the first place, even if they didn't 'require' it.

Since apparently you seem quite willing to go to bat for them, can you then explain to me why they have basically admitted to being shady at best with the comment about "if we weren't doing it someone else would"? Or, how about the time when they partnered with Gearbox and then Gearbox went "nope" after the Totalbiscuit video?

Or if we want super recent things to question...why is it that G2A released yet another statement stating that they will be "working on" being better about their service? I mean, wasn't the last 4 or 5 times of them saying it enough?

For a company that is supposedly above-board when it comes to validity of their service, they shouldn't be having these constant stories about them.

You didn't refer to the protection service in the past tense. You referred to it in the current tense, suggesting that it still exists. That was incorrect.

The "if we weren't doing it someone else would" comment was in reference to key reselling. That's not shady. It's completely legal and a consumer right. Also, G2A isn't the only site that facilitates key reselling so that comment is pretty accurate.

As for stating that they're working on improving their service and relationship with developers... is that bad? Would you rather they just ignore all the feedback and remain silent? Developers clearly don't like unauthorized reselling. Consumers feel the opposite. G2A is apparently trying to accommodate both audiences though that will be tricky.

We hear constant stories about G2A because the gaming media is an echo chamber. Someone writes a controversial tweet or forum post, then a gaming site makes a headline about it, then 50 other sites repost that headline without doing research or verification. I think Kotaku is the only site that does anything actually resembling journalism. Every other site is just regurgitating headlines. For example, you were ignorant of the fact that G2A no longer has a paid "protection" service because nobody actually reported that. Meanwhile, Kinguin (another site that lets people sell keys) still has a paid protection service. You've probably never heard of that site because no gaming sites have bothered writing about it.
 
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14. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 02:05 Sepharo
 
Jerykk wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 01:59:
Sepharo wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 01:40:
Yeah but your problem with it was always about the developer not seeing any money from that sale... and that's still the case. It may as well be used. They saw the money from the initial sale, and if we're disregarding the fraud angle that initial sale was likely in a region where the game sells for much less, but they didn't see any subsequent money when the game was re-sold at a somewhat higher price in a region that normally sells at a much higher price. They lost out on money because of a re-sale.

They didn't lose out on anything. They agreed to sell keys to a bundle or authorized reseller. They were compensated for those sales. If a key was then resold, they don't deserve additional compensation. The key can only be activated once and the developer was paid once. In essence, they're compensated for the activation of the key, not its distribution.

If a developer wants absolute control over pricing, they have multiple ways to do so. Don't put your games in bundles. Make sure your keys are region-locked or just don't offer regional pricing. Don't give keys away to random streamers or reviewers. Hell, if you want to be super paranoid, don't sell keys to any resellers at all. Just sell them directly through Steam or GOG. It's the developer/publisher's decision to reduce the value of their games and they typically do so in an attempt to get more sales.

I don't really care to get into technical particulars, I'll just leave you with your own words... ones that I happen to agree with:
"If you're more concerned about saving money than rewarding the creators of the games you enjoy, you might as well go all the way and just pirate them."
 
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13. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 01:59 Jerykk
 
Sepharo wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 01:40:
Yeah but your problem with it was always about the developer not seeing any money from that sale... and that's still the case. It may as well be used. They saw the money from the initial sale, and if we're disregarding the fraud angle that initial sale was likely in a region where the game sells for much less, but they didn't see any subsequent money when the game was re-sold at a somewhat higher price in a region that normally sells at a much higher price. They lost out on money because of a re-sale.

They didn't lose out on anything. They agreed to sell keys to a bundle or authorized reseller. They were compensated for those sales. If a key was then resold, they don't deserve additional compensation. The key can only be activated once and the developer was paid once. In essence, they're compensated for the activation of the key, not its distribution.

If a developer wants absolute control over pricing, they have multiple ways to do so. Don't put your games in bundles. Make sure your keys are region-locked or just don't offer regional pricing. Don't give keys away to random streamers or reviewers. Hell, if you want to be super paranoid, don't sell keys to any resellers at all. Just sell them directly through Steam or GOG. It's the developer/publisher's decision to reduce the value of their games and they typically do so in an attempt to get more sales.
 
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12. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 01:52 DarkCntry
 
Jerykk wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 01:20:
DarkCntry wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 01:03:
Let us not forget the whole subscription service you can apply for on G2A that will protect you from the supposed tiny amount of fraudulent keys they offer....I mean, just have that service alone should raise a couple red flags, but then to charge for it should be the huge red klaxon of "beware"...

I love opinions based on outdated and/or inaccurate info. You never needed to subscribe to that service to get refunds for revoked keys. I had two revoked keys, filed support tickets for both with screenshots of the revocation notices and got full refunds immediately.

FYI, G2A doesn't even offer that "protection" service anymore. Not that you ever needed it to begin with. Their subscription service now just gives you bonus discounts, a larger cut from keys you sell, currency for loot boxes (yes, loot boxes are unfortunately common on reseller sites now), giveaways, etc.

Oh, so because they don't offer the service anymore means that it should be forgotten about?

As I said, these should be major red flags that a service was created in the first place, even if they didn't 'require' it.

Since apparently you seem quite willing to go to bat for them, can you then explain to me why they have basically admitted to being shady at best with the comment about "if we weren't doing it someone else would"? Or, how about the time when they partnered with Gearbox and then Gearbox went "nope" after the Totalbiscuit video?

Or if we want super recent things to question...why is it that G2A released yet another statement stating that they will be "working on" being better about their service? I mean, wasn't the last 4 or 5 times of them saying it enough?

For a company that is supposedly above-board when it comes to validity of their service, they shouldn't be having these constant stories about them.
 
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11. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 01:40 Sepharo
 
Jerykk wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 01:37:
Sepharo wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 01:27:
This is the last person I expected to see defending G2A.
I totally associate the "buying used is worse than piracy" with Jerykk... and I don't see this as much different than that.
When I read that a developer said the same thing I even thought, "Wow Jerykk is vindicated in a way" and even told coworkers about the ancient forum argument finally getting some sorta-official validation.

There's a fundamental difference between used sales and key reselling. You can't activate a key, play the game, deactivate the key, then sell it. You either activate it or you sell it. A better analogy is buying a new copy of a game from Amazon/Best Buy/Target/Walmart/Staples, then reselling it without ever opening it. I see no problems with that.

Used sales are problematic because one person can buy a game, play it and sell it, then another person can buy that same copy, play it, sell it, rinse and repeat. Multiple people are able to play the game when only one person actually compensated the dev/publisher for it. You can't do that with keys.

Yeah but your problem with it was always about the developer not seeing any money from that sale... and that's still the case. It may as well be used. They saw the money from the initial sale, and if we're disregarding the fraud angle that initial sale was likely in a region where the game sells for much less, but they didn't see any subsequent money when the game was re-sold at a somewhat higher price in a region that normally sells at a much higher price. They lost out on money because of a re-sale.
 
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10. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 01:37 Jerykk
 
Sepharo wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 01:27:
This is the last person I expected to see defending G2A.
I totally associate the "buying used is worse than piracy" with Jerykk... and I don't see this as much different than that.
When I read that a developer said the same thing I even thought, "Wow Jerykk is vindicated in a way" and even told coworkers about the ancient forum argument finally getting some sorta-official validation.

There's a fundamental difference between used sales and key reselling. You can't activate a key, play the game, deactivate the key, then sell it. You either activate it or you sell it. A better analogy is buying a new copy of a game from Amazon/Best Buy/Target/Walmart/Staples, then reselling it without ever opening it. I see no problems with that.

Used sales are problematic because one person can buy a game, play it and sell it, then another person can buy that same copy, play it, sell it, rinse and repeat. Multiple people are able to play the game when only one person actually compensated the dev/publisher for it. You can't do that with keys. Only one person can activate the key regardless of how many times it was resold.
 
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9. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 01:27 Sepharo
 
This is the last person I expected to see defending G2A.
I totally associate the "buying used is worse than piracy" with Jerykk... and I don't see this as much different than that.
When I read that a developer said the same thing I even thought, "Wow Jerykk is vindicated in a way" and even told coworkers about the ancient forum argument finally getting some sorta-official validation.

edit:
Jerykk wrote on Mar 27, 2010, 04:01:
It actually offends me when someone has the audacity to criticize piracy while openly admitting to buying and/or selling most of their games used. When you buy or sell used games, it reeks of self-indulgent complacency. "Oh, I don't steal games, that would be wrong. I buy all my games! Sure, I buy them all used and sell them when I finish them but that's not illegal so it's okay. I'm such a moral person!" If you're more concerned about saving money than rewarding the creators of the games you enjoy, you might as well go all the way and just pirate them. Same end result (developers not seeing a penny), only you don't get the satisfaction of upholding your convenient "morality" by hiding behind the law.

thread in question (which itself is one among many such threads):
https://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&boardid=1&threadid=108783
 
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8. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 01:20 Jerykk
 
DarkCntry wrote on Jul 9, 2019, 01:03:
Let us not forget the whole subscription service you can apply for on G2A that will protect you from the supposed tiny amount of fraudulent keys they offer....I mean, just have that service alone should raise a couple red flags, but then to charge for it should be the huge red klaxon of "beware"...

I love opinions based on outdated and/or inaccurate info. You never needed to subscribe to that service to get refunds for revoked keys. I had two revoked keys, filed support tickets for both with screenshots of the revocation notices and got full refunds immediately.

FYI, G2A doesn't even offer that "protection" service anymore. Not that you ever needed it to begin with. Their subscription service now just gives you bonus discounts, a larger cut from keys you sell, currency for loot boxes (yes, loot boxes are unfortunately common on reseller sites now), giveaways, etc.
 
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7. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 9, 2019, 01:03 DarkCntry
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 8, 2019, 17:53:
On the one hand, I get it: if I have a key for a game that I legitimately acquired, it's nice to have a place to sell it conveniently in an open market.

On the other hand, the temptation of G2A to not check if sellers legitimately acquired their keys in terms of having to provide the labor to do so, and in order to increase total sales, must be very great.

Let us not forget the whole subscription service you can apply for on G2A that will protect you from the supposed tiny amount of fraudulent keys they offer....I mean, just have that service alone should raise a couple red flags, but then to charge for it should be the huge red klaxon of "beware"...
 
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6. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 8, 2019, 23:18 Jerykk
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 8, 2019, 17:53:
On the one hand, I get it: if I have a key for a game that I legitimately acquired, it's nice to have a place to sell it conveniently in an open market.

On the other hand, the temptation of G2A to not check if sellers legitimately acquired their keys in terms of having to provide the labor to do so, and in order to increase total sales, must be very great.

Except they do check. I've sold numerous keys on G2A and they required proof of source and payment for my earlier sales. After you've sold enough keys and received enough positive ratings, I think they stop checking because I haven't had to verify them with my last few sales. Basically, once you've established yourself as a trustworthy seller, they don't feel the need to confirm it again.

Verifying the legitimacy of a key isn't simple. There's no way to check if a key works without activating it. On top of that, even if a fraudulent seller provides proof of source and payment, those things don't really mean anything if the credit card was stolen or a chargeback was later performed. The only way to address this is to add a several week processing delay on all sales and legitimate sellers would be pretty annoyed by that.

The reality is that the people who complain about G2A simply don't want there to be key resales at all, legitimate or otherwise. Mike Ross made that pretty clear in his rants. The complaints about stolen credit cards and such are a misdirection, much like Tim Sweeney's rants about the 30% "store tax." The vast majority of G2A sales are perfectly legit but that makes for a far less compelling headline than "G2A SELLS STOLEN GAMES."
 
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5. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 8, 2019, 17:53 jdreyer
 
On the one hand, I get it: if I have a key for a game that I legitimately acquired, it's nice to have a place to sell it conveniently in an open market.

On the other hand, the temptation of G2A to not check if sellers legitimately acquired their keys in terms of having to provide the labor to do so, and in order to increase total sales, must be very great.
 
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The land in Minecraft is flat, Minecraft simulates the Earth, ergo the Earth is flat.
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4. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 8, 2019, 17:45 RedEye9
 

When in doubt Double Down.

 
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“If the government is covering up knowledge of aliens, they are doing a better job of it than they do at anything else.”
- Stephen Hawking
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3. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 8, 2019, 14:48 Shifter2000
 
G2A become more and more oblivious as time goes on.  
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2. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 8, 2019, 14:46 Creston
 
thestryker wrote on Jul 8, 2019, 13:48:
they don't give a shit about anything but profit.

By that standard, they fit in well with the large majority of the gaming industry...
 
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1. Re: More G2A Follow-up Jul 8, 2019, 13:48 thestryker
 
All they're doing at this point is confirming what everyone should have known by now: they don't give a shit about anything but profit. Since the storefronts don't really lose anything on cheap region sales there's no real onus on them to fix a thing. I suppose developers could choose to not have their products available in cheaper markets if region locks aren't a possibility.

There will always be people willing to game the system, and that's the G2A model. I've never bought a game there, but that's because I've always taken the approach of this: If I'm not willing to pay the price it's available for I just won't get it.
 
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