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G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool

Game key reseller G2A proposes a key-blocking tool for developers as a possible solution to the problem of review keys and giveaway keys being resold through their service. This is their promised follow up to developer backlash over their practices that spawned a petition asking them to stop selling indie titles. Their proposal involves developing a tool to allow developers to designate game keys as not eligible for resale. They say they will absorb the expense of programming this provided 100 developers sign up to show them the effort will be worthwhile. They say they are aware that some developers want them to stop selling keys altogether, but they try have the last word on that, saying, "Both sides have valid points and should respect each other’s arguments." Here's their proposal for a tool to prevent the unauthorized resale of review and giveaway keys:

Both issues can be solved using the tool we’re proposing. Here’s how it would work:

  • You, the developer, only need to get verified. All you have to do is prove that you can act in the name of the studio you’re representing, so that we can deter any impostors. Once your identity is confirmed, you will gain access to two separate sections.
  • The first of these is the “Review keys” part. Once you generate keys to be sent out for a review to various sources, all you would need to do is select your game in our panel and paste the keys you don’t want to pop up on our marketplace.
  • Once that’s done, each time anyone tries to sell a key for your game, our algorithm will check the keys you have provided us with. If there is a match, the seller will get a notification that the key has been blocked so that they can’t sell it.
  • The second section would be the “Giveaway” part. This panel works in the same way as the previous one – just fill in the keys you will be giving out that you don’t want sold before you start the giveaway.
  • If a seller tries to sell more than 3 keys that match the ones in the giveaway database, our system won’t allow that.

We have already made some calculations, and the development of such a solution will be time-consuming and expensive. We will cover all the costs, of course, but we just need to know that you, the developers, are going to use it. That’s why we ask you to register using this short form:

If at least 100 developers sign up within a month (until 15th of August; to assure transparency, the list will be public), we’ll start working on the key-checking tool, and of course let you know about the timeframe and other important details.

Please keep in mind that even without such a tool, we’re always ready and willing to help everyone on a daily basis through the means of a less technical approach. In other words: just write to the G2A Direct team and let them know if there is a problem.

We are aware that this proposal doesn’t solve all the issues. Many developers would like to permanently remove their games from the free market. While we understand their point of view, it’s not a black or white situation. Both sides have valid points and should respect each other’s arguments. G2A, like any other marketplace in the world, is to assure that independent sellers can offer the products they own for others to buy. This results in lower prices on games, electronics, gadgets and everything else gamers need.

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17. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 23:49 Jerykk
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 12, 2019, 21:07:
HorrorScope wrote on Jul 12, 2019, 17:45:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jul 12, 2019, 15:17:
Wow, are these going to be the new Star Citizen-level threads?

Looks like it. Factorio is taking them to task on the x10 refund amount and crickets so far.

Article.

Wow, 5500 devs signed Rose's petition against G2A.

Correction: 5500 random people on the internet signed the petition. There was no requirement that you actually be a dev.

The misdirection of the petition is worthy of Tim Sweeney. Only a minority of keys are obtained through fraudulent means yet the petition demands that all indie game keys be removed from sale regardless of how they were obtained. This isn't about preventing crime, it's about having absolute control over pricing and destroying the competition posed by unauthorized resellers.

You want to know what's actually undermining indie game valuation? Bundles and giveaways. If you bundle or give away your games, of course they're going to drop in value because it sets a precedent. If a developer has a history of bundling or giving away games, customers are less likely to buy those developer's games. This would be true even if reselling ceased to exist. As a subscriber to Humble Monthly, I often avoid buying games that I believe will eventually be bundled and the majority of those are indie games.
 
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16. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 21:07 jdreyer
 
HorrorScope wrote on Jul 12, 2019, 17:45:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jul 12, 2019, 15:17:
Wow, are these going to be the new Star Citizen-level threads?

Looks like it. Factorio is taking them to task on the x10 refund amount and crickets so far.

Article.

Wow, 5500 devs signed Rose's petition against G2A.
 
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The land in Minecraft is flat, Minecraft simulates the Earth, ergo the Earth is flat.
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15. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 19:26 Gojo
 
Cutter wrote on Jul 12, 2019, 11:36:
...otherwise fuckoff and quit whinging'.
..."Well, what do you believe in, Wade? I'm guessing shotguns and big titties." - Max
+2 nerd cred for using "Whinging" and the awesome quote from The Losers.

"At most--at most that was a "break his fingers" nod. (slams his fist)I mean Jesus, Wade, the man was scientific genius. Granted his weight signaled that he had certain impulse control issues, but that's no reason to throw his fat ass out a fifty story window." -Max
 
=-Gojo-=
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14. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 17:45 HorrorScope
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jul 12, 2019, 15:17:
Wow, are these going to be the new Star Citizen-level threads?

Looks like it. Factorio is taking them to task on the x10 refund amount and crickets so far.
 
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13. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 15:17 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Wow, are these going to be the new Star Citizen-level threads?

El Pit -> I hope you're wrong, but yeah, publishers at least definitely seem to want to move us all to some streaming/subscription bullshit services.

Luckily we'll all be too busy fighting for food, clean water and dry land in like 10 years.
 
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12. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 14:43 El Pit
 
Devs will all go the game as a (streaming) service route and will stop selling keys and discs. This will be the future. For now, there is not much they can do about it except for a one world, one price initiative which will never happen. Human rights world wide, but not same prices world wide... It is really... Aw, forget about it. Brood  
They're waiting for you, Gabe, in the test chamber!
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11. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 14:35 RedEye9
 

What "qualifications" are required to be a dev? (one published game, or one game in the works, or owns a computer...)
I would have chosen April 1st for the accountability name release party and picked an odder number like 77 or 133.

 
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"The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you." Neil deGrasse Tyson
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10. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 13:17 Creston
 
I love the "100 devs need to sign up for this expensive tool we're making" (it's very costly to make a little VB box that allows you to flag a key in a database). As if 100 devs would ever want to do business with G2A.

They know full well this won't happen, it's just grandstanding.
 
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9. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Jul 12, 2019, 12:31 Jerykk
 
JTW wrote on Jul 12, 2019, 11:45:
And how does this help when someone buys 100 legitimate keys with stolen credit cards, sells them on G2A? The credit card owners then reverse the charges (costing the developers money), and the 100 people then blame the developer when their effectively stolen keys suddenly stop working. The dev loses money, pisses off customers, loses reputation, while both G2A and the thief make a profit. G2A is well aware of this, and isn't going to do a single thing to stop it. Honest business practices won't make them nearly as much money as de-facto money laundering.

This is like a drug ring agreeing not to sell Tylenol. Uh, thanks, but that's not the issue.

Criminal enterprises are criminal enterprises.

Again, that's not how this works. If a key gets revoked, G2A refunds the buyer. I know this because the 2 keys that I've had revoked were both refunded immediately. So keys obtained through fraudulent means are not profitable for G2A and actually hurt their reputation more than the developer's.

Also, most keys sold on G2A are not obtained directly from developers. They're primarily obtained from bundles and regions where games are a lot cheaper (Russia, India, South America, Asia, Middle-East, etc). The devs were already paid for these keys by the distributor they sent them to. The distributor is the one who would have to deal with the reversed charges.

Anyway, I don't think this system will work. Devs and pubs don't care if a key resale is legitimate or not. They don't want any unauthorized reselling at all, legal or otherwise.
 
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8. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 12:00 RedEye9
 

G2A
Redefining sleeze one idea at a time.

 
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"The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you." Neil deGrasse Tyson
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7. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Jul 12, 2019, 11:45 JTW
 
And how does this help when someone buys 100 legitimate keys with stolen credit cards, sells them on G2A? The credit card owners then reverse the charges (costing the developers money), and the 100 people then blame the developer when their effectively stolen keys suddenly stop working. The dev loses money, pisses off customers, loses reputation, while both G2A and the thief make a profit. G2A is well aware of this, and isn't going to do a single thing to stop it. Honest business practices won't make them nearly as much money as de-facto money laundering.

This is like a drug ring agreeing not to sell Tylenol. Uh, thanks, but that's not the issue.

Criminal enterprises are criminal enterprises.
 
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6. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 11:38 BIGtrouble77
 
I wonder if it's possible to make a key unique, but deterministic... so that it can be decoded to identify various metadata, like adding a flag that it's not re-sellable. This would address the youtuber scams, but selling stolen legit keys is going to be a problem regardless.  
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5. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 11:36 Cutter
 
It's a stupid PR stunt on their part. They should have just stuck with, 'if you can provide us evidence the key was obtained through fraud we won't permit its sale, otherwise fuckoff and quit whinging'.

I have to agree that if it's such an issue for some devs than they should be opening their own digital storefronts. It's not difficult or expensive. Then they can track their keys to their hearts content.
 
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"Ah, Impressionists, the boy bands of the art world." - Sideshow Bob
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4. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 11:15 Sepharo
 
That delineation is weird.
They'll immediately block sale of a key sent for review purposes... but only block a "giveaway" key if a seller tries to sell more than three of them.
Yet it's up to the developer to identify which is which.
And the 100 devs thing just sounds like them sneering.
 
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3. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 11:11 HoSpanky
 
It’s not a terrible idea. It’d also make it very easy to figure out which “reviewers” are actually selling the keys they get.

Developers can even make keys sold at a discount “non-resellable” this way, at least through G2A. Although that “more than three” thing seems odd. That feels like they only want to go after anyone who heavily abuses the system, not those who pick away at developer sales (and resellers would just open a ton of accounts). What keeps devs from putting ANY key they don’t want resold into the “reviewer” category?
 
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2. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 11:09 MDB
 
Review/giveaway keys aren't the problem. (And TBH I'm OK with the idea of paying a few $$ for something which was acquired for free as a sort of "service charge".) The problem is with legit keys getting acquired through illegitimate means.

It feels like the only real solution, if publishers/developers don't want to be victimized in this fashion, is doing away with keys altogether and going through digital storefronts exclusively.
 
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1. Re: G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool Jul 12, 2019, 11:02 Bill Borre
 
Oh, G2A. You're such a tool.  
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