G2A, a digital marketplace which resells game keys, has admitted that it did sell stolen game keys in the past and must pay almost $40,000 to the affected studio (via Eurogamer).
If you’re out of the loop, G2A is most famous for a conflict with an indie developer who accused it of appropriating sales from developers and publishers. G2A’s grey marketplace lets users purchase game keys from cheaper territories, and then resell them through the platform for a greater profit in more expensive markets. This also means that not a dime goes to the original developer or publisher of the game. Expectedly, some people don’t like this system, and a handful of developers have even said they would rather players pirate their game than purchase it through G2A.
Yikes. Well, in response, G2A stated it would pay developers 10 times their costs if it was proven that G2A had sold stolen keys for their game. Now, it transpires that this has actually happened, after the company conducted an internal investigation into its own activity. G2A must pay Wube Software, the studio behind construction sim Factorio, a grand total of $39,800.
Yikes. “When we launched this offer, we wanted to send a clear message to the gaming community that fraud hurts all parties,” said G2A in the announcement. “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.” The company claims that it did not contribute to the “illegal acquisition” of Factorio keys, but that its pledge to compensate affected studios must be maintained.
“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,” it continued. It did not state its plans to prevent this from happening in the future, and it did not extend the offer of investigation to any other developers.
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