G2A, the key reselling market for PC games, has become more and more infamous over the years as policy changes and a glut of scammers and thieves on the marketplace have made the place a nightmare. Earlier this month, G2A was subject to some pretty severe backlash over these same problems rearing their ugly heads again.
The company responded with a long ramble that many gamers and indie developers found unsatisfactory. Mostly because it was perceived as sweeping the problems under the rug.
And given all of this controversy, there’s a question on the minds of a lot of people in the games industry. Why hasn’t G2A just removed indie games from their store? According to G2A, it’s complicated. And now, they’re at least trying to push a bit of a solution to these constant problems, by promising to eventually deliver a key-blocking tool for developers to use to prevent review keys from showing up on G2A.
There are some pretty obvious problems with this idea, as well as the execution of it by G2A themselves.
For one thing, G2A has said that at least 100 developers must show interest before they begin development on the proposed tool, that’s understandable to some, but given that only 8% of sales are from independent developers, it could go poorly for developers who want this tool.
Another problem is that this system doesn’t really address the core issue, as it only chokes off one avenue for scammers selling keys. These massive bot operations that resell keys by pretending to be reviewers or let’s players might take a small hit from this system, but other ways that resellers exploit still remain. The developers still lose time and money having to deal with chargebacks and the like, while now having to spend more time giving a list of all their review keys to G2A.
And yes, this entire operations of reselling keys by lying about who you are can be automated, and it’s pretty big business.
This blocking proposal leaves currency ratio manipulation, bundle reselling, and using stolen financial data as massive loopholes for unscrupulous sellers to walk right through. Steam gifting is also another big source of the problem with these games being resold. G2A has tried to crackdown on the illegal elements previously, to seemingly little effect.
To be fair, G2A does acknowledge this in a very roundabout way:
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.
And while that’s not really a commitment to deal with these other issues, by their own admission they’re apparently willing to listen to developers. So the initial question remains. Why hasn’t G2A just removed indie games from their store?