Late last week, a feud developed between Gearbox Publishing and game key reseller G2A after the former demanded that the latter take a firmer stance on fraud. The issue came to a head when YouTuber John "Total Biscuit" Bain vowed to cease coverage of Bulletstorm and all future Gearbox titles, noting he wouldn't support "crooks." Gearbox had demanded that G2A make its fraud protection, G2A Shield, free within 30 days, open up a service for certified developers to search for and remove fraudulent keys and ultimately restructure its payment system for customers selling and buying legitimate keys. Since G2A did not address Gearbox's demands, the publisher started its "extraction process" for Bulletstorm, and now G2A is responding, claiming that what Gearbox was asking for already exists in the key marketplace.
"This is an excellent example that rash actions, without full knowledge of the facts, can be harmful to both the developer and the marketplace," Maciej Kuc, G2A's head of PR, said in a lengthy statement obtained by PC Gamer. "Especially since all of the requests made of G2A.com in the ultimatum have in fact long been part of our marketplace."
Kuc also insisted that the same level of protection customers gain by purchasing G2A Shield is given to those who do not buy it. "The main purpose and function of G2A Shield is to provide buyers with immense convenience and comfort," Kuc noted.
As for Gearbox's demand that G2A open up the database for proper fraud analysis by certified developers, Kuc commented that such a move could be disastrous: "The problem is that some developers do not want to accept that people resell their games. The developers would like to control the market and all the sales channels within it, imposing higher prices and prohibiting the resale of unused games. G2A.com does not agree with this-we respect the buyers' rights, buyers who often unfortunately believe that the rules set forth by developers follow the law.
"This is why G2A.com will not give developers with whom we have not signed an agreement unlimited access to and the ability to modify our databases. G2A.com has to protect every honest seller, and by giving such access to all developers, we would allow for a situation in which a developer could delete every key on our marketplace regardless of its origin. Such an action would be damaging to the industry, to gamers, and illegal."
This undoubtedly is not the end of the G2A saga; the game key marketplace has been quite controversial ever since last June when indie publisher TinyBuild accused the reseller of essentially facilitating a black market economy. G2A has been fighting for its reputation ever since, with notable YouTubers walking away from deals and TotalBiscuit labeling the whole organization a "protection racket."
Kuc added, "We respect our critics and believe that they have the good of the industry at heart. Unfortunately, sometimes they do not understand how G2A.com works and as such this misunderstanding causes them to mislead the public about our company. The best proof of this are the four ultimatums formulated in part by John Bain, which, it turns out that were completely unnecessary as all of the issues raised have long been a part of the G2A.com marketplace. Most of the allegations levied against us are based on both a lack of knowledge, and a lack of desire to learn the other side of the story. The best example of this is quoting false and defamatory statements while ignoring the facts."