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No More Robots petition demands G2A drop all indie games

Mike Rose claims retailer is "lying" about his lack of contact, and low sales of Descenders via its marketplace "isn't the fucking point"

The founder of Descenders publisher Mike Rose has responded to G2A's statement on his earlier accusations, and even started a petition demanding the site no longer sell indie games at all.

Rose claims that G2A's marketplace "hurts indie devs time and time again, by allowing anyone to sell illegitimate keys for their games only, with incredible ease, and no ramifications or checks."

At the time of writing, the petition has been signed by over 100 people in less than an hour.

Rose's call to arms follows his earlier calls for players to pirate games rather than buying them from G2A, since "devs don't see a penny either way."

G2A issued a statement to GamesIndustry.biz that counters Rose's accusations. It claims sales of Descenders have not been impacted by G2A users and promised to pay developers ten times the money they lost if an independent auditor can prove keys were stolen.

The response was also published online, triggering a detailed response from Rose via a Twitter thread. Rose assets that G2A are "lying" about him not contacting them and explained why No More Robots is, as G2A put it, "pretty good at handling the keys they don't want available on the free market."

"That's because G2A exists," Rose said. "I've had to stop giving out keys so freely to potential press and influencers because G2A doesn't care about policing their site.

"Because of this 'pretty good handling,' it means that we're far less inclined to get involved with things like, for example, a Humble Bundle, as we know all the keys will appear on G2A afterwards and tank our Steam sales from that point onwards."

"This is the issue with G2A."

He later added: "G2A do not care about the people who make games, no matter what spin they keep frothing out. Do not fall for it. Plenty of devs have tried to reason with them, but they are no to be reasoned with."

Rose went on to say the fact that very few copies of Descenders -- or any indie game, for that matter -- are sold through G2A "isn't the fucking point."

"The problem is the perception of value," he wrote. "If someone sees our game at a low price on G2A, they'll automatically be less inclined to buy full price.

"As and an industry, we are constantly fighting for players to perceive our games as valuable. If you see that Descenders is available for cheap somewhere dodgy, your brain will say 'hmm, maybe I shouldn't buy it full price?' G2A facilitate this shift every single day and don't care."

In its own statement, G2A does say: "We believe that games can be cheaper" and prides itself on offering competitive pricing to its users.

It also shared a screengrab of its internal systems showing how few copies of Descenders have been sold, which Rose analysed further.

While G2A says only 226 copies have been sold via its marketplace, Rose notes that 85% of these were sold by just three people, and one person sold 45% alone.

Said person sold 102 Steam keys on February 14, 2018, when the game was only available on Steam and was discounted by 10% for its Early Access debut. Rose says he recalls seeing keys on G2A at the time for as low as $13, yet the cheapest official price was $22.49.

"100 keys appearing from a single person? Three people selling 85% of keys for a game on G2A? These are clearly flaggable, yet G2A did nothing."

G2A notes that of the approximately one million games sold via its marketplace every month, only 8% are indie titles.

In his petition, Rose wrote: "We suggest that G2A could surely take an 8% hit to their sales, if it means making 99% of developers in the industry happier and allowing us to retain the perceived value of our games."

GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to G2A for further comment.

Update: A G2A spokesperson has said it is unable to offer definitive comment as the "situation is currently developing."

The company acknowledges that Rose did indeed contact them, but says it was more than a year ago and was not related to finding a solution to the current problem.

G2A said it will contact Rose soon, and is "actively monitoring the case and will react accordingly."

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Latest comments (2)

Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes13 days ago
Gamestop 2.0
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Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes13 days ago
Gamestop 2.0
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