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G2A image rehabilitation effort backfires

Platform says employee approached 10 sites to run undisclosed sponsored post, says it was unauthorized, "absolutely unacceptable"

G2A's latest attempt to burnish its public image did not go as planned.

Earlier today, Indie Games Plus writer Thomas Faust published email excerpts on Twitter that showed a representative of the key re-selling platform looking to pay for a pro-G2A sponsored article on the site with the condition that it could not be "marked as sponsored or marked as associated with G2A."

The email said G2A is "trying to improve our brand awareness and public image" among indie developers, and hoped to remedy that with "an unbiased article about how 'Selling stolen keys on gaming marketplaces is pretty much impossible.'" It went on to ask for pricing details if Indie Games Plus was interested in publishing the article.

The official G2A Twitter account responded to Faust's tweets with a statement of its own saying, "These e-mails were sent by our employee without authorization, for which we apologize to [Faust] and the 9 (!) other media outlets he sent this proposal to. He will face strict consequences, as this is absolutely unacceptable."

Last week, a number of indie developers called on people to pirate their games rather than buy them through G2A. That was followed by No More Robots' Mike Rose demanding G2A halt all sales of indie games on its platform.

G2A has been criticized for years for enabling people to re-sell keys purchased with stolen credit cards, sell keys obtained from bundle promotions or intended for influencers, or to buy up keys in specific territories and re-sell them to customers in regions where the titles sell for more. It also launched its G2A Shield customer fraud protection program as a paid subscription membership.

Indie developers aren't the only ones who don't want to do business with G2A. Gearbox Publishing backed out of a partnership for a physical edition of Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition days after it was announced because of public backlash. Influencers like LIRIK and MrMattyPlays have dropped G2A as a sponsor, and Riot Games banned G2A from sponsoring League of Legends players because the platform had been selling League of Legends accounts and services designed to boost player ratings.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.