G2A promises more transparency in new marketplace update
Sellers will be required to list names and addresses, automatic geolocation will confirm where they're based
Controversial retailer G2A.com has announced a number of changes to its online marketplace that aim to improve transparency and make it easier to detect grey key selling.
As of July 1st, the firm will provide detailed seller information to all buyers, including name and address. All seller info will be accessible in several places on the site - including the bills provided to customers, allowing them to see who they are actually buying games from.
G2A has also revealed that it is implementing automatic geolocation so customers will no longer need to select their country from a drop-down list. Instead, their location will be detected automatically using "data taken from independent and reliable sources", according to the press release.
The final major improvement is that VAT will be included in all product prices.
The decision to share seller information is a stark contrast to the firm's stance just a few months ago, when the reseller said it "has to protect every honest seller" and refused to submit to Gearbox Software's demand that it share its database with developers
G2A has come under fire over the years for establishing a grey marketplace that allows users to buy digital game keys for a low price in one region and sell them for a lot more in another. These changes have been implemented in order to help enables games firms to identify instances where this is happening, and improve the transparency around who these sellers are. While this won't prevent grey market selling completely, it will empower publishers to investigate why this is happening themselves and take action.
More improvements could be on the way, with G2A signing off its press release with: "These changes are only the first step in further simplifying and improving the shopping and selling experience on G2A Marketplace."
GamesIndustry.biz hosted an on-stage Q&A with a representative of G2A during this year's Reboot Develop, in which the firm insisted it's not a grey marketplace but that "people just don't understand our business model."
The retailer has faced severe accusations over the years from a range of games firms, most notably indie publisher TinyBuild and Borderlands developer Gearbox Software. Prominent indies have told us G2A's reputation could be fixed if it "just stops being shit."