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G2A has paid Wube Software over illegitimate Factorio keys

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Last year, the website G2A once again went into the spotlight due to their market place allowing anyone to sell game keys and often they're from dubious sources. Now G2A has given an update.

In 2019, G2A said in in a blog post that they would pay 10x the cost of chargebacks as a result of any stolen keys sold through G2A. This follows on from many developers being unhappy with them. This required any interested developer to work with G2A on it and they were going to hire an external auditor to do it.

In the now updated blog post titled "Keeping our promise", G2A announced that Wube Software who make Factorio were the only developer to take them up on the offer and a settlement was reached.However, they were unable to find an external auditor so they did the audit themselves. G2A finally admit they actually had stolen keys! Against the list of 321 illegitimate keys provided, they found 198 keys were sold on G2A.

G2A don't actually admit any fault on their part, in fact they somewhat play the victim card, with their blog post having the typical PR spin you would expect. They did say they will continue to compensate developers the full value of any chargeback fees for keys sold on G2A, as long as the developer is "able to prove they were illegitimate".

As per the agreement, they've paid off Wube Software. According to gamesindustry.biz who spoke to Wube, they seem satisfied with the outcome as they have received a payout of $39,600 from G2A as a result. Like Scott Klonan of Wube Software said, the best way to combat such key sales it to "cut it at the source" as much as possible. Part of the problem for them was their original store, and how it was less secure than others like Steam, itch.io and the Humble Store widget.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial, Misc
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27 comments
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Samsai 28 May
Quoting: LungDragoOkay, explain to me what makes anyone entitled to purchase a game at a time-limited discounted price? There are no limited supplies, no manufacturing costs, no shipping costs. No entry fees, club memberships or raffles. I am just as entitled as everybody else, no?
People are entitled to a time-limited discount because the proprietors of the store set a time-limited discount. We can argue whether games are appropriately priced but that is an entirely different issue.

Quoting: LungDragoIt's just that real life does not bend over backwards over a dev's sale. Sometimes I find myself excluded from this entitlement due to third party circumstances that have nothing to do with me as the buyer or the devs as the seller. Buying the product at now full-price feels bad, I believe understandably so.
Yeah, it sucks to miss out on opportunities. But that's life and opportunities are passing you by constantly. Getting stuck on what-ifs isn't productive here or anywhere else.

Quoting: LungDragoYes, none of this would be a thing if time-limited offers weren't around. But they are. They even come en masse seasonally as you mentioned. Even though there is NO guarantee that the game you want will be on sale, a large enough quantity does go on sale, enough so customers can ask questions such as 'Am I willing to buy this at full price or am I willing to buy this only on sale price?'. Reviews today have a "buy at sale" rating. You're calling me entitled, but it seems to me that everyone is entitled. It's the reality of things when you show you're willing to lower the price - it just might become apparent that your product was never worth the original price in the first place. In other words, if there was no discount, there would be no purchase.
This goes back to whether games are appropriately priced or not. In our economic system prices are set by sellers and it's up to the buyers to determine if that price matches their demand for a product. In some cases that means waiting for the product to be on sale for the price to match demand. This is not relevant to the discussion though and you feel you are entitled for that price to match your demand even if that means working around the economic system.

Quoting: LungDragoI want to reiterate the fact of oversaturation of discounted games on those large big sales you mentioned. I don't know about you but I don't sit around all day on the Steam page filtering the games. Real life is a thing. Filtering is needed though, as the primary sales-keeping feature I'm aware of, wishlists, have one major problem: you have to know a game exists for you to add it to a wishlist. Second problem is that wishlists really stop working once you add too many games to them, so you can't use them as a "maybe buy at sale" list either. This is why I find myself discovering games after a sale and end up retroactively buying them on G2A so to speak.
So, on one hand you are complaining that you cannot know for certain that the one game you want will be on sale but the next moment you complain that it's hard to keep track of multiple games. So I'm not really sure which of the two is the issue here. It's a fact that you cannot keep tabs on every discount ever, so you need to prioritize and keep tabs on the discounts you consider important. This may require, for example, pruning your wishlists. In either case, I don't believe that because keeping tabs on everything that might be on sale is inconvenient, you now get to use illegitimate means to acquire a product for that price.

Quoting: LungDragoAlso let me point out that I did ask for better options. It is not my intention or wish to rip of the devs, if it was, I would indeed pirate the game, but I am not using that option. I am arguing though that G2A does provide a convienience service that is not available anywhere else. There are use cases for it and if it weren't around, games would go unpurchased and unplayed - after all, when I missed it once, what's there to stop me from missing it again?

Games go unpurchased and unplayed anyway. Either because you miss a sale and have to wait for another one or because a game didn't receive enough publicity and fades into obscurity. Not everyone gets to play all the games. If this was an argument for something, it would probably be another argument for piracy, since one's economic status is a limiting factor on their ability to play all the games they want to.

And regarding convenience, there are lots of convenient things people can do. For example, it might be extremely convenient for me to throw my trash on the street so that I don't need to inconvenience myself with a trip to the trash bin. However, we typically don't tolerate people taking advantage of such conveniences because it makes other people miserable. Something being convenient doesn't justify it, which is a thing I'm trying to focus on here. We know that grey market key trading causes harm to devs, we know that G2A has repeatedly lied and acted scummy about this. Just because they happen to be a convenience for you doesn't override these things.
LungDrago 28 May
Quoting: SamsaiPeople are entitled to a time-limited discount because the proprietors of the store set a time-limited discount. We can argue whether games are appropriately priced but that is an entirely different issue.

Okay, I suppose the question then is why do proprietors of the store feel the need to exclude or pressure customers with busy lives? What makes me less worthy of doing business and what I can actually do about it?

Quoting: SamsaiYeah, it sucks to miss out on opportunities. But that's life and opportunities are passing you by constantly. Getting stuck on what-ifs isn't productive here or anywhere else.

Indeed, it does suck to miss out on opportunities. Imagine the feeling of a service allowing you to figuratively travel in time and erase past regrets. Magical, really.

Quoting: SamsaiThis goes back to whether games are appropriately priced or not. In our economic system prices are set by sellers and it's up to the buyers to determine if that price matches their demand for a product. In some cases that means waiting for the product to be on sale for the price to match demand. This is not relevant to the discussion though and you feel you are entitled for that price to match your demand even if that means working around the economic system.

I didn't come up with the discounted price, either. The lower price was offered and it matched my demand. Yet no sale happened. You don't want my money anymore, and I believe I am not the only losing party here. What again makes me more entitled than the guy who bought the game a week ago? There's no entitlement, just a missed opportunity as you said. Missed business opportunity and the cause for it was bad timing.

Quoting: SamsaiSo, on one hand you are complaining that you cannot know for certain that the one game you want will be on sale but the next moment you complain that it's hard to keep track of multiple games. So I'm not really sure which of the two is the issue here. It's a fact that you cannot keep tabs on every discount ever, so you need to prioritize and keep tabs on the discounts you consider important. This may require, for example, pruning your wishlists. In either case, I don't believe that because keeping tabs on everything that might be on sale is inconvenient, you now get to use illegitimate means to acquire a product for that price.

Both of the two are an issue! I can't be certain a concrete game will be on sale again and simultaneously there are tons of other games going on sale anyway. In the future of several months forwards, there is no guarantee I will rediscover that same game again when it's on sale, IF it's on sale. Unless I spend considerable amounts of valuable time trying to perfect my wishlist which still has other shortcomings, won't fix the underlying problem anyway and requires time investment which is the very reason that caused this problem in the first place. Why are we playing this hide and seek game?

Quoting: SamsaiGames go unpurchased and unplayed anyway. Either because you miss a sale and have to wait for another one or because a game didn't receive enough publicity and fades into obscurity. Not everyone gets to play all the games. If this was an argument for something, it would probably be another argument for piracy, since one's economic status is a limiting factor on their ability to play all the games they want to.

And regarding convenience, there are lots of convenient things people can do. For example, it might be extremely convenient for me to throw my trash on the street so that I don't need to inconvenience myself with a trip to the trash bin. However, we typically don't tolerate people taking advantage of such conveniences because it makes other people miserable. Something being convenient doesn't justify it, which is a thing I'm trying to focus on here. We know that grey market key trading causes harm to devs, we know that G2A has repeatedly lied and acted scummy about this. Just because they happen to be a convenience for you doesn't override these things.

What are you trying to say, really? If I didn't play games, I wouldn't have a problem? Or that games don't really have to sell?

Here's a thought. How about instead of whining over G2A, we stop and think about how we could improve our business so that G2A doesn't provide such an incentive to use? The thing is, I went LOOKING specifically for a G2A-like service because of that "missed opportunity" feeling and I DIDN'T want to pirate the game. I would really prefer if the stores made up their damn mind if they want my money or not and we could stop playing such games.
In other words, if G2A can meet my demand, why can't the original store? Since the issue is timing? If I made a store that sold only at midnight, can I really call customers entitled for going elsewhere for their purchases? Inconvienience doesn't justify criminal behavior, but if your business rules suck customers are in their right to shop somewhere more sane.
That was of course blown out of proportion and I suppose it got a bit rantier than I intended, but yeah. Perhaps it would be for the best if the time-limited offers were scrapped altogether, as virtual stores just aren't the same thing as real world ones.


Last edited by LungDrago on 28 May 2020 at 1:56 pm UTC
Eike 28 May
Quoting: LungDragoAlso let me point out that I did ask for better options. It is not my intention or wish to rip of the devs, if it was, I would indeed pirate the game, but I am not using that option. I am arguing though that G2A does provide a convienience service that is not available anywhere else. There are use cases for it and if it weren't around, games would go unpurchased and unplayed - after all, when I missed it once, what's there to stop me from missing it again?

Yes, the question is legit and I understand your motivation.

Quoting: LungDragoSo, you're saying my best option is to spend hours wishlisting hundreds of games across various stores and spam my email account with a bunch of games I might or might not want to buy at some point?

... I don't think this is so much to ask for, though.

Unfortunately, I'm not aware of a better legit option.


Last edited by Eike on 28 May 2020 at 1:31 pm UTC
Samsai 28 May
Quoting: LungDragoOkay, I suppose the question then is why do proprietors of the store feel the need to exclude or pressure customers with busy lives? What makes me less worthy of doing business and what I can reallistically do about it?
Store owners do sales because it gets you to look at the store and it makes them money. It's that simple. You just happen to be one of the people that didn't get to take advantage of a particular sale, just like I don't get to take advantage of a random sale that might be happening in some store in Siberia.

Quoting: LungDragoIndeed, it does suck to miss out on opportunities. Imagine the feeling of a service allowing you to figuratively travel in time and erase past regrets. Magical, really.
False equivalence. No time travel, even figuratively, takes place. The nature of the whole transaction changed. This is just a weak justification for continuing to buy from G2A while ignoring the negative effects of doing so.

Quoting: LungDragoI didn't come up with the discounted price, either. The lower price was offered and it matched my demand. Yet no sale happened. You don't want my money anymore, and I believe I am not the only losing party here. What again makes me more entitled than the guy who bought the game a week ago? There's no entitlement, just a missed opportunity as you said. Missed business opportunity and the cause for it was bad timing.
What makes you more entitled is that you feel entitled to a price that is not available. The person who bought it happened to be paying attention and was able to take advantage of an opportunity when it presented itself. You do know that you are not the only person in the world that is busy and cannot keep track of all the sales, right? You just happen to be among the few that think this entitles them to an offer that is no longer available.

Quoting: LungDragoWhat are you trying to say, really? If I didn't play games, I wouldn't have a problem? Or that games don't really have to sell?
What I am saying that your solution doesn't actually fix what you claim it fixes. You will miss out on games regardless of your ability to buy them from G2A.

Quoting: LungDragoHere's a thought. How about instead of whining over G2A, we stop and think about how we could improve our business so that G2A doesn't provide such an incentive to use? The thing is, I went LOOKING specifically for a G2A-like service because of that "missed opportunity" feeling and I DIDN'T want to pirate the game. I would really prefer it the stores made up their damn mind if they want my money or not and we could stop playing such games.
In other words, if G2A can meet my demand, why can't the original store? Since the issue is timing?
Sure, there are aspects of key reselling that are desirable and there are ways we could do key reselling in ways that don't cause active harm to developers. Keeping track of key age and sale legitimacy, disallowing bulk sale of keys, etc. There are ways behaviour as described in this very article and the comments could be mitigated.

However, when it comes to the actual topic of the article, G2A, these things are not there. G2A can meet your demand specifically because they benefit from keys sold at an effective loss because those keys are fraudulent. That's why the original stores cannot meet your demand: they don't sell stolen shit. If you get something for free, any price you put on it later on is profit.

Also, whining about G2A's policies is kind of the point of an article on the harm caused by G2A's policies.
LungDrago 28 May
Quoting: EikeYes, the question is legit and I understand your motivation.

... I don't think this is so much to ask for, though.

Unfortunately, I'm not aware of a better legit option.

Let's be fair though, Steam specifically has been doing stuff to try and improve dicoverability of games and sales, but it's been mostly miss. The fundamental problem of giving a user a specific subset of data that's relevant to them is a very difficult one.
When you walk into a store and literally everything is marked as on sale, the inherent effect of more publicity by the virtue of being on sale is lost. The user experience of that sucks even in real life.

But it baffles me that when I go through the trouble of shoveling through such sales and buy something, I'm being called entitled because I didn't shovel fast enough. Either realize time limits are a bad idea, or give me a bigger, better shovel.
LungDrago 28 May
Quoting: SamsaiStore owners do sales because it gets you to look at the store and it makes them money. It's that simple. You just happen to be one of the people that didn't get to take advantage of a particular sale, just like I don't get to take advantage of a random sale that might be happening in some store in Siberia.

If more people bought stuff at the store, it would make more money, no? Especially if the store has unlimited supplies?

Quoting: SamsaiFalse equivalence. No time travel, even figuratively, takes place. The nature of the whole transaction changed. This is just a weak justification for continuing to buy from G2A while ignoring the negative effects of doing so.

Correct, but what other option do I have? Not play games?

Quoting: SamsaiWhat makes you more entitled is that you feel entitled to a price that is not available. The person who bought it happened to be paying attention and was able to take advantage of an opportunity when it presented itself. You do know that you are not the only person in the world that is busy and cannot keep track of all the sales, right? You just happen to be among the few that think this entitles them to an offer that is no longer available.
Surely I cannot be the only person on this planet taking issue with a store that sells stuff cheaper to other people but myself? What exactly constrains a sale to a weekend?
Quoting: SamsaiWhat I am saying that your solution doesn't actually fix what you claim it fixes. You will miss out on games regardless of your ability to buy them from G2A.
That is true, it's not a fix and not an ideal solution at all. But it's the best available to me. Again, I want to hear of better alternatives. Surely someone somewhere tried to fix things?

Quoting: SamsaiSure, there are aspects of key reselling that are desirable and there are ways we could do key reselling in ways that don't cause active harm to developers. Keeping track of key age and sale legitimacy, disallowing bulk sale of keys, etc. There are ways behaviour as described in this very article and the comments could be mitigated.

However, when it comes to the actual topic of the article, G2A, these things are not there. G2A can meet your demand specifically because they benefit from keys sold at an effective loss because those keys are fraudulent. That's why the original stores cannot meet your demand: they don't sell stolen shit. If you get something for free, any price you put on it later on is profit.

Also, whining about G2A's policies is kind of the point of an article on the harm caused by G2A's policies.
I don't think saying that 100% of keys on G2A are stolen is a true statement, either. Neither do I think that any amount of policing would fix the mess that it is. Again, I'd rather fix the stores than fix G2A. It's Steam I'm chained to, not G2A for god's sake.


Last edited by LungDrago on 28 May 2020 at 2:37 pm UTC
Eike 28 May
Quoting: LungDragoWhen you walk into a store and literally everything is marked as on sale, the inherent effect of more publicity by the virtue of being on sale is lost. The user experience of that sucks even in real life.

I don't see the problem... In the big sales (Christmas and such), everything is either on sale, very new or practically abandoned. So, buy what you want to play (and can afford). If you tend to miss sales, buy more than you have time to play. If you need it cheap, sort your wishlist by discount.
(Maybe some "sniper tool" like for ebay would help you? Buy automatically as soon as price drops under X bucks?)

BTW and OT, there's a hint for abandoned games I find interesting: Steam changed from horicontal to vertical game images. Every game still having a vertical one can be considered abandoned, I guess.
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