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Ah key resellers, a topic that always generates a lot of heat. A lot of it usually directed at me for 'telling you what to do', but this might help clear some things up.

A little background: I really do not like key resellers like G2A. I, amongst many other members of the 'press' think they are a shady outfit that profits from fraud. I refuse to even link to them when talking about them, as they are so shoddy. Their systems essentially allow people to sell any old key they can find.

While you can argue (and I'm sure you will, it's always argued by pro-G2A people) that they are legitimate as they allow people to sell their spare keys, a lot of keys will be 100% fraudulent. I still stand by my firm belief that they would be nowhere near as popular or as full of keys if it was truly legitimate, because that many spare keys just don't exist in my opinion. The way it works is usually thus: keys are purchased with stolen credit cards that end up doing chargebacks, which affects any store out there as they then lose their money, the keys sold and then have their own charges to deal with from payment processors and a lot of lost time. This has forced stores to close, removed financial support from developers who needed it and it just goes on and on.

It's another reason why sometimes it's damn hard for us here to get a review key from a developer, as developers have had to become more and more careful about who they give a key to. I've heard too many stores about keys being given out that just end up on G2A being sold, it makes it harder for us all.

John Bain or 'TotalBiscuit' as he is known, a fellow brit, spoke to Gearbox recently as Gearbox planned a partnership with G2A on a AAA revamp of an older title. You can read what he had to say here (it's legitimate, video here if you don't want to read his statement), including details on what Gearbox have said G2A need to do, or Gearbox will not partner with them. John actually spoke with Gearbox at length which allowed Gearbox to come to a decision about what to do due to a massive backlash from gamers.

If you really don't think G2A are shady, read that link, seriously.

For those too lazy to read it, essentially Gearbox has told G2A they need to give fraud protection to all customers for free (the fact that they didn't before is more evidence against them, doesn't make them sound confidence in what people are selling), G2A is to open an API for developers to search for fraudulent keys and have them removed (how do they still not have such a thing, makes you wonder doesn't it?), implement some real fraud check flagging for new sellers and developers to prevent mass fraud being sold (again, how do they still not have something so basic implemented), make their fees simple and clear.

All extremely reasonable demands and to be honest, things all stores should damn well have from day one of opening.

G2A's reputation is so poor, they even resorted to commenting on my last article about them, where they suggest that you buy their fraud protection. Again, does that fill you with confidence? Sure doesn't make me think about buying from them.

I also fully expect G2A to back out of it somehow and prove once and for all they are the shady business I believe them to be. If they do clean up their act, I will be shocked to my core.

We have so many stores that constantly run sales like GOG, Steam, Humble, itch.io and FireFlower Games that are legitimate, there's little need to resort to key resellers. If price is really your issue, then wait for a sale. Practicially every game ever made goes on sale and the seasonal sales especially make things easy on the wallet. It's not like we're short of them, seriously, if that's your argument for using a grey market reseller then you need to re-think. If it's a case of a store not taking your currency, well that's a fair point, hopefully there is a more legitimate store out there that will. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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29 comments
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GloriousEggroll 6 April 2017 at 11:00 pm UTC
Fun story:
bought the whole stardocks 2016 bundle pack from g2a for my dad, which included several games he had on his wishlist (they sell a lot of the genres he enjoys)
bought g2a protection on it
it was one of the gifts for my dad for his birthday.
3 months later - all keys rejected, games removed from my dad's steam account. he called me to find out what was going on with it.
contacted g2a - got nothing. their $2 protection doesn't do squat.
on top of that I felt awful for one of my dad's gifts basically getting taken from him
I went on steam and bought the official bundle for him (again). Lesson learned.



Fun story #2:
Was streaming elder scrolls online, had a few friends who played other MMOS with me asking about it.
Told them it was on sale for cheap on G2A
friend goes and buys collectors edition for fairly cheap from them, buys the g2a protection. pays a sub for the game, gets his character to like lvl 30 or so over the next two weeks

one day he comes back, he finds he cant log into the game, but can access his account on the website.
he contacts bethesda support

--they removed his key (and all items related to that game key for his account) for the key not being legitimate.

He then contacts g2a to see if he can get reimbursed (at this point he doesnt want another key, he already lost the progress he made). g2a does nothing/does not reimburse him/blames it on the seller and says he has to work it out with the seller.

LESSON LEARNED: DON'T buy from g2a.


Last edited by GloriousEggroll on 7 April 2017 at 12:27 am UTC
niarbeht 6 April 2017 at 11:02 pm UTC
This article is good article. Please take thumbsup.
camoceltic 6 April 2017 at 11:14 pm UTC
I checked the G2A comment on the article 2 months ago that you linked here. My god, that would be funny if it weren't so stupid. My "favorite" part was the paragraph about how you should buy their G2A Shield for added "protection". You know, the kind of thing every reputable marketplace provides for free.

Here's hoping G2A starts going by those requests by Gearbox. It'd be nice to see their name next to something not bad for a change. I'd say "next to something good", but those requests seem more like the bare minimum.
tmtvl 7 April 2017 at 12:14 am UTC
Hey buddy, that's a nice game you have there. Would be a shame if someone were to... revoke the keys, da?
natewardawg 7 April 2017 at 12:17 am UTC
Good! So happy to see that Gearbox is taking a stand.
cprn 7 April 2017 at 12:23 am UTC
Honestly, I want them to succeed. All of them - resellers, frauders, everyone involved. I want majority of AAA companies to go bankrupt because of those frauds. People are ignorant. If it was to happen it wouldn't be good for the industry, for gaming, for developers... but maybe, just maybe, it would be a freaking eye opener so that people would finally realise card payments are insecure, unsustainable infrastructure and no 3D can save it. Issuers never suffer, usually neither do IPSPs. The only victim is the end user, almost always! Either acceptant (merchant, game publisher, devs selling their game on their website) or the cardholder will have to bear the consequences of this unbelievably badly designed network being abused. It's our laziness and ignorance that made those frauds possible. Humanity deserves a hard lesson. I never bought anything from G2A but blaming an e-commerce platform and forbidding them from ceding responsibility on the end user, when this is exactly what card issuers do, is not even hypocritical but simply stupid. It's like blaming a hotel for renting a room to a serial killer.
kf 7 April 2017 at 12:46 am UTC
cprnI want majority of AAA companies to go bankrupt because of those frauds.
Too bad it hurts the small guys the most.
natewardawg 7 April 2017 at 2:15 am UTC
kf
cprnI want majority of AAA companies to go bankrupt because of those frauds.
Too bad it hurts the small guys the most.

Agreed, these guys succeeding makes little studios go away, not the big AAA ones
cprn 7 April 2017 at 3:07 am UTC
natewardawg
kf
cprnI want majority of AAA companies to go bankrupt because of those frauds.
Too bad it hurts the small guys the most.

Agreed, these guys succeeding makes little studios go away, not the big AAA ones

Okay, this is a side-effect. But nobody (as compared to the whole World population, I know we do) cares about little studios. If the big boys were to go down they would be crying loud and clear about how all those laws protecting solely card association's interests are very hurtful to the global industry and have to go.

Just think about it. I could right this moment connect through Chinese proxy, purchase a bunch of cd-keys from most of indy devs' on-line stores without any issues whatsoever, sell them on any e-commerce platform, including but not limited to G2A, and then call in fraud to my card's issuer saying I just noticed a weird debit. They'd charge it right back because they can shift the liability on the merchant. They can shift the liability on the cardholder as well if it was a 3D card because someone found out their date of birth or gained access to SMS via insecure mobile app with way too many permissions. People are unaware of how careful they have to really be whenever there's an on-line payment or CC data involved. You should never use the same machine for payment and other tasks (including web browsing and gaming) because it can get easily compromised. That goes for both, your PC and mobile. Never pay on-line with CC if you didn't check the store's PCI status (btw, PCI is weak, common sense is way stronger). Check for SSL. Check SSL's certificate authenticity. Never use same card for physical and on-line payment and many others puny countermeasures to prevent something that happens because cards were poorly designed from the very beginning and never meant to be safe for either store or the cardholder. On top of that many publishers, especially self-publishing indy devs, are oblivious to the necessity of paying (yes, paying extra) for the 3rd party risk assessment and deem avoiding it a money saving opportunity. It isn't! It's your cost if you want to earn any money without getting scammed! They often choose a non-3D gateway (so that even if the card is 3D the payment won't be) to shorten the purchase process and therefore increase their silly conversion. And when somebody abuses all those smart decisions, they whine about how G2A and similar are evil. I understand how easy it is to accuse the middle man. I just don't comprehend how someone can be smart enough to understand how the fraud works and at the same time not understand why is this very same fraud possible in the first place.
STiAT 7 April 2017 at 5:32 am UTC
While I see the need to sell spare keys, and I personally do not have a solution to the issue of fraud there, I would argue that the platforms (GoG, Steam, itch.io) would be the only ones being able to implement a safer system.

They know their keys and by providing a marketplace they could ensure keys are only sold once on their platform.

I go the way down that I prefer buying on Steam over all other platforms. Partly because Valve has helped us a lot and I think they should profit for that, partly because it's convenient. If something isn't provided on steam - as some indie titles, I prefer buying directly from the developers.

I never used a reseller. And I do not plan to do so. If I ain't got the cash for the games, I'll have to wait for a deal.

I can say that pretty easily being from Austria. I'm already annoyed that we pay more than the americans because the dollar is weak. It's even worse in Russia, Romania, Poland and other countries, where salery usually isn't that high. Now we can argue if we need geoblocking for the sellers being able to provide the games cheaper in some countries to be able to adjust pricing to the countries. I personally am not a friend of geoblocking, but hell - I have polish and romanian friends living on 300-400 euro a month (and I bet there are a lot of other countries, probably in south america - I'm not really up-to-date with saleries there). I can't see them spending 60 € on a title. Ever. And this is the market of the resellers.

Developers / Publishers / Selling platforms need to find a solution to that. More-or-less excluding countries for not having high saleries is a loss in the end for everybody. Gamers who can't play, and publishers, since a few hundred thousand copies for 10 € is still a lot of cash to have or not have.
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