UPDATE: G2A has sent Eurogamer a statement in response to the disastrous Q&A session one of its reps held with a room full of developers earlier today, clarifying some of the more controversial comments made.
G2A's head of PR, Maciej Kuc, clearly unimpressed with today's events, addressed the comments made around the controversial PC game key reseller's status as operating in a "grey market", fees and the fact 40 per cent of the company's employees are women, the latter of which was "announced" during the session. For context, check out the original story, below.
Over to Kuc:
"Grey market, despite the Wiki definition, works as a negative label and people who throw this name against us just want to damage our business - we cannot agree to that. Resale of keys is perfectly legal, it brings a lot of benefits to the gamers community as it introduces competition and prevents raising prices to unreasonable levels.
"Those who want to stop it act against free market and property rights that are essential to modern economy. If something is to be called grey or shady, these are the practices of making 'suggestions' aimed at hurting legally operating marketplace. If you call G2A grey, try doing the same with respect to eBay, Amazon and basically all the marketplaces - it is obvious that today we are simply a part of normal, legal market.
"Fees. We want to quickly explain our fees regarding developers and sellers, since there seems to have been a misunderstanding during the Q&A. There are two separate revenue streams for developers on our marketplace. The first revenue stream is from regular sales made directly by the developers. G2A only takes a General commission of 10.8 per cent from these sales - the remaining 89.2 per cent of the sale goes directly into the developer's pocket (which is way above the industry standard of 70 per cent).
"However, thanks to G2A Direct, developers are given a second revenue stream - they can make an additional up to 10 per cent on all third-party sales. This is an extremely attractive offer as no other marketplace gives developers a chance to make any money on third-party re-sales. Imagine that someone purchased a LG TV, and then went to re-sell it on eBay - eBay does not offer LG, or any other company, any percentage of this sale. We are the only marketplace in the world that offers this to developers.
"Neither our number of employees, nor what gender these employees are, are any reason to treat our company any differently. We are proud of our employees - especially since we work as one team despite that we come from over 30 different countries and have vastly different areas of expertise - but again, this is not a reason to treat our company any better or any worse."
ORIGINAL STORY: Controversial PC game key reseller has endured a PR nightmare in recent weeks. Today, the nightmare got worse.
During a session at the Reboot conference in Croatia today, a representative of G2A - which has been accused of operating a protection racket - defended the company's divisive policies, and faced tough questions from an audience made up largely of developers.
The session, chaired by Dan Pearson of Eurogamer sister site Gamesindustry.biz, began in combative mood, with G2A senior account manager Mario Mirek insisting his company did not operate within a grey market. This, as you'd expect, did not go down well.
G2A "doesn't see itself as a gray market". pic.twitter.com/SmkmnP9bm6— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) April 20, 2017
The tough line of questioning continued, with Mirek reiterating many of the points his company made in a recent statement issued after Borderlands company Gearbox broke off a business partnership with G2A following a public complaint by YouTuber Total Biscuit about a G2A-exclusive edition of the Bulletstorm remaster.
G2A was surprised that "Gearbox publicly ended our relationship because of a YouTuber", not realizing that they did so because G2A is shady.— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) April 20, 2017
The session went downhill as the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions. It's fair to say Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell got stuck in.
Dunno if mic is picking up the heckles and giggles, but it's a fun room— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) April 20, 2017
Oh my, the room is very much not with this guy— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) April 20, 2017
G2A: "developers can get up to 10 percent of [grey] sales on G2A, which is a very attractive offer."— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) April 20, 2017
23 devs in the room: "no it's not"
At one point Mirek "announced" that 40 per cent of G2A's workforce was female, in a response to a question about why it takes the company so long to change the way it works.
G2A just suggested we need to stop being so harsh on them selling ilegimate acquired keys because 40% of their 750 employees are women.— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) April 20, 2017
But the standout moment of the panel was a question from Bithell that crystallised the general feeling that G2A simply does not have the interests of developers at heart. Here's his question (we've captured the exchange in the video, below):
"You charge the customers who want to avoid fraudulent stuff with the Shield system. You ask us to contribute our time and energy to detect fraud on your system in exchange for 10 per cent. I'm interested what the 750 people - 40 per cent of whom are women - are doing to earn the 90 per cent of the transaction?"
"There are people working in marketing...," was Mirek's response.
"Is it mainly marketing?"
"No. IT and security."
Although Mirek doesn't commit to any new policy on the part of G2A in response to questions, or explain existing policies in any meaningful way, it's worth watching the session to get a sense of the animosity many within the development community hold for the company. Clearly, G2A still has much work to do.