G2A.com, the controversial online marketplace for PC video game keys, did a Reddit AMA this week - and it didn't go well.
G2A.com, which has been accused of everything from scamming developers to facilitating the sale of fraudulently obtained game keys, was taken to task by the Reddit community.
Such was the negativity towards G2A.com, that you have to change the comment sorting from "best" to "Q&A" because, as a rep from G2A.com put it, "we are getting downvoted to hell".
As part of the AMA, G2A.com denied a raft of accusations, including:
- G2A sells pirated keys
- G2A is a gray market
- G2A doesn't handle seller verification properly
- G2A Shield is a shady service that takes too long to deactivate
- And developers lose money because of the marketplace
There are a few answers from G2A.com that are worth highlighting:
If the key is on G2A, that means that it came from the developer, which means they have already been paid.
If you want to buy that game on our marketplace, they won't receive any additional money out of that (actually they could with G2A Direct, but let's [not] go into that here).
We have special departments in G2A (over 100 people) dedicated to protecting our marketplace. We can't disclose exactly how we search for these shady people, or what triggers our suspicions, because that would be giving them a possible roadmap as to how to try and get away with something.
The problem is that sometimes the issue (unfortunately) starts on the developers' own site, which can sometimes lack security. And in those situations, if the developer is not willing to work with us it gets a little complicated. In some situations, if a key was not reported to us as stolen and we weren't told it was blacklisted or shown any proof, then there is little we can do.
The animosity reached boiling point after one Redditor highlighted a contradiction between the reality of selling keys on G2A.com and its statement on marketplace protection.
The back and forth is archived on Imgur, but in short, the user revealed how quick and easy it is to get a key verified on G2A.com. The Redditor even added a fake listing, which passed the website's verification process.
G2A.com's response to this was to ban the user's account. This did not go down well.
G2A spent most of 2016 trying to reverse its negative reputation in the industry. In June, Microsoft supplied G2A with over 550 game codes it believed were bought on a third-party site with stolen credit cards. G2A said it was able to identify the keys and remove them from auction. Punch Club publisher TinyBuild had previously claimed G2A sold nearly half a million dollars' worth of its games - and it didn't receive a penny in return. Eventually, G2A.com announced plans to give developers royalties on third-party auctions.
"We are not hurting the gaming industry," G2A.com said in the Reddit AMA. "We honestly want to work with developers, because we want to help them out."
Unfortunately for G2A.com, it seems its answers - and its explanations for its business practice - have fallen on deaf ears.