Developers say pirating is preferable to buying from G2A

“We make zero money on our games if people buy through the ads,” Rose tweeted, before adding that it is impossible for users to turn the ads off.

“Please, if you’re going to buy a game from G2A, just pirate it instead. Genuinely. Devs don’t see a penny either way, so we’re much rather G2A didn’t see money either.”

“If you can’t afford or don’t want to buy our games full-price, please pirate them rather than buying them from a key reseller,” Ismail tweeted.

“These sites cost us so much potential dev time in customer service, investigating fake key requests, figuring out credit card chargebacks, and more.”

G2A responds by saying they will pay developers 10 times the amount from chargebacks.

To assure honesty and transparency, we will ask a reputable and independent auditing company to make an unbiased examination of both sides – the developer’s store and G2A Marketplace. The cost of the first three audits is on us, every next one will be split 50/50.

The auditing company will check if any game keys sold on G2A were obtained using stolen credit cards on a developer’s store compliant with card scheme rules from Visa and Master Card/payment provider rules. If so, G2A guarantees it’ll pay all the money the developer lost on chargebacks… multiplied by 10.

Developers remain unconvinced.

Buying from G2A is much safer than downloading warez though.

Piracy is only particularly risky if you’re doing it from ludicrously obviously dodgy sites fifty hits down a Google search, and those literally exist as a honey trap to get you to download viruses and never had the pirate stuff in the first place.

I’m not saying no one has ever gotten something gross on their computer from going through the mainstream pirate channels, but the idea that it’s a giant minefield is nonsense.

The biggest obstacle to piracy these days is that pirates usually don’t bother updating their releases, and when they do it can be a pain in the ass to get and apply them all.

I mean, that’s what I hear.

As Gaben says, piracy is mostly a service problem. When legal purchasing is easy, valuable and convenient, people generally prefer it. I know I am too lazy to bother pirating even if I wanted to do it (not that I do).
Regarding G2A though…I read that post of theirs and it seems kinda fair to me? Assuming they are being truthful and the possibly illegal stuff is about 0.02% of sales, obviously 0 would be better, but I wonder what is this number for other open marketplaces.

But generally I completely support the idea that people should be able to resell their games if they don’t want them, regardless if they are physical or digital, if they aquired them through legal means.

If the keys are, in fact, largely legal, and it’s just a small amount that’s the issue… then how are they not getting paid? How does one get a legal key for a game and the developer not make any money on it? I’m not talking profits. That argument is elsewhere. I am talking about money exchanging hands for a legal key.

For indie games, a common source of “legit” keys that weren’t sourced through credit-card fraud is through fraudsters posing as game reviewers and YouTube/Twitch influencers asking devs for “review copies” that they then sell through sites like G2A.

I can understand that or even some of the graphic card keys but in high enough volume to sustain an entire store that seems… crazy. It’s not right for someone to lie to get a key like that, but clearly the developer is not expecting any money if they are giving it away in the first place.

I don’t know why that example would lead to charge backs though. It seems like G2A should be eating the chargebacks and making sure the keys get invalidated. It’s their job to make sure the transaction is legit.

That particular example is much harder for devs to resolve than just being able to rely on chargebacks, because their only real recourse is to invalidate those stolen keys and piss off “legitimate” customers.

Also, reminder that G2A literally sells fraudulent-key insurance instead of policing their storefront for fraudulent keys. I’m not sure why anyone thinks they’re a business worth defending when this is built into their entire sales model.

Oh I wouldn’t use them. The fact they sell insurance instead of just standing behind what they sell tells me they’re shady. If you don’t have enough confidence in your product or service, in this case a legitimate key, then either don’t sell it or allow it to be offered or just bite it when you got it wrong.

I just wanted to understand how they wind up with that legit keys, according to G2A, and the devs claim they didn’t paid for them. If they’re review copies, okay, no money expected. At the same time, if I have a legit key as a customer, and i want to give it away or sell it, it’s not the devs business if I got my key legally and presumably they got paid for it that one time, even if a second person wound up using it.

FYI: They discontinued G2A Shield (the insurance thing).

Old article; not sure if this scam is still being done:

From that article, an indie dev:

I remember hearing a little about this, and yeah it really surprised me that it was that easy. I’d say it’s naive but also… hopeful of the devs to respond the way they did. It goes to show you how important marketing is for the ones that don’t get a ton of eyeballs. I’d hope this is not still going on.

Anyway, this G2A plea sounded more recent to me, like a current problem or maybe they just never really forgave G2A for things that happened years ago. It seems like they should be able to get together a group of legit influencers, reviewers, whatever they want to call themselves and be able to submit keys to a legit run group instead of relying on random requests like that.

Maybe this is stupid observation, but it may cost the dev more than $400 to hire someone to check the validity of the 46 youtuber accounts. (Or maybe not?)

That’s definitely a better response then.

That’s a limited time thing; the scammers are burning themselves with each fraudulent transaction. Sure you can scam a bunch of keys off an indie developer to start, but at some point they’ll wise up and stop sending out keys without validation, just like that guy did. And then the goose will stop laying.

For that reason, my feeling is most of these cheap keys are either grey-market, from a region where games are priced cheaper, or purchased via stolen credit cards.

This is my understanding.

Developers need to start a invalidating keys. Who cares if it upsets the end user? Hopefully they’ll blame the grey market sits for selling them duff keys.

They should also deactivate any keys that don’t result in a YouTube video by a certain date.

Why do devs have to deal with chargebacks in transactions between G2A and its customers?

Same reason Circuit City has to get involved with your chargeback after they show up at your house in the middle of the night and run off with your Laserdisc player.