G2A – Hardly a name that inspires confidence in buyer or developer these days. I say these days; I’m pretty sure it ever did. However, recent ndevelopments have really struck the Indie Devs’ last nerve, as through the implementation of aggressive Google Sponsored Marketing, developers have started to see their own games popping up, advising them to buy their game from G2A above their own websites.
In response to this, Developers have started asking consumers to just straight up pirate the game, rather than fund what is considered by many to be at best a very grey market, and at worst a facilitator of illegal operations.
G2A is a site designed to allow people to resell their unwanted keys – a concept that in theory makes sense. Many of us have spare keys from bundles or competitions that we’re unable to use, and providing they’ve already been paid for, selling them on to a new buyer isn’t the worst idea. The problem is that G2A really don’t police their system at all, leaving it primarily to the buyers and sellers to manage the transactions.
The primary concern with the way in which this model operates is that fraudsters will buy up lots of keys with a stolen credit card/credit card details from one online retailer, and sell them on G2A at a significantly reduced price. G2A and the fraudsters make money from the sales, but when the stolen credit card is reported, it will be the original website retailers and developers that have to repay the costs. It’s a truly diabolical scheme, and the fact that developers are feeling forced to ask you to directly steal their game rather than buy through these guys shows you just how affected they are by it.
It’s difficult to know what to do at this point. Arguably there deserves to be a platform to allow users to appropriately and legitimately sell a spare key now and then, and it’s appreciated that not everyone has a vast expendable income, but most consumers will always look for the biggest bargain, and apart from being vigilant in your own purchases, it’s difficult to know what to recommend.
G2A has in general a terrible customer service record, and unless you pay extra for their G2A Shield service on checkout, you’re completely on your own if a purchase doesn’t work out. From all of us here at PixelCrashers, we simply say – Play it safe – Support your devs – Leave G2A alone.