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G2A puts forward key-blocking tool solution for developers

G2A - Screenshot - 02-07-19

Having come under fire this week from indie developers for a number of reasons, G2A have proposed a solution that should allow these developers to prevent their games being sold through the G2A marketplace.

After an initial Twitter post from Mike Rose of No More Robots gained traction, requesting that consumers pirate their games instead of buying them from G2A, a petition to have indie games removed from the website was started. At the time of writing the petition has 5,441 signatures, with a new target of 7,500 in total.

The complaint from Rose was encouraged due to the fact that games often sell for far less through the G2A marketplace than developers would like, with many being purchased for lower than even officially discounted prices. Many developers are also concerned with how many keys individual users are able to sell through the site, and how those keys were acquired.

G2A posted a statement on their website, where they explain how they have come to the conclusion that there are two main sources of the keys developers are questioning. The first is users pretending to be critics or influencers, selling those keys they’ve obtained in good faith. The second, G2A suggest, are keys from giveaways hosted by developers, publishers, and even influencers or websites.

G2A acknowledge that these keys in particular are an issue for developers, but they’re also insistent that these keys represent a tiny proportion of those sold through the marketplace.

However, G2A has also suggested a possible solution to the issue, a key-blocking tool. Once registered and verified, a developer will be able to specify game keys which they would not like to be sold through the marketplace. The keys can be classed as review or giveaway codes, which should help G2A identify the problem users, who will be notified that the keys they are trying to sell have been marked by the developer.

G2A specified that users selling giveaway codes won’t be able to offload more than three. If they try to, the system will prevent them from doing so, and alert G2A.

While G2A are adamant that they don’t have an issue on their marketplace with giveaway game keys being sold, they have admitted that some keys sold there may have been obtained using methods such as bots, which they class as unethical.

The key-blocking tool G2A propose hasn’t been built yet, and they say it will be expensive to program. Currently their site has a sign-up form for developers who would like to use the service, and, if enough register by the 15th of August, then work on the tool will begin. The list of developers who have registered interest will be made public for transparency’s sake.

In a statement addressing the issue, G2A accepted that this tool won’t solve the problem entirely. They point out that while many developers would rather their games simply weren’t sold through the marketplace, the company wants to respect consumers by offering them a way to sell the games they own through their marketplace. They explain that the fact that this is effectively a second-hand store is what drives down the prices of products, including games.

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