G2A.com is a digital marketplace that specializes in the resale of gaming products through the use of redemption keys. The site came under fire last year after Mike Rose, founder of indie publisher No More Robots, encouraged fans to pirate games instead of buying them from G2A. His rationale was that developers will never see the money regardless as the marketplace had built a reputation for enabling grey market key selling. G2A, in an effort to put the accusations to bed, opened an investigation into any keys that were deemed stolen or illegitimate and vowed to pay back developers ten times the worth of calculated losses. Wube Software, a game studio based in Prague, became the only developer to capitalize on this offer, and recently received a payout from G2A of almost $40,000.
Wube Software alleged that 321 keys related to their construction and management simulation game, Factorio, had been sold on G2A. After the game launched on Steam in 2016, the studio reports that they were faced with “a ton of chargeback and fraud issues” with over 300 keys being purchased on stolen credit cards. G2A performed an internal investigation after failing to reach an agreement with any third-party audit companies and discovered that 198 illegitimate keys were sold on their site. Both parties deduce that the remainder of the allegedly stolen keys were distributed through other means or platforms. In response, G2A kept their pledge and compensated Wube Software ten times the value of their bank-initiated refund costs, to the tune of $39,600.
G2A will continue to cover the cost of chargeback fees for developers if they can prove that the keys sold on their website are illegitimate. They aim to build bridges, saying “we wanted to send a clear message to the gaming community that fraud hurts all parties.” For their full statement, visit the G2A website.