Key reseller G2A has admitted that it has sold stolen keys on its website, pledging to pay Prague-based developr Wube Software ten times the value of the keys sold.
G2A confirmed that a total of 198 stolen keys for Wube’s Factorio were sold on its site in a blog post update last week.
“Wube reported to G2A a list of 321 keys that it believed had been sold online illegitimately. After assessing a number of independent auditing companies and finding none that would meet our agreed requirements, Wube and G2A decided that G2A should proceed with an internal investigation,” G2A wrote.
“This investigation confirmed that 198 of Wube’s keys had been sold via its Marketplace between March 2016 – June 2016. It is assumed by both parties that the remaining 123 illegitimate keys were sold via other online marketplaces or other online stores.”
Wube is the first developer to take G2A up on its challenge, and that done, the reseller will stop paying ten times’ lost value for any stolen keys.
“With our main point being made, about the seriousness of fraud in the industry, from now on we will compensate developers the full value of any chargeback fees they incurred for any keys sold via G2A Marketplace, if they are able to prove they were illegitimate,” the reseller stated.
In a lengthy post back in July 2019, G2A said it would like to work with publishers to removed illegally obtained keys from its inventory at the same time the 10x times value challenge was issued. It then asserted that most developers don’t inform G2A of said keys, and they’re then sold to customers at a loss to the developers themselves. Back in 2016, developer TinyBuild said it lost $450,000USD in sales over illegially obtained keys, prompting G2A to promise reforms in the form of its Game Developer Support System.
On the same day as G2A’s initial announcement, developer Mike Rose of No More Robots launched a petition against the reseller, requesting it stop sales of indie games.
“G2A’s platform hurts indie devs time and time again, by allowing anyone to sell illegitimate keys for their games online, with incredible ease, and no ramifications or checks,” Rose wrote, detailing the situation.