"Torrent my game instead of supporting shady resellers, I'll even give you the link," says game dev

Action Henk

In the wake of the TinyBuild and G2A controversy, another developer has gone on record to speak out against "shady resellers", saying they'd rather people pirated their game than someone else profited from it. 

Short on cash? Play through our list of the best free PC games and cheer yourself up. 

In response to a Reddit thread about G2A and the Hearthstone community, Lex Decrauw, founder of RageSquid (creators of Action Henk), spoke candidly about his feelings on the topic.

"I'm a game developer with a game on steam and please just torrent my game instead of supporting shady resellers, I'll even give you the download link," he wrote. "I understand people aren't always able or willing to pay full price for a game, but seeing people play my game is the most important thing to me. Just torrent it instead of putting money in the wrong hands."

We reached out to Decrauw and he expanded on his comment. "We feel this way for a couple of reasons," he said. "The first is that we make games to entertain people - we want to see people play what we made and we want to see them have a good time. That's why we don't mind if people pirate our game, especially if the alternative is that they would never play the game at all.

"We believe that piracy isn't all bad. If someone pirated the game, likes it and tells their friends "this game is great, you should try it!", those friends who might've never heard of the game might play it and perhaps even buy it, that's good enough for us," he added.

"We prefer that a gamer pirates the game as opposed to paying G2A for a key because we feel that G2A and similar market places are facilitating a black market economy as explained in the TinyBuild article that started this discussion. At RageSquid we haven't had a run-in with G2A-like marketplaces yet, but that's because we're not yet partnering with a lot of resellers. However, we are planning on partnering up with bundle sites in the future and we'd like to avoid situations like what happened to TinyBuild."

If you haven't been following the latest goings on, TinyBuild accused G2A of facilitating the sale of $450,000 of fraudulent keys, allowing them to be sold for less than half that price. G2A have put out a public statement about the whole thing, and TinyBuild have since responded to that, which is also at that last link.

We also spoke to the CEO of Trion Worlds, who talked about how many resources the company has had to devote to tackling this kind of fraud. We reached out to G2A for comments on this article, but are yet to receive an official response.

It seems to be a growing concern across the industry that these kinds of companies are becoming so popular. It's no surprise, with the amount of famous YouTubers who openly endorse them in their video descriptions. 

This concern has also spread to the gaming community now, with various Reddit threads popping up and urging people to be wary of these low priced game deals. We've seen this latest thread shared on Counter-Strike, Overwatch, Dota 2 and Hearthstone over the last 24 hours. 

Additionally, we recently investigated the key reseller's optional buyer's protection, G2A Shield, and discovered the subscription service wasn't exactly easy to back out of. 

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llubtoille avatarAnAuldWolf avatarJenks avatarBen Barrett avatarCorvak avatarBelimawr avatar+11
Jenks Avatar
348
1 Year ago

Valve had the fix for this with oauth. Remember that period when you bought a game on Humble, you clicked a button and it tied to your Steam account instead of giving you a key? If that proliferated to all the internet storefronts the secondary key market destroyed. Except Valve decided that the trouble was not worth it and scrapped it, VERY unfortunate for devs.

5
twelvedogs Avatar
2
1 Year ago

everyone bitched that they didn't get keys that they could trade with their friends if they already had them, this was driven by customers

1
⎛⎝Chrispwns⎠⎞ Avatar
2

They did end up with the option to get a link for a friend though, which was nice.

2
BirdCute Avatar
1
1 Year ago

You should probably know you could also sell Humble gift links on G2A, so that oauth thing really didn't do anything regarding the G2A issue.

1
Zoopy Avatar
3
1 Year ago

Thing is, you're not allowed to resell Humble Bundle games/keys, so if they were caught selling Humble gifts they could nail them that way.

I bought Wildstar last year and disputed it based on it being the wrong region key, and the seller admitted he got it off Humble Bundle, so I made them refund me based on that. Haven't used them since.

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◄ Kozmo ► Avatar
2
1 Year ago

I hated that system, but to be honest, i saw its positive sides since day one.

I don't even understand why Valve removed it anyway.

Anyway, the problem with G2A is not only with bundle keys being reselled, but also people using CCs trying to 'cash out' some of that money.

I only got something there once and i got scammed, so did my brother, with duplicate keys, Support didn't even want to help and at some point they stopped answering. Thank god we paid via PayPal and we started a dispute to get our money back.

And after i got my money back i got a message from G2A support saying something like "Ah, it looks like you solved it anyway, i will close this ticket.".

And the BEST PART, all negative feedback of a seller are being removed after they 'solve' your issues. This is why you see many sellers with 98%-100%.

1
llubtoille Avatar
226
1 Year ago

Does Greenman Gaming fall into the same category as G2A?

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AnAuldWolf Avatar
868
1 Year ago

I've not heard of any real complaints about GMG and their key handlings yet. What they do is different than G2A, they go out of their way to source their keys in a way where they're sure that people are profiting (store front, publisher, developer, et cetera).

The difference is is that G2A seems to be buying up keys from fraudsters using fake credit cards. From what I understand about GMG's business practices, they wouldn't do that.

That's just from what I've heard, mind you. But they do seem to be much better about that.

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Ben Barrett Avatar
508
Ben Barrett(20 minutes played)
1 Year ago

No.

2
Corvak Avatar
2
1 Year ago

No. GMG works through economy of scale. Basically they buy keys in bulk from publishers for a lower price per key and use the discount to beat Steam's price.

2
Belimawr Avatar
1259
1 Year ago

Greenman are one of the few ethical sellers to the point of even having their offices in countries that they have to pay tax (they are based in London) unlike most other sellers (including steam)

1
Mountain_Man Avatar
730
1 Year ago

Greenman Gaming was busted late last year for selling suspect keys from a number of different publishers.

1
AnAuldWolf Avatar
868
1 Year ago

Since tinyBuild published SpeedRunners (which is still in my all time favourites list), I will afford them so much good will. SpeedRunners is pretty much just one of the best things I've played, and that it doesn't have a story to back it up and that I'd still say that should speak volumes. It's one of those areas where the gameplay shines so much that I love it anyway. It's pretty much an exemplary case.

As I said before, though, G2A on the other hand just seem to be a bunch of soulless sociopaths exploiting everyone, not just consumers but developers and publishers as well. I took one look at their site, saw that it had 'key insurance' (if your key fails, they won't refund you unless you've bought the insurance), and then noped right on out of there. I don't know how vile a business has to be to do that.

"Oh, yeah. The product we're selling you might immediately not work. So buy expensive insurance. Don't want to? Well, if it fails, that's completely on you and we won't replace it even if it is our responsibility to do so."

How scummy would you have to be?

So, yeah. Don't buy from those guys. The 'Good' and 'Evil' parties here are pretty damned obvious.

1
Jerykk Avatar
6
1 Year ago

G2A is a marketplace where third-party sellers can sell keys and gifts. G2A cannot test these keys or gifts beforehand because the only way to do so would be to activate them and at that point, they can no longer be sold. It makes sense to offer insurance when dealing with third-party sellers.

I've bought several games from G2A and never had any problems with invalid keys. If the key is being sold directly by G2A, there's no risk. If you're buying from a third-party seller, there's more risk but even then, I haven't had any issues. Truth is, if there was a high risk of getting an invalid key, G2A wouldn't be so popular.

On a side note, it's weird that reselling is so frowned upon in the digital marketplace but lauded when it comes to physical goods. Do the people complaining about digital resales also condemn used sales?

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Anakhoresis Avatar
632
1 Year ago

It's not even "reselling" like physical games. Once the key gets used, it's locked, unless someone sells the account (which is against the terms of service I believe, on Steam anyway). The developer still gets money per person playing the game, unlike, say, Gamestop, where the developer gets no money on used games. Which is probably where the huge DLC market came from. No biggie losing out on the sale of the original game when the DLC for the game costs more altogether but was cheaper to produce.

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Anakhoresis Avatar
632
1 Year ago

The very website you're on did a report on G2A less than a month ago and said

"According to a customer service representative, G2A can still refund you if you get dud keys, but Shield shortens the waiting time for refunds from nine days to five days."

So no. Also, even if you get the insurance, it's not even expensive. It's $1.11 per game. Well done with your research, though.

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◄ Kozmo ► Avatar
2
1 Year ago

Yea, every G2A fanboy that tries to defend them immediately goes 'Oh, but did you buy the insurance?'.

WTF? I pay for something, i expect it to work, paying for an useless 'insurance' is pretty much a practice used by loansharks.

1
TenthDigitDown Avatar
1
1 Year ago

Though I think this is a great claim against both 1) Companies that dont have projects and implementation such as G2A Shield, and people reselling their keys on sites, I don't think you can really argue with the list of people who endorse G2A. Which is:

https://www.g2a.co/presentation/index.html#partners

Its a business and there will always be the issue of getting a bad key or game or items code every now and then, but you don't get backs by the biggest names in the world if you're worth your salt.

As for pirating, if that how this guys feels then its his gig, but when it comes to reselling keys, (unless you buy from a user on G2A which is you choice in all factors and you can even STILL use the shield) other companies will see profit in the buying of mass keys.

1
Belimawr Avatar
1259
1 Year ago

not really true a lot of blackmarket keys are traded through G2A, they allow people who use stolen credit cards to buy keys to then sell the keys on the site, they have even several times bought these keys in bulk to sell through G2A (the reason they were caught out recently with a large batch of keys for a game getting blocked)

the problem with these keys is the developer doesn't see any money for these keys as the charge for the game is reversed but once the key is in the wild there is little a firm can do to stop them without knowing exactly what keys were bought in this way to be sold.

basically it is the same as someone walking into a store with a stolen credit card and buying a bunch of stuff and walking out then selling it on, they get the money they sell it on for but the shop is out of pocket after the back reverses all the payments done after the card was stolen.

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B0GiE-uk- Avatar
102
1 Year ago

What about cdkeys.com are they legit?

Also where the hell does G2A source the keys from? They must pay for them?

1
Belimawr Avatar
1259
1 Year ago

they are also questionable.

these sites buy from the grey market, basically the way they get the keys is like sitting in a pub and buying stuff off some random bloke who comes in and asks if you want to buy some DVD's.

this is the thing they do pay for the keys but to get them as cheap as they do they don't buy from reputable sellers, meaning often the keys are stolen or bought using stolen credit cards/paypal accounts that later get refunded leaving the store and the publisher out of pocket for the keys they sent out.

then you have the market place style stuff in the likes of G2A where the people who are doing card scams to get the keys just sell them anyway.

the simple thing to remember if the price of a game seems too good to be true it probably is coming from a dodgy source, really as it stands greenman and Amazon are probably the 2 cheapest reputable sources of keys available.

1
Jahandar Avatar
1
1 Year ago

CDKeys.com has also been busted for selling keys obtained through fraud. Basically any site that advertises selling "keys" is likely black or grey-market.

1