Game key marketplace G2A has confirmed that an employee approached ten media sites with a request to publish an article, written by G2A, but “without being marked as sponsored or marked as associated with G2A.”
The proposal was first disclosed by Thomas Faust, an indie games journalist and freelance indie game translator. According to screenshots in Faust posted to Twitter (see the tweet embedded below), the article is “a transparent and just review of the problem of the [sic] stolen keys reselling”, and is part of an effort to improve G2A’s “brand awareness and public image”.
The company is currently embroiled in the latest of many controversies concerning its business model, which has been criticised for harming game developers, especially indies, 3,000 of whom have now signed a petition calling for it to stop selling indie games.
We contacted G2A about this, and were told by head of communications Maciej Kuc that “this is something that had no right to take place, must’ve been done without authorisation, and in no way was within the scope of our actions. I am the only authorised person to talk to the media in the company’s name. The mentioned suggestion is absolutely unacceptable, and if proven to be real, strict consequences will be drawn.”
Kuc promised to investigate, and apparently discovered that the approaches were indeed made by a G2A employee. The company says the employee acted “without authorisation”, and indeed that he had contacted “nine other media outlets” with the same proposal. G2A has promised “strict consequences, as this is absolutely unacceptable.”
These e-mails were sent by our employee without authorization, for which we apologize to @SomeIndieGames and the 9 (!) other media outlets he sent this proposal to. He will face strict consequences, as this is absolutely unacceptable.
— G2A.COM (@G2A_com) July 8, 2019
Without seeing the article mentioned in the email, it can’t be said for certain that it is an endorsement of G2A, but its title makes its intentions clear: “selling stolen keys on gaming marketplaces is pretty much impossible.”
We’ll update this story with any further action G2A takes.