August 12, 2019 Only 19 developers have signed up for G2A’s key-blocking initiative.
Last month, game key marketplace G2A offered a possible solution to concerns people have raised about key reselling on the site. The solution put forward is a tool that will let developers block keys, stopping them from being sold on the platform. It wanted at least 100 developers to sign up to the proposal “within a month” before making the tool, but we’re on the eve of the deadline and only a fraction of that number have signed on.
19 developers have taken up G2A on its offer. The full list on company’s website includes Beer Money Games, Bossa Studios, CCP, Crimson Leaf LLC, Deep Silver, Dirty Beast Games, Dynart, Electrocosmos, Farom Studio, Fox Byte Games, Hound Picked Games, MetalBear, Modoka Studios Entertainment, Moonlight Mouse, NYAARGH, SimaGames, Squidpunch Studios, Tate Mutimedia, and Troglobytes Games.
G2A says it’s “extending the deadline to the end of August 2019.” In a slightly softer version of the reasoning for the deadline it offered last month, the company says “Creating such a tool is going to be time-consuming and expensive for us. This is why it would be great if at least 100 developers signed up – we just want to make sure that our key blocker is going to be used by many.”
The initial statement (via GamesIndustry.biz) said “we’ve been talking to developers and learning about the issues they have with our marketplace, so that we could offer a possible solution. We believe we’ve found it.” According to G2A, the key-blocking tool would work by verifying the developer (so as to filter out “impostors”) then giving them access to “two separate sections”: one covering “Review keys” and the other “Giveaways” – the two categories of keys it believes devs have been “mainly concerned about”.
The “Review keys” section would let devs select their game in the G2A panel and paste the keys they don’t want to appear on its marketplace. Then, an algorithm will detect and block the relevant keys, preventing re-sale. The “Giveaways” section would instead stop people trying to sell more than three keys matching those in the “giveaway database”.
It will “cover all the costs, of course, but we just need to know that you, the developers, are going to use it.” It adds that “to assure transparency, the list will be public.”
Mike Bithell, game director and writer working on the upcoming John Wick Hex game has commented in relation to the post on Twitter, saying “I don’t work for you, it’s your job to protect the customers you sell unchecked keys to, not mine. I don’t endorse or work with grey markets, or folks that secretly pay for positive press” adding that “bot farmed ‘gift’ exploitation is the issue, not keys, and you know this, obviously.”
– I don't work for you, it's your job to protect the customers you sell unchecked keys to, not mine.
– I don't endorse or work with grey markets, or folks that secretly pay for positive press
– bot farmed 'gift' exploitation is the issue, not keys, and you know this, obviously https://t.co/1qQzkOU3rY
— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) July 12, 2019
This adds to the ongoing flurry of news on the topic, with a petition recently started by Mike Rose, director of indie publisher No More Robots, calling for G2A to stop selling indie titles now sitting at over 5,000 signatures at the time of writing. It also appears that a rogue G2A employee asked ten sites to publish an “unbiased” article – without credit, which the platform condemned as “absolutely unacceptable,” and confirmed was done “without authorisation.”
G2A recently offered to “pay developers ten times the money they lost on chargebacks after their illegally obtained keys were sold on G2A”.