G2A unveil game bundles in overhaul of controversial Shield service

G2A Surprise Bundles

Videogame key marketplace G2A are making changes to G2A Shield, which began life as user insurance against defective keys but now seems to be evolving into a premium membership service. Among the known changes are easier cancellations and the addition of game bundles in the as-yet unnamed premium version, but G2A’s recent product announcements imply that more features could be added in 2017.

G2A offer games cheap, but not for free. Bargain hunters might like to check our list of the best free PC games.

If you’ve been following PCGamesN for a while, you may remember a story from June about a redditor who detailed the tortuous process of canceling G2A Shield in a lengthy Imgur album. As G2A CEO Bartosz Skwarczek admitted at the company’s Winter Party (with Polish politicians in attendance, no less), it took 16 clicks across ten different screens, and included a 20-minute wait for a confirmation email. Skwarczek said this will be changed for the better, but we don’t know when.

At G2A’s media day at the start of the month, Asian regional manager Karol Jacewicz explained how G2A Shield has already changed in the months since. The benefits of Shield as he described them are as they are on the Shield website: you can either pay three euros to apply Shield on a single purchase from the G2A marketplace, or you can pay one euro per month to subscribe to the service and get Shield on all your purchases.

In either case, you get priority delivery on pre-orders, dedicated live chat with G2A representatives who promise to sort any problems in one conversation, a price-match guarantee, and, crucially, a “100% satisfaction guarantee”. That means that if your key turns out to be defective for any reason (say, if the seller used a stolen credit card to buy it in the first place), you get your money back. The subscription service offers 30 days’ free trial and up to 10% cashback on purchases, and G2A claim a 97% customer satisfaction rate.

G2A Shield

Lots of features, then, and it looks like they’re about to grow further. Jacewicz’s presentation contained a special announcement, codenamed ‘G2A Surprise’ (we still don’t have the official name). We were told that ‘Surprise’ will be subscription-based and will offer all the benefits of G2A Shield, but at a premium price.

That extra money will get you new games every month in the form of a monthly bundle. Each bundle will contain at least one game and possibly (typically?) more, hand-picked by G2A, across the breadth of triple-A and indie titles.

“We are gamers,” said Jacewicz. “So we are going to choose titles that we seriously love… some months there’s going to be games that you know from the first pages of magazines, in some other months we want to present really interesting, really good mechanics, for example from indie titles. We want to share with you the diversity of games.”

Interestingly, the press release says that Surprise will be “a yearly subscription”. If you don’t subscribe, you’ll be able to purchase bundles individually, and the contents of each bundle will be visible before you do so. “This is not a random key offer,” says that press release, and they promise that prices will be “phenomenal… we promise the products you receive will far exceed the price you pay.” The service will start in 2017.

The final element of G2A Surprise is a ‘level up’ system that will seemingly tie in to the company’s rapidly expanding portfolio of services. (If you’ve not heard of these, check out our coverage of G2A Pay, G2A Direct, G2A 3D and 3D Plus, and their new VR game.)

“There are so many new products which are going to be launched within the coming months that we wanted our customers to be able to benefit from all of those,” says Jacewicz. “So when you are using G2A Surprise, based on the time you are using it, you are going to receive new levels, and with each of those new levels you are going to receive new benefits within the G2A ecosystem.”

So, when the Surprise is finally sprung, it looks likely to resemble G2A Shield plus monthly free games and various other unnamed benefits on G2A products. Discounted 3D-printed figurines, perhaps? Exclusive apparel designs? Would any of this tempt you? Leave your thoughts in the comments.