To date G2A has provided a fantastic service to PC gamers around the world. Should you end up with a key for a game you already own it makes good sense to sell it off and 1.) make some money back to assist with your next purchase 2.) be the buyer who buys the key at a discounted cost. It’s a service that’s been available for many years and gamers, even here on our shores, have been enjoying what’s on offer. There is however something very unethical and sinister that’s taking place and if you support G2A you should be made aware of this.
tinyBuild, the folks who publishes games from Indie developers, has discovered that there’s a black market economy that’s thriving, thanks to G2A. They had a discussion with a merchant on G2A that’s making $3-4K per month (that’s roughly R44-58K), who took the time to explain how their business model works:
- Get ahold of a database of stolen credit cards on the darkweb
- Go to a bundle/3rd party key reseller and buy a ton of game keys
- Put them up onto G2A and sell them at half the retail price
That’s not where it ends. tinyBuild delve deeper into the operations and found the following:
[quote]There are variations on this business model, as some “merchants” live off bots who actively scavenge keys from Twitter/Twitch/Facebook, and then use Steam’s gifting feature to “sell” the key on G2A.
Websites like G2A are facilitating a fraud-fueled economy where key resellers are being hit with tons of stolen credit card transactions and these websites are now growing rapidly due to low pricing of game keys.[/quote]
If you’re the buyer you’re the happiest person on earth, because you’re scoring a game for next to nothing, but it’s hurting the smaller developers and, more so, this is some serious fraud taking place right in front of your very eyes. tinyBuild has lost the value of $450,000 in keys fraudulently sold on G2A. G2A has since hit back with this press release in their efforts to discredit tinyBuild. G2A has demanded that tinyBuild provide them with a list of keys they believe to be fraudulent. Because you would give thousands of keys over to a website you are questioning the moral compass of. You might also be surprised at how little coverage this event is getting, just remember that there are many websites / YouTubers that take money every month from G2A, so they will probably remain silent on the topic.
If you are a buyer/seller on G2A we suggest you follow everything that’s taking place at tinyBuild.