Under-fire key reseller G2A has admitted to being “short-sighted” in its attempts to justify the ease of which users can flip gray market game keys on the platform, and is proposing a new ‘Key Blocker’ tool to give devs more control over how some of their titles are resold.
The company has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks after Mike Rose, founder of publisher No More Robots and former Gamasutra editor, asked consumers to pirate his company’s indie games rather than purchase them via G2A.
Rose explained that devs don’t receive a penny from G2A sales, so he’d rather potential customers illegally download No More Robots-published indie titles rather than support G2A’s business model.
Other developers quickly expressed their support, with Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail explaining that sites like G2A cost devs so much time in customer service, investigating fake key requests, and figuring out credit card chargebacks.
In response, G2A published a blog post defending its business practices and refuting some of Rose’s claims, but now seems to have become more amenable to working with those calling on it to halt indie game sales.
In a new blog post, G2A proposed a new ‘Key Blocker’ feature that will allow developers and G2A to easily spot and prevent the sale of keys that’ve been handed out for review purposes, or as part of a giveaway.
The tool would require devs to become verified on G2A, and then input a list of game keys they don’t want to be sold on the platform. After that, every time someone tries to sell a key that’s been highlighted by a developer, the seller will be told that particular code has been blocked from sale.
“You, the developer, only need to get verified. All you have to do is prove that you can act in the name of the studio you’re representing, so that we can deter any impostors. Once your identity is confirmed, you will gain access to two separate sections,” explains the G2A blog.
“The first of these is the ‘Review keys’ part. Once you generate keys to be sent out for a review to various sources, all you would need to do is select your game in our panel and paste the keys you don’t want to pop up on our marketplace.
“Once that’s done, each time anyone tries to sell a key for your game, our algorithm will check the keys you have provided us with. If there is a match, the seller will get a notification that the key has been blocked so that they can’t sell it.
“The second section would be the ‘Giveaway’ part. This panel works in the same way as the previous one — just fill in the keys you will be giving out that you don’t want sold before you start the giveaway. If a seller tries to sell more than three keys that match the ones in the giveaway database, our system won’t allow that.”
G2A claims the creation of such a tool will be “time-consuming and expensive,” and although it has pledged to cover the costs of development, it will only begin work if over 100 developers express their interest within the next month.
Those keen to make the proposed feature a reality can confirm their interest using a form on the G2A blog. Alternatively, you can learn more about the ongoing feud between G2A and game devs by checking out our initial write-up.