In an email to n3rdabl3, G2A revealed that they plan on taking tinyBuild’s challenge and have announced plans to offer a way for developers to get the money they deserve from sales of their games through G2A… 10 percent of that sale, that is.
So lets sum up what’s happened so far: tinyBuild posted a blog post which revealed that a ton of game codes had appeared on G2A following a bunch of fraudulent charge-back purchases on their own store. They asked G2A whether they’d honour these sales by giving the money the key reseller had earned from these keys back to tinyBuild. G2A flat-out refused stating that these keys weren’t acquired through fraud and that tinyBuild’s partners were to blame.
From here, the drama only escalated when G2A stood by their claims and offered a three-day ultimatum for tinyBuild to work in more detail with the site to get to the bottom of the problems. To which tinyBuild replied with their own ultimatum which simply asked G2A to come up with a way that developers and publishers can directly benefit from the marketplace.
G2A yesterday evening sent us an email saying that they’ve accepted the challenge and that news would be officially coming today, and as promised a follow-up email arrived and detailed exactly what G2A has planned.
In short, G2A will be introducing a new solution, which is set to come into effect on July 29, that’ll allow publishers and developers to claim royalties from these third-party auctions of up to 10 percent. In addition, developer-managed auctions will receive priority placement on the site, above third parties, plus the ability to create their own G2A storefront.
Here’s the full list of improvements coming at the end of July:
- Royalties on Third-party Auctions: Developers may apply a royalty of up to 10 percent for any of their products sold on the G2A marketplace, which provides a way for developers to monetize third-party transactions.
- Priority Placement: Developer-managed auctions will be listed first, above third-party sellers, to provide more visibility and transparency. Developers will also be able to create their own custom storefront featuring all of their products and promotions.
- Chargeback Protection: G2A offers G2A Pay with free integration to developers as a protection on their own websites to mitigate their risk factors (especially beneficial for small developers, beginners and those who feel that their security systems are not sufficient).
- Dedicated Database Access: Developers will have access to our database information to verify sales, volume and timing to track the lifecycle of every key and identify illegal practices.
- Dedicated Account Managers: We’re expanding our dedicated account manager model to support developers and to resolve any question or issue, especially those related to security concerns.
- Developer Funding Option: Many gamers wish to support their favorite developers. For the first time, they will be able to contribute funds directly through an additional button on the developer’s product page.
- Expansive Global Access: Multi-language translation program expands exposure for developers to our 10 million global customers who are eager for new games from Indie developers.
It all sounds pretty promising, right? Well, it depends entirely on whether developers and publishers want to dive head first into another storefront which they’ll need to manage? Plus, while developers can add their own listings, which get priority, third-party resellers will still offer cheaper pricing, unless developers themselves undercut these third parties, which could end up being a terrific mess, especially considering the reason why all of this first began – fraudulent purchases.
Who’s going to stop a third-party reseller, who in this case has fraudulently acquired keys, from constantly undercutting the developer? It essentially hasn’t cost them anything to acquire these keys, and even selling the key for $1 brings in profit. And I’m sure the developer will love their $0.10 royalty from that sale.
“We can always do more. We acknowledge that these are just steps in a journey to create more value and more security for all of our sellers in this fast-changing marketplace, and we will bring you updates as we have new solutions to share,” G2A signed off in the email.
Though I’ve been overly critical here, I’ve got to give credit where credit is due, and at least G2A are doing something. They’ve faced the problem head-on and are at least attempting to offer a resolution, albeit in the minimal way possible. Plus, it allows genuine key sellers to know that they are supporting the developer by selling unwanted keys.
We’ve reached out to tinyBuild for a comment on this resolution.
Update: tinyBuild has released a statement in response to G2A’s proposed resolution:
The only tangible part about their program is royalties to developers and database access which undoubtedly is a good step — we will need to see how it works in practice. It still doesn’t solve the issue of stolen keys, or the shady business practice of forcing down insurance on consumers. Try buying something on G2A, you won’t get a guaranteed key unless you sign-up for their insurance service. It seems they want it all to be on developers’ hands, and unless the devs become actively involved in policing G2A (and thus working with them), they’ll wash their hands off any responsibility.
We as a community want to see more extensive merchant verification to go alongside this.
Unless they actually solve the main issue — fraud on their platform — this initiative invites developers to become accomplices. G2A claims that fraud is a very small part of their economy. If so, it shouldn’t be that difficult to implement ethical business practices of extensive merchant verification?