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G2A – Unethical or just Overrated

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It comes as no surprise that people would like to get their hands on cheap games by any means necessary. By cutting out the big name brands like Steam and Origin, the player can get a nice cut in price from sites like G2A and CDkeys. However, what you don’t realise is the impact this has on the industry, and this article will hopefully explain what it does.

From what I’ve gathered from research, G2A is a game seller that re-sells keys of games from your favourite publishers. Sounds great, right? Cheap games for an even cheaper price. Amazing! There are lots of sites similar to this service, G2A just being the main contender. Alongside them is Kinguin, CDkeys and many more.

But what do these websites do exactly? Well, they sell game keys instead of you buying them from Steam. Effectively, you’re buying keys for games off of other people but sometimes they’re stolen. It’s grey market key selling to say the least. In effect, if you buy a key, that’s it, end of story. You could get a refund, but these are other people you’re talking about. The chances of getting a refund are the same chances of Hillary Clinton becoming President of Ghana.

The games company Riot has banned G2A from sponsoring their teams in their League of Legends tournament. Why do such a thing? Well, according to Riot, G2A has been continuously selling stolen keys of their games. A very shady part of the business indeed, if you can’t prove where the keys are from, don’t sell them I suppose. According to Riot this sort of behaviour has drastically cut into their profits and reduced sales from their site.

Basically, the thing about G2A is the developer gets basically next to nothing in profits. So, if you want to support your developers, then don’t buy from G2A. However, an argument I’ve just came up with in my head is, isn’t it basically the same as pre-owned games? For me, pre-owned games are a literal godsend, it’s probably why I have so many games and DVDs.

A noted number of YouTubers such as NerdCubed have made their disdain for G2A public on Twitter. It’s only fair that they do so, celebrities and personalities are allowed opinions. Hell, I even did another article on that which you can read about here. Anyways, I feel it’s great that NerdCubed spoke out against G2A. Mainly because it means that

On r/JimSterling which can be found on Reddit, a threat relating to G2A has been made. That thread can be found here. In it, you’ll be surprised to learn that G2A tried to get a game released through the Steam Greenlight system. As far as I’m aware, it was going to be a form of hub that would be a rollercoaster game. The main problem people had was that it would be giving such a horrid system as G2A, publicity.

Basically, if you haven’t been following for the past few hundred words, don’t use key sites. Why? Well, there’s a numerous amount of reasons that I’ve narrowed down to the main few.

They could be illegal keys

Steam has really began to crack down on illegal keys, going as far as to remove them from the accounts of players.

If you purchase a key from G2A, chances are, it’s illegal. Also, you’re probably saying a big “fuck you” to the games developers, we’ll talk more about that later. Anyways, how did they get illegal keys? From reading up on G2A, it looks like credit card fraud. Then they take those illegal keys and slap them on their website. Ethical, right guys?

Notably, the website itself states that buying from unlicensed G2A sellers is risky, but approved. Ironically, the chances of buying an illegal key are far less with a regular bloke rather than the site itself. If you use a regular consumer, you’re buying an already activated key, at least that bits not illegal.

The “G2A Shield”

The “G2A Shield” is the only way of protecting you from scammers. Good thing it’s something you can buy…

I hope you’re able to see this, but there’s something called the “G2A Shield”. Whatever could that be? Well, in case your key does turn out to be illegal, then they can get you a refund. I’m pretty sure that’s what it does anyways, I don’t use the site. More than likely it protects you from bad things happening. My main argument for this is that bad things shouldn’t happen in the first place when making online transactions. If

For the most part, bad things shouldn’t and pretty much don’t happen to the majority of people on Steam. They have Steam Guard and such, but that’s more or less for player to player transactions. When it comes to buying a game itself you can get a refund if you’re not happy with the product. On top of that, you don’t have to pay for Steam Guard. Even more, games on Steam are, for the most part, quite cheap.

It’s against the wishes of the developers

Devolver Digital is one of the many companies to come out against G2A and its illegitimate keys.

Devolver Digital are a great company. Not just for the statement they released against G2A, but also because of the games they create. That’s for a different article though, what we need to focus on is the fact that G2A defy the wishes of developers.

Think about it like this. If I wrote a book (which I have, almost.) and someone wanted to get the book illegally and sell it to others, that wouldn’t be cool. You’re taking profit away from the actual creator and the only reason is for personal self gain. It’s immoral to say the least, right?

To combat this, something called the “G2ADirect” was set up. This basically allows the developers to sell the keys straight to the public. Now, that’s great, isn’t it! Full profits to the developers! Apart from G2A, who will more than likely “tax” the price and keep some of the money. Also, because you’re a developer, you’ll have to deal with every customer individually which is about as fun as putting your penis into a salami slicer. Anyways, it’s not a system that works.

Don’t bother with G2A. Steam is cheap enough. Hell, just buy an Xbox 360 or a GameCube and cut G2A out completely.