Earlier this week, it was announced that Gearbox would be partnering up with G2A for the launch of Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition. This special edition partnership was unusual given G2A’s reputation as a fraudulent key marketplace and ended up causing quite an uproar on social media. It turns out, Gearbox wasn’t fully aware of the situation surrounding G2A and as a result, the company has presented G2A with a list of demands to meet if it wants to keep their contract. These include making G2A Shield protection free to all customers and being more proactive at shutting fraudulent key sellers down.
A large part of this decision came down to TotalBiscuit, who not only recently consulted with Valve on the future of Steam, but has now also helped Gearbox understand why its G2A partnership turned into a bit of a PR nightmare. Following their talk, Gearbox decided to give G2A a public list of things to fix if it wants to keep its partnership.
The following list was shared via TotalBiscuit on Twitter:
- Before Bulletstorm Steam launch, G2A makes a public commitment to this: Within 30 days, G2A Shield (aka, customer fraud protection) is made free instead of a separate paid subscription service within terms offered by other major marketplaces. All customers who spend money deserve fraud protection from a storefront. To that end, all existing G2A Shield customers are notified by April 14th that fraud protection services are now free and they will no longer be charged for this.
- Before Bulletstorm Steam launch, G2A makes a public commitment to this: Within 90 days, G2A will open up a web service or API to certified developers and publishers to search for and flag for immediate removal, keys that are fraudulent. This access will be free of charge and will not require payment by the content holders.
- Before Bulletstorm Steam launch, G2A makes a public commitment to this: Within 60 days implement throttling for non-certified developers and publishers at the title, userid, and account payable levels for a fraud flagging process. This is to protect content providers from having large quantities of stolen goods flipped on G2A before they can be flagged.
- Before Bulletstorm Steam launch, G2A makes a public commitment to this: Within 30 days, G2A restructures its payment system so that customers who wish to buy and sell legitimate keys are given a clear, simple fee-structure that is easy to understand and contains no hidden or obfuscated charges. Join the ranks of other major marketplaces.
Gearbox has yet to say whether or not it has heard back from G2A. Still, it seems odd that a company like Gearbox didn’t know anything about G2A’s shadier practices. The retailer has been making steps to try and gain some legitimacy over the last 12 months but that only followed a huge amount of controversy after indie developer ‘Tiny Build’ spoke out against the company for profiting off of credit card fraud.
KitGuru Says: There are two outcomes to this, either G2A gives in and makes a huge stride to becoming a legitimate store, or it refuses and proves that it isn’t all that interested in shutting down the thieves generating its profit. Either way, it will be interesting to see how this all turns out.