TinyBuild To G2A: No, You Have Three Days

The saga between developer/publisher tinyBuild and the Hong Kong headquartered key reseller has been an ongoing thing this week. The former started out by accusing G2A of profiting at their expense by not shutting down auctions of keys they say were obtained through fraudulent means, while the latter accused the studio of misleading the public and suggested their partners may have been to blame.

Yesterday, G2A publicly gave tinyBuild three days to hand over keys so they could investigate the latter's claims. And tinyBuild's response was about as dismissive as you'd expect.

In an update on their blog post from earlier in the week, tinyBuild chief executive Alex Nichiporchik has effectively taken G2A's three day ultimatum and said, "No you."

"In the same fashion as G2A issued us a 3 day ultimatum to share keys, we are issuing a 3 day ultimatum for G2A to provide a solution for developers and publishers to benefit from the marketplace," Nichiporchik wrote.

"Any business revolves around mutually beneficial partnerships. As everyone knows, there’s currently no way for a company like ours to benefit from the marketplace without undercutting actual retailers. If we have solutions to set minimum pricing, getting revenue shares, and/or flatout not allowing sales of our keys on the marketplace, the tides could turn into a positive direction for the industry as a whole."

TinyBuild is still calling on G2A to give more power to developers on their marketplace, as well as improving the verification process. According to the tinyBuild CEO, he was able to make an account and sell keys within an hour with no verification whatosever.

G2A hasn't directly addressed that so far, but they did post a statement to the Russian website Kanobu. A translated version says G2A is "always open to working with developers and publishers" and that they were sorry "that tinyBuild's shop was attacked and that it impacted their negotiations" with the key reseller.

Crucially, G2A's statement says that all developers and publishers having problems with chargebacks should "use our G2A.Pay payment solution for their stores". "It’s free and we guarantee 100% security of payments and cover all expenses associated with chargebacks, preventing any losses from our partners’ side."

But tinyBuild can't trust G2A, from what they told me and other outlets yesterday. As far as they're concerned, if they provide a list of keys for G2A to investigate, how can they be sure those keys won't just magically appear on the G2A marketplace? On top of that, G2A publicly revealed that they shut down around 200 keys and auctions for tinyBuild games before the two parties were ever in contact.

From that perspective, can't G2A just broaden their investigation without tinyBuild's help? G2A's argument, however, is that the size and scale of what tinyBuild is alleging requires their cooperation.

And so the two parties find themselves at an impasse, sending out barbs to the public and press in the process. It certainly doesn't look like there'll be a resolution within the next few days.


    Its already been discussed pretty in depth on the other post, TinyBuild should be focusing their attention to Valve in order to deactivate specific keys that have been charged back, but it sounds like they cant - or they don't have the ability to tell which keys have been refunded. Being able to refund a purchase and still keep the product key sounds like a pretty serious oversight and nothing G2A can do about it, especially if TinyBuild can't provide a list of keys (or even partial keys) that have charged back.

      The keys in question were brought through TinyBuild's website if I'm not mistaken, and their current system can't tell which keys were associated with which payments. At least, that's what I thinks happened. Otherwise it would be really easy for them to cancel ill gotten keys

        You've nailed it.
        They KNOW there's been fraud, but after they raised the ruckus, they realised they can't see where it is. They can't say which keys were stolen (or chargebacks raised for).

        So they are staying on the offensive and saying G2A is the culprit.
        While they may be happy to accept keys gained illegitmately, they aren't stealing anything. Tinybuild made noise and when they were told to put up or shut up they started making demands of G2A.

          I don't get how G2A is supposed to do anything for them. It doesn't make sense to accuse a store of selling essentially stolen merchandise, but not tell them how to identify which are stolen. What do they expect G2A to do?

          Seems a bit of an omission on tinybuilds part to have no way to identify what cd key was associated with what payment.

            I think so too.
            G2A aren't innocent in the bigger picture, but there's nothing for them to do here.

    Honestly, tinyBuild should just update their game and have massive splash art on the title screen about how G2A are scumbags.

    I like G2A, they should come out with the data

    Yeah...giving ultimatums really only works if you're actually prepared to do something if the ultimatum isn't met. What are tinyBuild going to do if they don't? And why is it G2A's responsibility to provide a "solution for developers and publishers to benefit from the marketplace" in the first place? I don't really understand how this is a thing you make a public ultimatum, rather than having calm, private discussions.

    As far as they’re concerned, if they provide a list of keys for G2A to investigate, how can they be sure those keys won’t just magically appear on the G2A marketplace?

    That seems like a pretty weak excuse. If that did happen, then tinyBuild would have ironclad proof that G2A are dodgy bastards and could go after them legally.

      Exactly, and providing keys to G2A to "investigate" that were charged back, then they havent lost anything anyway, have they? If G2A chose to list all these codes for sale that have been returned, wouldnt they likely already be used or sold? I doubt anyone would list them for fear of losing their own customers, selling potentially used keys. It makes no sense. What does make sense is that TinyBuild are fighting because their own systems cannot track which keys were returned. There isnt anything G2A can do aside from comparing a list of "charged back" keys to their database and block any unsold auctions. Keeps coming back to TinyBuild not tracking their sales properly.

    This from what I hear is a problem with charge backs, people frequently using stolen cards to buy stuff, get said stuff (keys) and then the bank charges back the fee due to it being flagged as stolen.

    I'm not entirely sure how this happens but shouldn't they automatically flag those Steam Keys as fake as soon as the charge-back occurs?

    Seems like there is some mismanagement of the key system going on to me.

      I think the problem is identifying the keys. It seems that they're linked to batches or something, which makes identifying individual fraudulently-acquired keys tricky?

        Thats my understanding also. TinyBuild should be focusing their efforts to Valve to put a system in place where individual keys can be deactivated... if they can even tell which ones they are.

          And Valve probably reply with "why don't you just direct people to buy the game directly through Steam? Then we'll take care of fraud".

          And if they haven't worked out how to run their own store without suffering from more than 30% fraud (or whatever the amount Valve takes from the Steam store), that might not be such a bad idea.

      Apparently keys are issued from Valve in batches and this makes it hard/impossible to identify individual keys sold in each sale.

      I'm not entirely convinced though because when a customer pays for a key they get one issued to their account/email by an automatic system. That system has to know at some level what the key is that it has emailed out. Because that system knows the key and knows the transaction that triggered the key to be sent then both should be able to be tracked and listed in a database.

      From what's been said on the other articles though apparently this doesn't happen. Just seems stupid to me...on some level the two could be linked.

    I'm seriously not sure what the hell they expect G2A to do about if they won't provide the illegitimate keys. How the hell is G2A meant to be able to tell if they can't?

      unless someone actually reports a key as void to G2A they don't really have any idea what keys were bought with stolen cards ,etc? Furthermore whats the difference of using carded details or a comprimised paypal account to purchase games off GOG, greenman or steam ,etc

        Yeah exactly. Seems like the dev wants it both ways.

    So.... 75% off Punch Club at IndieGala today. Cheaper than G2A. Must be hax.

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