After days of ugly spats with the publisher of indie titles including Punch Club and SpeedRunners, the third-party key resellers G2A have kicked off July by unveiling several measures that it says recognise "its responsibility to serve the greater good for the entire gaming industry".
In a release to all media, G2A announced seven new features for developers that it says will be provided "at no additional charge". The moves include the ability for developers to collect a 10 percent royalty "for any of their products sold on the G2A marketplace", priority placement for developer-managed auctions, access to G2A's database to "verify sales, volume and timing to track the lifecycle of every key and identify illegal practices," as well as dedicated account managers for support.
Some of these measures, particularly the ability for developers to collect royalties, echo many of the criticisms levelled at G2A by TinyBuild. The publisher got into a spat with the Hong Kong-based website, which resulted in the latter telling TinyBuild they had three days to provide a list of suspicious keys so they could investigate claims of fraudulent activity.
It was one of the stranger sagas in the month. TinyBuild said people were using stolen credit cards to purchase copies of their games via their website, only to issue chargebacks and resell those keys on G2A. G2A said they wouldn't investigate unless TinyBuild gave them a list of keys they thought were fraudulent, and suggested that TinyBuild's distributors might have been the ones reselling the keys. On top of that, G2A publicly revealed that they removed 200 keys and merchants selling TinyBuild from their marketplace on their own accord, information they'd never shared previously with TinyBuild.
Humble Bundle said any suggestion that they — one of TinyBuild's major partners — would sell keys via secondary markets "would be insane". And TinyBuild's point throughout stood: what encouragement was there for developers to work with G2A, if they weren't getting a cut of the revenue?
That major stumbling block seems to have been removed. Gamers will also be able to donate funds directly to developers via "an additional button on the developer's product page", and they'll have access to protection from chargebacks provided they sign up to the G2A Pay system.
That was the same situation as a couple of weeks ago: if developers wanted G2A to help, they had to work with G2A. The Hong Kong-based site hasn't changed tack on that front, but the inclusion of up to 10 percent royalties and premium placement for their auctions might make developers and publishers more willing to play ball.
Partially as an ode to the claims TinyBuild was airing recently, G2A also had this to say when it came to fraudulent sellers:
G2A also committed to continue to monitor its marketplace extensively for any possible fraudulent activity. In the small fraction of cases where fraud may be detected, G2A investigates and bans offending parties from further participation. The company works with law enforcement globally to track fraud and is committed to ensuring that the marketplace remains safe.
I've forwarded questions to both G2A and TinyBuild to see whether their spat had any involvement or influence in the announced features. If they say anything interesting, I'll let you know.