Only days after giving the key reselling service a list of demands, prompted by a wave of public criticism, Gearbox has announced that they have begun the process of decoupling themselves from G2A.
In a statement provided to Waypoint, Gearbox head of publishing Steve Gibson said the studio would be "doing their part to not directly support a marketplace that did not make the new public commitment to protecting customers and developers".
The move comes roughly a day after Gearbox publicly issued a list of demands to G2A, which was as follows:
• 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.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition unlocked early this morning on Steam for Australians, while physical copies went on sale yesterday. The physical release hit a snafu, however, with EB Games (which has exclusivity on the retail release) having to withhold sales due to an incorrect classification rating being displayed on the game. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is currently still available for sale on G2A as well, although Gearbox's announcement will undoubtedly bring that to an end at some stage.
Today, Bulletstorm. Full Clip Edition went on sale in Australia. But if you go into an EB Games and try and buy it, you'll be told that you can't.
Gibson added that Gearbox has "begun executing on our extraction process", although it's not clear precisely how long that process could take. It's also another gut punch to the reputation of G2A, which took a battering last year after the company became embroiled in a public dispute with indie publisher tinyBuild Games over inadequate checks and balances on its marketplace.
One of the largest differences in today's world of gaming is the way digital marketplaces have flourished and made the market more accessible for developers and gamers over the last ten years.
Guess what? When you call out one of the world's biggest third-party resellers of keys for digital games, there's a good chance they might not be happy about it.
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".