By Operation Rainfall Contributor / June 20th, 2016
Tiny Build (Punch Club, Party Hard, SpeedRunners) has found that a large amount of their Steam keys have appeared on the G2A platform. G2A is a website where gamers can sell codes the received in a bundle for a few extra dollars. Tiny Build has stated that this way of marketing is “flawed and facilitates a black market economy”.
Tiny Build has learned the ways that merchants who use G2A scam this system by doing the following:
- Get ahold of a database of stolen credit cards on the darkweb
- Go to a bundle/3rd party key reseller and buy a ton of game keys
- Put them up onto G2A and sell them at half the retail price
The financial impact that Tiny Build and the developers that they are working with has been found to be huge. Their online store crashed when the site was hit by thousands of chargebacks, having their payment provider shut them down. After this, the codes that were bought were found in the G2A database.
Tiny Build reached out to G2A to find out where those keys came from and if they developers would be compensated for them. Here’s the answer they received:
So the issue you have pointed to is related to keys you have already sold. They are your partners that have sold the keys on G2A, which they purchased directly from you. If anything this should give you an idea on the reach that G2A has, instead of your partners selling here you could do that directly.
I can tell you that no compensation will be given. If you suspect that these codes where all chargebacks aka fraud/stolen credit card purchases I would be happy to look into that however I will say this requires TinyBuild to want to work with G2A. Both in that you need to revoke the keys you will be claiming as stolen from the players who now own them and supply myself with the codes you suspect being a part of this. We will check to see if that is the case but I doubt that codes with such large numbers would be that way.
Honestly I think you will be surprised in that it is not fraud, but your resale partners doing what they do best, selling keys. They just happen to be selling them on G2A. It is also worth pointing out that we do not take a share of these prices, our part comes from the kickback our payment providers.
Tiny Build ends their blog entry with:
In short, G2A claims that our distribution partners are scamming us and simply selling keys on G2A. They won’t help us unless we are willing to work with them. We are not going to get compensated, and they expect us to undercut our own retail partners (and Steam!) to compete with the unauthorized resellers.
There’s no real way to know which keys leaked or not, and deactivating full batches of game keys would make a ton of fans angry, be it keys bought from official sellers or not.
Make your own conclusions.