RageSquid – the developers of Descenders and Action Henk – have urged anyone who will listen to pirate their titles instead of buying them from G2A.
As a quick explanation G2A is what many refer to as a “grey marketplace” where people can buy game codes not directly from publishers or developers, but from other people and resellers at a discount.
While that sounds relatively innocent, how games arrive on G2A has been the cause of rightful controversy throughout the years, mostly around the claims that codes available for sale on the site may not be legitimate, or may have been acquired through illegitimate (or even illegal) means.
This is something G2A themselves even address with its Shield Membership, a paid service that protects their customers should they buy a key that doesn’t work, or they experience any number of problems in the shopping experience.
Even if you don’t research this topic more yourselves, it’s at this point you may want to ask why you would need to pay an online store for a shield / protection against said online store.
All of this is in the news again thanks to RageSquid, more specifically Mike Rose, founder of Descenders publisher No More Robots. He discovered that G2A had bought Google ads specifically for when you search for Descenders on that platform. On top of that, you can’t turn these ads off:
In the latest episode of Fuck G2A:
G2A has taken out sponsored ads on Google, which mean that when you search for our games, you get G2A popping up above our own links — and we make zero money on our games if people buy through the ads.
And when you try to turn their ads off… pic.twitter.com/hSiIkaOLle
— Mike Rose (@RaveofRavendale) June 29, 2019
Aside from what we’ve mentioned about G2A, it’s also worth noting that those involved with game development can be actively hurt by the practices of this store. For example, in 2016, developer / publisher tinyBuild stated that credit card chargebacks resulted in $450k worth of their games being sold on G2A without them seeing one cent on the endeavour. We suggest giving their blog post a read for more information about their situation, and that of other game creators.
Aside from losing out on sales, many of these creators have other problems with G2A, such as customers having a negative experience with their games due to G2A’s action. Because of this both Rose and RageSquid simply suggest that you should pirate the games instead of buying them from G2A.
“Please, if you’re going to buy a game from G2A, just pirate it instead! Genuinely!,” Rose says, “Devs don’t see a penny either way, so we’d much rather G2A didn’t see money either.”
For the sake of brevity we’ve only scratched the surface of the G2A can of worms. If you’re so inclined you don’t have to search far for more news about their shady dealings, so instead let’s focus on something else.
Mountain biking roguelike Descenders and weird toy racing game Action Henk are currently discounted during Steam’s Summer Sale, down 30% and 75% respectively. Rather wait for these kinds of sales instead of supporting G2A.