Why would developers prefer you pirate than buy from G2A?

Earlier this month, Mike Rose from “No More Robots” tweeted about how not only G2A’s ads for their own games were on top of them on Google, but when he tried to disable their ads, Google wouldn’t let him.

This was followed by a video by Jim Sterling explaining the issue in lenght. If you don’t know what G2A is (good for you!) and what all the fuss is about, you should definitely check it out.

Please watch this.

The main issue are the charge backs due to credit card fraud. This has put developers in a position where they have to refund money that they simply have not made.

So we’d like to talk about our personal experience.

In our case, keys from our game “Blacksmith” are being sold for 10% of its value. We believe this keys came from Humble Bundle and Yogscast’s Jingle Jam in 2018.

I feel like I need to be very clear about the fact that neither Humble, nor Yogscast had anything to do with our keys ending up in G2A: we donated the keys, and we were very happy about it when we did it. Unfortunately we won’t be able to afford to do that again.

For us, this was huge. Most small developers don’t get this many chances, and keys to our game are the only coin we have to reach Press, YouTubers, Publishers, and basically everyone.

Most of them won’t even bother with you if you don’t send them your key in advance, and you have to send hundreds of them to get the attention of one or two.

If we are forced to stop providing keys because we can’t trust want’s going to happen to them afterwards… then we’re pretty screwed.

Six months later we still see our game being sold for 90 cents in G2A. And there is NOTHING we can do about it. This means that, because we took part in a bundle, our game’s price has been set at 90 cents basically for a lifetime.

We asked them politely to please stop re-selling our game for 10% of its value, and they replied with a simple “well, we don’t have to”.

It’s not about the law, It’s about what’s right.

If you don’t care about supporting indie developers or are only convinced by a legal argument, then ignore this whole article. If you do care about supporting developers, then please don’t use G2A, even if it means pirating the game. Obviously we’d prefer you buy it in one of our upcoming sales.

We’re living a great moment in the indie industry: there are a lot of games being published every day, new mechanics, new art. It’s so exciting! But the reason why it’s exciting it’s because the market allows it.

The best solution I’ve heard is simply to put a limited time on keys. So, if you want to buy a game cheap from a bundle, you can still do that without developers having to worry about being undercut until the end of time. If you want to trade a key for money or other keys, you have plenty of time to do so.

The end result for us is that we are undercut on our title, meaning we won’t be able to put as much time and effort into our games because we have less income. Also, we will likely not be participating in any more bundles, we simply cannot afford it right now.

If you want to help further the effort against G2A, please, sign this petition. (It will take you to change.org)

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