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G2A hits back at TinyBuild after studio claimed it lost $450k to key reseller

"Finding a better medium price here would give a true overview. TinyBuild should explain to the media why they omitted their sales data from the revenue projection."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

June 22, 2016

3 Min Read

Video game key reseller G2A has asked for Punch Club publisher TinyBuild to provide a list of suspicion keys within three days after the studio claimed it had lost $450,000 as a result of fraudulent G2A sales. 

The company was responding directly to TinyBuild CEO Alex Nichiporchik, who earlier this week called the key reseller G2A into question for running a service that's "fundamentally flawed and facilitates a black market economy."

The marketplace, which Nichiporchik describes as an "eBay for game keys," lets users sell unused keys, more often than not undercutting retail prices. 

In theory, this means players with unwanted digital games can sell on their codes to recoup some cash, while other players can pick up a title on the cheap. 

The reality, according to Nichiporchik, is very different. He says that developers often pay the price when keys are purchased using stolen credit cards and sold on G2A, eventually leading to a chargeback as a result of the illegal purchase. 

It's a system that leaves studios out of pocket -- and in TinyBuild's case, a fraudulent formula that's cost them around $450,000 from over 25,000 potential sales. 

G2A, however, says that figure is misleading, and in a statement released today has claimed it was TinyBuild, not them, that refused to cooperate as they attempted to resolve the situation. 

"Why did TinyBuild refer only to the highest price point in their product history? While on the real market you can buy their products in a bundle on an 85% off discount as sourced from Steam," reads the statement. 

"Finding a better medium price here would give a true overview. TinyBuild should explain to the media why they omitted their sales data from the revenue projection. 

"The question the gaming industry should be asking is, why did TinyBuild never come back to us with a list of codes that should be taken down from the G2A’s Marketplace?"

For its part, TinyBuild says it was told by G2A that the company couldn't help them unless the studio agreed to work with the reseller to undercut its own retail partners. 

"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," explained Nichiporchik.

"We are not going to get compensated, and they expect us to undercut our own retail partners 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."

G2A didn't comment on Nichiporchik's claims that criminal resellers are using its marketplace to commit fraud, instead asking that we remember "G2A is an open doors marketplace where everyone is allowed to sell all types of digital gaming goods."

"TinyBuild should connect back with us and provide us with the list of suspicious keys for further investigation," added the company.

"Thereafter, G2A will be happy to publicly release the results of the investigation of this case with TinyBuild."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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