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G2A to pay Factorio dev $39,600 after allowing illegal game key sales

G2A has pledged to pay Factorio developer Wube Software nearly $40,000 for facilitating the sale of illegal game keys.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

May 21, 2020

2 Min Read

G2A has pledged to pay Factorio developer Wube Software nearly $40,000 for facilitating the sale of illegal game keys.

G2A came under fire last year for allowing users to sell illegitimate keys on its digital marketplace, with some developers imploring G2A users to pirate their games instead, seeing as they "don't see a penny either way."

G2A responded to the backlash by pledging to pay developers 10 times the money they lost on chargebacks if they could prove illegally obtained keys had been sold via its digital marketplace. 

Wube was the only studio to take G2A up on its "limited-time offer," and has since worked with the company on an internal audit that ultimately confirmed 198 illegitimate Factorio game keys were sold on the G2A storefront. 

"Wube reported to G2A a list of 321 keys that it believed had been sold online illegitimately. After assessing a number of independent auditing companies and finding none that would meet our agreed requirements, Wube and G2A decided that G2A should proceed with an internal investigation," reads a G2A blog post, (via GamesIndustry.biz). 

"This investigation confirmed that 198 of Wube’s keys had been sold via its Marketplace between March 2016 -- June 2016. It is assumed by both parties that the remaining 123 illegitimate keys were sold via other online marketplaces or other online stores.

"Per the terms of the pledge made in the blog post here, G2A has agreed to compensate Wube ten times the value of any bank-initiated refund costs that Factorio paid in relation to each of the 198 illegitimate keys sold via its Marketplace."

Following the joint audit, the pair have agreed a tenfold settlement based on those 198 illegally obtained keys retailing for around $20 apiece on a legitimate marketplace, meaning G2A will pay Wube a total of $39,600. 

Although it has fulfilled its pledge to Wube, G2A stops short of taking full responsibility for any of the illegal sales because it didn't have a direct hand in acquiring the illegal keys. 

It also said that, moving forward, it will compensate developers the full value of any chargeback fees they incur for any illegitimate keys sold on the G2A marketplace. 

"As we spell out in this blog, fraud directly hurts individuals who buy illegitimate keys, it hurts gaming developers and it ultimately hurts G2A because we are forced -- as the transaction facilitator -- to cover costs related to the sale,"  continues the G2A blog. 

"We wanted to amplify that message and capture people’s attention, so pledged to compensate developers ten times the value of any chargeback fees they incurred, despite the fact that we had nothing to with the illegal acquisition of these keys.

"With our main point being made, about the seriousness of fraud in the industry, from now on we will compensate developers the full value of any chargeback fees they incurred for any keys sold via G2A Marketplace, if they are able to prove they were illegitimate."

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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