Mario face palm

Game Dev Conducts G2A Audits And Confirms Fraud

“Every key we’ve audited that was being sold for under-market price was obtained by either payment fraud or regional pricing fraud,” stated the CEO of developer/publisher Trion Worlds.

Speaking to reputable PC gaming website, PCGamesN, Scott Hartsman gave a full breakdown of his thoughts of G2A, and similar too good to be true online game key retailers, delivering a scathing verdict.

Hartsman explained that, whenever Trion Worlds saw a batch of their keys being sold for ludicrously low prices, they bought one. They then used this key to determine the origin; “Once we have the key in hand we know exactly which partner we issued it to, when, and what the price should have been. And then we can see what actually happened with it. Invariably, that key was purchased with either a hacked PayPal stolen credit ca or region exploit.”

The “region exploit” mentioned by Hartsman means a key is purchased from a region with lower prices than other regions, then relisted for sale on G2A for a price that is still cheaper than locally but nets the merchant a small payday.  This is usually completed by changing IP addresses to trick websites such as Steam into believing that the customer is located elsewhere.  When done in vast qualities, it can rapidly develop into a significant loss of revenue for the game developers.

Scott even went so far as saying that “[t]he mythical ‘dedicated gamer who just wants to sell a spare key’ doesn’t appear to exist. It’s a smokescreen that’s not happening at any scale.”  While this isn’t necessarily true, it is safe to say that if a brand new game is being sold for £50 at major retailers with the clout to demand the highest discounts then any keys below this amount should be viewed as suspect.

When quizzed as to whether he feels G2A is responsible for the fraud taking place on their site, Hartsman said “[t]he fact is that it’s what they have created by design. Fraud and pricing exploitation is what they’ve intentionally built a business to on top of. And a very high margin business at that.”

Hartsman went on to compare the key reseller to MMO gold seller websites, which often operate with similar ethics, before adding that  “[t]he only thing that keeps them out of jail is that they’re operating in countries where there’s no ability for law enforcement to touch them.”

To read the full interview, visit PCGamesN.  It’s a great read.

I personally am a PC gamer who loves a bargain, but I would never purchase from G2A or a similar website with so many reported incidents of fraud.  I always recommend, as I believe their keys are obtained more legitimately, as it does not operate as a CD key eBay with listings by thousands of fraudsters.

That suspiciously half-priced game you’re considering buying from G2A may have been obtained by fraud, causing a lot of stress for the person who had money stolen, and may not have resulted in any money for the developer when the charges were reversed.

If you truly love gaming, please purchase your keys from reputable websites and support the game developers and publishers.