Gearbox’s publishing arm entered a partnership with game marketplace G2A earlier this week for the release of Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition. Following internet backlash, the publisher has now vowed to remove itself from the deal unless G2A takes steps to combat fraud on their platform.
G2A has in the past been accused of fraud. Developers allege that the company uses stolen credit cards to sell keys on their marketplace.
Gearbox’s pivot is due to negative public reaction. More specifically, YouTuber John “TotalBiscuit” Bain announced that he would no longer cover any of Gearbox’s games if they didn’t cut ties with G2A.
"Gearbox Publishing heard loud and clear the concerns voiced by John 'TotalBiscuit' Bain," said a Gearbox spokesperson to Waypoint. The publisher met up with Bain, and came up with a series of changes for G2A to implement. See below.
- Within 30 days, G2A Shield (aka, customer fraud protection) is made free instead of a separate paid subscription service within terms offered by other major marketplaces. All customers who spend money deserve fraud protection from a storefront. To that end, all existing G2A Shield customers are notified by April 14th that fraud protection services are now free and they will no longer be charged for this.
- Within 90 days, G2A will open up a web service or API to certified developers and publishers to search for and flag for immediate removal, keys that are fraudulent. This access will be free of charge and will not require payment by the content holders.
- Within 60 days implement throttling for non-certified developers and publishers at the title, userid, and account payable levels for a fraud flagging process. This is to protect content providers from having large quantities of stolen goods flipped on G2A before they can be flagged.
- Within 30 days, G2A restructures its payment system so that customers who wish to buy and sell legitimate keys are given a clear, simple fee-structure that is easy to understand and contains no hidden or obfuscated charges. Join the ranks of other major marketplaces.
If G2A don’t pledge to enact these changes before Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition releases tomorrow on April 8, they will back out of their deal via a clause in their contract.
G2A have yet to comment.