G2A – a controversial key reseller that has in the past been accused of fraud, using stolen credit cards to sell keys on their marketplace – was publicly slammed during their own show today. During a live Q&A at the Reboot conference in Croatia, G2A’s senior account manager Marius Mirek had some heavy questions thrown his way – the first asking if the company was founded as a “grey market reseller.”
“I know we’re called a grey marketplace,” Mirek pushed back, “but as our team sees it there’s nothing really grey about it, beyond people not understanding our business model.”
By definition, a grey market is the trade of goods through legal distribution channels that are unintended by the original manufacturer.
“You must understand that obviously a large portion of the business and a lot of the reason that people choose G2A as a service,” he continued when pressed, “is because people can get stuff at a lower price than they can from elsewhere, and a lot of the reasoning behind that is because of people buying [games] in cheaper territories and selling them to people where it’s generally more expensive and they still make a saving. That’s the very definition of grey market trading.”
“We’ve noticed really quickly that gamers want to access your games,” Mirek said, addressing the audience. “They don’t have $60 or $70 to acquire the game that they want. Codes that are available on G2A, they come from various places. Either from sales or bundles or from people who have acquired keys at some point and they just want to sell it and buy the game they want.”
“Obviously customers have the right to sell at any price they want to sell a product, just like on eBay or any other market place,” he continued. “But mind you, we have developers, publishers, the list is available on the marketplace, that are participating in G2A. Now people see [that] and publishers see that this is a market that can be no longer ignored. They want to get that value conscious customer.”
Those previously mentioned participants are members of the G2A Direct program, which lets developers keep a 10-percent cut of keys sold through G2A – regardless of their source. A previous report from Polygon pegged multiple developers as being luke-warm on the service, with one stating he signed up because G2A refused to take down his keys from their marketplace.
Developer Rami Ismail was at the show, and tweeted some audience reactions:
G2A: "developers can get up to 10 percent of [grey] sales on G2A, which is a very attractive offer."— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) April 20, 2017
23 devs in the room: "no it's not"
In response to a question as to why the company takes so long to change its direction, Mirek said that 40 per-cent of G2A’s workforce was female.
G2A just suggested we need to stop being so harsh on them selling ilegimate acquired keys because 40% of their 750 employees are women.— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) April 20, 2017
Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell launched another question at Mirek (you can see the exchange in Eurogamer’s video below too):
"You charge the customers who want to avoid fraudulent stuff with the Shield system. You ask us to contribute our time and energy to detect fraud on your system in exchange for 10 per cent. I'm interested what the 750 people - 40 per cent of whom are women - are doing to earn the 90 per cent of the transaction?"
"There are people working in marketing...," Mirek replied.
"Is it mainly marketing?"
"No. IT and security."
G2A delivered a press release to Eurogamer after the panel, which you can read below:
Grey market, despite the Wiki definition, works as a negative label and people who throw this name against us just want to damage our business - we cannot agree to that. Resale of keys is perfectly legal, it brings a lot of benefits to the gamers community as it introduces competition and prevents raising prices to unreasonable levels.
Those who want to stop it act against free market and property rights that are essential to modern economy. If something is to be called grey or shady, these are the practices of making 'suggestions' aimed at hurting legally operating marketplace. If you call G2A grey, try doing the same with respect to eBay, Amazon and basically all the marketplaces - it is obvious that today we are simply a part of normal, legal market.
Fees. We want to quickly explain our fees regarding developers and sellers, since there seems to have been a misunderstanding during the Q&A. There are two separate revenue streams for developers on our marketplace. The first revenue stream is from regular sales made directly by the developers. G2A only takes a General commission of 10.8 per cent from these sales - the remaining 89.2 per cent of the sale goes directly into the developer's pocket (which is way above the industry standard of 70 per cent).
However, thanks to G2A Direct, developers are given a second revenue stream - they can make an additional up to 10 per cent on all third-party sales. This is an extremely attractive offer as no other marketplace gives developers a chance to make any money on third-party re-sales. Imagine that someone purchased a LG TV, and then went to re-sell it on eBay - eBay does not offer LG, or any other company, any percentage of this sale. We are the only marketplace in the world that offers this to developers.
You can watch the entire talk here.