The row between G2A and tinyBuild about selling PC game keys is getting ugly, with accusations of blackmail and flying ultimatums.
To summarize: Earlier this week, tinyBuild claimed that G2A, a popular PC key reselling website, sold almost half a million dollars in its games, and did not receive a penny in return.
In an email sent to Eurogamer, Alex Nichiporchik, the head of Punch Club and SpeedRunners editor, tinyBuild, accused G2A of selling $ 450,000 in their games.
G2A, which acts as a retailer and an online marketplace for the sale of video game keys, such as an eBay for PC games, is perhaps the most well-known website of its kind, and even sponsors broadcasts and gaming events.
G2A is popular because it offers an easy way for people to sell keys for games they do not want, and in the process customers get a cheap price.
Nichiporchik, however, described the G2A business model as "fundamentally flawed" and said it "facilitates a black market economy." He accused G2A users of using a database of stolen credit cards to buy bulk game keys from a package or a third-party reseller, and then put them in G2A to sell at half the retail price.
There is also the problem of chargebacks from credit card companies, which eliminated the tinyBuild online store.
"I would start to see thousands of transactions and our payment provider would close us in a few days," Nichiporchik said. "Moments later you would see G2A populated by cheap gaming keys that we had just sold in our store."
After the tinyBuild complaint reached the Internet, G2A responded with a strange ultimatum: providing us with a list of suspicious codes in three days.
G2A asked tinyBuild to provide a list of the keys considered "stolen" and, therefore, should withdraw from the G2A market, and questioned the $ 450,000 figure because, he said, tinyBuild was referring only to the highest price of its games in arriving at the figure.
Here is the statement:
TinyBuild must connect with us again and provide us with the list of suspicious keys for further investigation. Thereafter, G2A will be pleased to publicly publish the results of the investigation of this case with tinyBuild.
G2A.COM requests that tinyBuild provide its list of suspicious keys within three days after the date of this transmission.
It is not clear why G2A has set a three-day deadline for tinyBuild, or what it will do if tinyBuild does not comply.
Now, tinyBuild has responded to the G2A response in a statement entitled: "Our response to the G2A statement: you have 3 days to fix this."
In an email sent to Eurogamer, Alex Nichiporchik called the G2A statement "aggressive" and accused the company of trying to "discredit" tinyBuild.
"Therefore, now they are willing to help with the keys, but instead of the phrases of the same form of blackmail, you have three days to send us the keys to verify," said Nichiporchik.
"Previously it was not going to help unless you register working with us."
Nichiporchik said he refuses to provide G2A with a list of keys that may or may not be stolen because of the possibility of creating false positives.
"The way our business works is that we work with a lot of partners, and tracking individual key lots is an insane amount of work," he said.
"Everyone knows their reputation, so why would anyone consider giving them a list of keys to" verify "? I think they would simply resell those keys and make more money with that."
He continued: "We are not really talking about solutions here, just about symptoms, and the cause of everything is that they are not verifying the merchants, not recognizing the scope of their problem, and they blackmail us into working with them." "It will only help us if we work with them."
Nichiporchik issued G2A its own three-day ultimatum: to provide a solution for developers and publishers to benefit from the market.
"As everyone knows, there is currently no way for a company such as ours to benefit from the market without the accounts being subtracted from real retailers," he said.
"If we have solutions to establish minimum prices, obtain revenue sharing and / or gaps that do not allow the sale of our keys in the market, the tides could become a positive direction for the industry in general."
G2A has yet to respond to tinyBuild's response to G2A's original response to the allegation of tinyBuild (still with me?), And the entire row is becoming increasingly bitter with no end in sight.
However, this debate has been extended to include G2A's sponsorship of popular video game transmitters and events, and some are calling on the player community to boycott those on the G2A payroll.
If you see a streamer that actively promotes @ G2A_com please remind them of their business practices and their effect on the games.
– FFStv (@FFStv) June 23, 2016
This is not the first time that the reputation of G2A is questioned. In 2015, Riot Games banned the sponsorship of the G2A electronic sports team because it detected the sale of League of Legends accounts, which is against the game's terms of service, in the G2A Marketplace.