After a wave of social media backlash for partnering with key resale site G2A, Gearbox seems to have heard the concerns of the public (and John "Totalbiscuit" Bain) and has reversed course, unless G2A meets their list of demands.
For those unaware, Gearbox had partnered with G2A to produce and sell a collectors edition of Bulletstorm. This caused many on social media to cry foul including noneother than popular Youtuber Totalbiscuit. Totalbiscuit stated on Twitter that he was "...Pulling coverage plans for it (Bulletstorm) and future Gearbox titles." adding that he has no support for crooks. Gearbox apparently heard this loud and clear most of all, and actually spent quite a few hours listening to Totalbiscuit present his argument for why they are in the wrong. Today, Gearbox released a statement and list of demands of G2A that they must comply with , or else Gearbox will pull the partnership.
The full list of demands is below, and is honestly a shocking development from a major games publisher. We need more companies to take stand against the so-called greymarket game sales that have affected this industry so much over the past few years.
· Before Bulletstorm Steam launch, G2A makes a public commitment to this: 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.
· Before Bulletstorm Steam launch, G2A makes a public commitment to 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.
· Before Bulletstorm Steam launch, G2A makes a public commitment to this: 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.
· Before Bulletstorm Steam launch, G2A makes a public commitment to this: 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.
Totalbiscuit has previously referred to G2A as a "Protection Racket" stating time and time again that their platform and business model enables fraudulent activities. Developers also have to partner with G2A, which actually helps G2A make more money from tracking down the stolen or fradulent keys. G2A's reputation has taken hit after hit as of late and it's various attempts to save face have crashed and burned in spectacular fashion (we're looking at YOU, Reddit AMA!)
Gearbox Publishing ended their statement by saying they "...won't support a marketplace that is unwilling to meet these commitments and execute on them."
It makes one wonder if G2A have finally met their match. We certainly hope so, and will keep you updated on the latest with this story as we get it.