Last year one industry story that wouldn't go away was the ongoing spat between indie studios and key seller G2A, with many outspoken devs extremely unhappy with the online store and the way it conducts business (the accusation being that the store deals with a high volume of stolen game keys).
At the time, in an attempt to make peace with developers and improve its reputation with consumers, G2A promised to refund affected developers ten times the amount lost through keys sold illegally on its platform.
The first studio to see this process through its ultimate conclusion is Wube Software, the developer behind simulation game Factorio. The plan had initially been to engage with an external auditor but, as explained in more detail than you probably want to read over on GamesIndustry, the companies decided to trust each other and conducted an internal audit instead.
The results of that audit are in, and of the 321 keys under discussion, 198 were found to have been sold on G2A. At 20 bucks apiece, that means G2A had to pay the studio $39,600, which they duly did.
"In the end, contacting G2A is treating a symptom of people stealing keys," Scott Klonan from Wube said. "The best way to combat that is to cut it at the source. For us, if the offer was not 10x the chargeback, and had some precedence setting for the rest of the game developers, I don't think we would have reached out. The amount of time it takes and administrative dealings to get this refund, it's probably not worth the monetary compensation if it was not 10x.
"G2A was helpful and we got to the end after all, but I don't think many developers will be in the same situation as us."
Whether other developers affected by this issue get the same positive result as Wube remains far from clear, but at least G2A can say that it has put its money where its mouth is and stumped up some cash. We'll let you know if we hear of any other developments as this situation continues to unfold.
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