Reseller G2A pays almost $40,000 for selling stolen game keys

Factorio (Image credit: Wube Software)

What you need to know

  • G2A is an online game code reseller.
  • Over the past few years, it's been criticized for selling stolen codes.
  • Today, the company admitted that 123 stolen codes were sold for Wube Software's game Factorio.
  • G2A has compensated the developer around $40,000 because it promised to give "ten times the value."

G2A is an online game reseller that has been criticized for years as to how it acquires codes. Many developers say that these codes are stolen, but G2A denied this until now. Today, the company posted the following on its website. It admitted that 123 keys for the game Factorio were stolen, and it has given developer Wube Software around $40,000 — $39,600 to be exact — in compensation.

Prague-based Wube Software became the only developer to take G2A up on this limited-time offer to the gaming developer community in July 2019, after discovering that illegitimate keys to its construction and management simulation game Factorio had been sold online. Wube reported to G2A a list of 321 keys that it believed had been sold online illegitimately. After assessing a number of independent auditing companies and finding none that would meet our agreed requirements, Wube and G2A decided that G2A should proceed with an internal investigation. This investigation confirmed that 198 of Wube's keys had been sold via its Marketplace between March 2016 - June 2016. It is assumed by both parties that the remaining 123 illegitimate keys were sold via other online marketplaces or other online stores. Per the terms of the pledge made in the blog post here, G2A has agreed to compensate Wube ten times the value of any bank-initiated refund costs that Factorio paid in relation to each of the 198 illegitimate keys sold via its Marketplace. When we launched this offer, we wanted to send a clear message to the gaming community that fraud hurts all parties. As we spell out in this blog, fraud directly hurts individuals who buy illegitimate keys, it hurts gaming developers and it ultimately hurts G2A because we are forced – as the transaction facilitator – to cover costs related to the sale. We wanted to amplify that message and capture people's attention, so pledged to compensate developers ten times the value of any chargeback fees they incurred, despite the fact that we had nothing to with the illegal acquisition of these keys. The gaming developer community has our solidarity and sympathies on this issue, and we want to continue building bridges. With our main point being made, about the seriousness of fraud in the industry, from now on we will compensate developers the full value of any chargeback fees they incurred for any keys sold via G2A Marketplace, if they are able to prove they were illegitimate.

Kotaku was curious as to why G2A conducted an internal investigation and the company said the following.

We did enter into discussions with several international auditing firms. Unfortunately, we learned — during these negotiations — that major auditors, as a matter of general policy, are unwilling to communicate the findings of their private audits in public. Clearly, it was imperative for both G2A and Wube to make the results of this investigation public. Therefore, in the interest of reaching a resolution as quickly as possible, we offered to conduct the investigation ourselves.

It's unclear if this is accurate, but that's the explanation that G2A provided.

Do you use G2A? What do you think of this issue? Let us know.

Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.