Game studio Gearbox is canceling a partnership with game marketplace G2A after their deal came to the attention of the media. Gearbox first decided to impose some requirements on G2A to make the collaboration acceptable, but that came to nothing.
Gearbox partnered with G2A to sell the collector’s edition of Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition. In response, YouTube game critic John Bain, aka TotalBiscuit, decided not to spend any more “airtime” on games from the studio. As a result, he got the Texas studio to sit down with him to map out exactly what would be so objectionable about a collaboration with G2A. In the gaming community, G2A has long been known as a dubious marketplace.
Bain convinced Gearbox with a ready collection of sources that G2A makes it easy for sellers to sell ill-gotten game codes on the platform. He also provides the same sources in his own statement regarding the case. Codes that are for sale on G2A are often cheaper than on Steam, for example, but in all likelihood the vast majority of these codes are the result of a credit card purchase, the amount of which has subsequently been refunded. Developers and publishers therefore suffer losses due to the practices of G2A and its affiliated vendors. For example, SpeedRunners developer tinyBuild is said to have lost almost half a million dollars in profit.
Additionally, ironically, G2A offers a fraud protection service to buyers at an additional cost. It is a monthly fee and the service is difficult for the user to disable.
Gearbox’s requirements were clear. G2A’s fraud protection had to be made free and an API set up so developers and publishers could have fraudulent game codes removed. The request to G2A was to provide a statement of intent to address these matters. Subsequently, the company had different deadlines to implement the various measures. These terms ranged from 30 to 90 days.
Gearbox gave the deadline for the letter of intent the release of the Bulletstorm remaster on Steam. That took place yesterday and G2A has not been heard from in the meantime. The collaboration with G2A will therefore not continue, as Gearbox also confirms to Eurogamer.
American game developer Gearbox Software is known for Aliens: Colonial Marines, Duke Nukem Forever, Borderlands and Battleborn.