Most forms of media are digital now, and that includes video games. Consequentially, there are sites dedicated to buying ‘keys’ to the digital copies of video games. One of the most popular key-selling sites is known as G2A.com.
Now, key-selling sites have a less-than-adequate reputation in the gaming community, mostly due to the shady tactics they tend to employ. Wait, shady tactics?
G2A and many other key-selling sites operate as “grey markets”. If you aren’t aware of what a grey market is, it’s a marketplace where products are sold through unauthorized channels, which, in this case, is through other users.
Yes, G2A is more than a key-selling site, it’s a reseller of video game keys. Other users sell keys they have lying around in trade for money. In theory, this doesn’t sound so bad; it’s already done through trading forums on platforms like Steam or PlayStation. However, G2A has earned itself a reputation of distrust and insecure, and there are plenty of reasons as to why you should avoid the site at all costs.
G2A is secure only from a technical standpoint. You won’t need to count on your embedded Chrome VPN to carry out a transaction on it, but to say G2A is 100% secure would be lying.
Now, that’s not entirely G2A’s fault; a grey market at it’s core is vulnerable to tricks and scams. However, G2A itself seems to be in on some of these scams and tricks, making it an untrustworthy platform.
First off, G2A takes pride in it’s buyer-protection service “G2A Shield, which is designed to keep the buyer from being scammed when buying a key, though you have to buy it (side note: G2A Shield can only be cancelled a few days before you’re charged for it, which has been accused of being a scam in of itself). However, buyers have been scammed, and the protection only extends to the end of the transaction, which is a big problem.
Why is that a problem, though? What could happen after the transaction ends and you get what you paid for, literally?
Revoking Your Privileges
Many cases exist of G2A buyers receiving the key they paid for, entering it, unlocking the game, and then access to the game immediately being revoked. This is because–while G2A can verify users get their code–G2A cannot verify if they key sold is “legit” (came from an authorized retailer and bought legally).
Once your key is revoked, you’re out a game and the money you spent for it. Honestly, this reason alone is why you shouldn’t use a key-reseller. What’s a few dollars to the peace of mind when you know the game is yours forever?
Scamming the Developers
There’s one more reason why the use of G2A is abhorrent, and it’s the short-changing developers experience due to the site. Remember, when you purchase a game, a cut of it goes to the publisher and developer(s) behind the game. With a key-reseller, the only one making money is G2A and the person selling the key.
Not only is G2A helping finesse the hard-working people behind the games, the developers may end up having to spend money to fix errors on G2A’s part. This situation is so bad that a few indie game developers recommend piracy over G2A because at least piracy won’t hurt their wallets.
There are plenty of authorized retailers to buy video game keys from, and some–such as Greenmangaming.com–are always offering deals on the games they sell. But don’t risk your money and the game for a couple dollars; purchase with an authorized retailer.
If not for yourself, do it for the people who work hard to make the games you play. Don’t scam them out a few dollars because you want to play the game.