If you're thinking about buying a game from digital marketplace G2A, then know that there are a number of developers who would rather you steal their titles than buy them from the key reseller.
The dispute between developers and the digital store has been running for years, and we last covered it back in 2016 when the company was accused of facilitating "a black market economy". The company promised to change, but meaningful change doesn't seem to have been forthcoming, and once again developers are out in force to denounce the platform, telling people that they'd rather potential customers torrented their titles than buy them from G2A.
Publisher Mark Rose started the conversation again after spying a Google ad for the game that appeared above the official listing, diverting potential customers to the key reseller and away from an official retailer that would have seen the developer receive some of the money.
"In the latest episode of Fuck G2A: G2A has taken out sponsored ads on Google, which mean that when you search for our games, you get G2A popping up above our own links — and we make zero money on our games if people buy through the ads," Rose wrote on Twitter.
"Please, if you're going to buy a game from G2A, just pirate it instead! Genuinely! Devs don't see a penny either way, so we'd much rather G2A didn't see money either," Rose continued.
Other developers then chimed in, with studio's like RageSquid (Action Henk) outright telling people to pirate their games over buying from G2A. These developers are claiming creators see no money from sales on the controversial store, and to add insult to injury they often have added customer service costs from dealing with players who have bought keys that turned out to be fake or deactivated.
"If you can't afford or don't want to buy our games full-price, please pirate them rather than buying them from a key reseller," Rami Ismail added. "These sites cost us so much potential dev time in customer service, investigating fake key requests, figuring out credit card chargebacks, and more."
One of the questions asked by several onlookers is why the company hasn't been sued into oblivion, to with Mode7's Paul Kilduff-Taylor responded: "It's never worth anyone's time."
There seems to be plenty of animosity among developers towards the company, and that's not helped by these advertising campaigns. However, while there's no official action being taken, the message from these devs is loud and clear; if they're not getting paid for a game that they made, they don't want G2A to get paid instead.