Tinybuild and G2A issue ultimatums as feud escalates

The dispute over fraudulent transactions continues.

You're watching

Preview 10s
Next 10s

On Tuesday Gamereactor reported that Alex Nichiporchik, the CEO of indie publisher Tinybuild, had gotten into contact about G2A and how, according to him, they facilitated a "black market economy". On Monday he posted on Tinybuild's official blog which publicly details much of the issue.

Since then the original post by Nichiporchik has been updated several times. In the first update he addresses the perceived solution that Tinybuild could revoke the keys that are being "leaked or are being sold illegally", saying that this is "a bit more complex than you might think". Because many of the keys that are "legit from bundles" or scrambled from giveaways are mixed in with the fraudulent ones, it is incredibly difficult for them to know which ones to disable. He also said that this kind of micromanagement would not solve the "overall problem" but that "awareness of the general issue is what makes an impact".

In the second update Nichiporchik directly responds to G2A's claim that the key distribution partners of Tinybuild are the ones "sneakily reselling keys". He says "I can confirm without a doubt that these partners do not resell their keys", these partners include Humble Store and IndieGameStand. "They're our trusted partners and everything you buy from them is legit".

In the third update Nichiporchik quotes what is allegedly G2A's response to an article by Russian games publication Kanobu about Tinybuild's article, translated from Russian. At the end of the response, according to the translation, G2A writes: "we also invite all developers and publishers experiencing problems with chargebacks to use our G2A.Pay payment solution for their stores. It's free and we guarantee 100% security of payments and cover all expenses associated with chargebacks, preventing any losses from our partners' side."

After these two updates Tuesday, G2A issued a press release about the situation. In the extensive statement, G2A claims that there is a "back story" behind the entire dispute and that they identified 200 Tinybuild product auctions and "suspended all of them because they violated G2A.COM Terms and Conditions and security procedures".

G2A went on to say that the issue spans back as far as March 22 when Tinybuild published on their official blog what G2A allege is "unreliable information" about the piracy rates of their title Punch Club. G2A claim that after this information was released they "reached out, to educate and offer assistance to the developers."

In their statement G2A went on to detail the alleged developments of email conversations between the two. They claim that Tinybuild made "unjustified demands" of G2A including compensation for the estimated value of products. G2A go on to claim that they gave all the information that was asked for "including the number of sales and their median value for the life time of the product range" which was from their release up until June 22.

The statement goes on to say that apparently G2A asked for "the list of keys they deemed without verification, as stolen" as they claim "only then can G2A compare these keys against the confidential G2A marketplace database and report these findings back" to Tinybuild. They say Tinybuild "never came back with the answers to resolve the issue".

G2A then asks a series of questions about the situation - "Why did tinyBuild refer only to the highest price point in their product history? While on the real market you can buy their products in a bundle on an 85% off discount as sourced from https://steamdb.info/app/207140/, https://isthereanydeal.com/. Finding a better medium price here would give a true overview. TinyBuild should explain to the media why they omitted their sales data from the revenue projection. The question the gaming industry should be asking is, why did tinyBuild never come back to us with a list of codes that should be taken down from the G2A's Marketplace?"

They end the statement by calling for Tinybuild to "provide their list of suspicious keys within three days from the date of this transmission".

After this statement was issued, Tinybuild updated their original blog post about the issue again, saying the reason they will not release the list of keys has already been given to other outlets. Nichiporchik then gives a list "of recent statements from companies and industry people, alongside a summary of what we actually sent to the media inquiries regarding G2A's aggressive press release" as well as what they claim are coverage and investigations of G2A.

Tinybuild go on to give their own official statement and summary for press enquiries which includes the claim that they were "never told they removed 200 keys/merchants", also asking "how did they remove the merchants?" since they allegedly do not have a list of keys to remove them. The statement also says that "tracking down individual key batches is an insane amount of work" and that the reason they are not giving keys for G2A to "verify" is because they are suspicious G2A may "just resell those keys and make more money off of it".

Nichiporchik then talks about what he believes are solutions to the issue. The first would be to "allow publishers to set a minimum price for the distributed products" and the second would be to "set a minimum cut for all 3rd party sales of said keys (these would come out of merchants' cut)". He claims these two solutions have been posed to G2A directly. The third, however, is to verify merchants, saying that "If Ebay allowed you to sell merchandise without verifying sellers' credentials (they ask you for IDs, statements confirming addresses, tie it to your bank account, etc), they'd probably be under similar fire right now as they'd facilitate stolen goods trade".

Tinybuild concludes the post by saying "we are issuing a 3 day ultimatum for G2A to provide a solution for developers and publishers to benefit from the marketplace." Nichiporchik writes, in regards to the solutions posed to G2A, that "I'm sure there are smart people working at G2A that can come up with how to integrate something like that, or even better".

Tinybuild and G2A issue ultimatums as feud escalatesTinybuild and G2A issue ultimatums as feud escalates

Loading next content


Gamereactor uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best browsing experience on our website. If you continue, we'll assume that you are happy with our cookies policy