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Key resellers & grey markets

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭K.O.Kiki


    EoinHef wrote: »
    They could always have a look on youtube/twitch etc and send keys to content creators via their official channels. No sifting through tons of emails then and you know your talking to the legit people then. Like first place as a small independent game maker id be sending keys is to totalbiscuit/angry joe/jim sterling. Not a huge fan of any of them but at least they give smaller games a chance. Id work down from there.

    Its really not that hard to come up with better ways of getting a game out there rather than handing out keys to random emails.

    But think of how many other game creators are sending the big channels their keys, in the hopes that they'll get reviewed.
    You're one of dozens a week, how would they know you've got a good game?


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 35,076 Mod ✭✭✭✭AlmightyCushion


    The whole thing sounds like a publicity stunt to me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,574 ✭✭✭EoinHef


    K.O.Kiki wrote: »
    But think of how many other game creators are sending the big channels their keys, in the hopes that they'll get reviewed.
    You're one of dozens a week, how would they know you've got a good game?

    Thats very true,you would run the risk of not getting noticed by those creators. I would work my way down from them though to smaller channels and outlets. Send it to all the review sites etc. Give away 100 keys on reddit and ask only the 100 people leave a review of the game on reddit in return? Do the same on any of the larger forums around.

    I mean they do have options.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭SeantheMan


    The whole thing sounds like a publicity stunt to me.

    Of course it is.
    We are here discussing it now, I have 'heard' of the game at least now...and might be inclined to download and try it...and give them some money IF I enjoy it.

    Whereas before I'd have had no idea and would have passed it over and lumped it in with all the other games that get released each week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,405 ✭✭✭gizmo


    EoinHef wrote: »
    Thats very true,you would run the risk of not getting noticed by those creators. I would work my way down from them though to smaller channels and outlets. Send it to all the review sites etc. Give away 100 keys on reddit and ask only the 100 people leave a review of the game on reddit in return? Do the same on any of the larger forums around.

    I mean they do have options.
    Everything you've described in both posts above is going to be tried by every other developer though, which results in the same problem. Bearing in mind that by the end of November last year there were 4207 games released on Steam, discoverability isn't just a problem for consumers anymore.

    It's worth bearing in mind that these guys didn't say they had no other option nor did they say it was the best option, they just said this is what we did and this is why we did it. Other developers have done similar things for different reasons while developers, RageSquid and Vlambeer for instance, have simply asked people to pirate their games rather than using key stores.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭K.O.Kiki


    http://zarkonnen.com/igs_steam_keys

    Interesting insight from a developer about keys they gave to a gaming portal being resold after said portal has gone dark.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭K.O.Kiki




  • Registered Users Posts: 55,512 ✭✭✭✭Mr E


    I watched Yongyeas YouTube video about it this morning. There is a lot more to the story. 20 minutes long...



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,893 ✭✭✭Canis Lupus


    That's hilarious but it won't change anything though. Price is king for the majority of people from games to a litre of milk.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,405 ✭✭✭gizmo


    G2A proposes key-blocking tool

    In a move that should surprise absolutely no-one at this stage, G2A's proposed solution to the current issue is complete bull****.

    Not only have they completely ignored one of the core issues, the exploitation of Steam Gifts (addressed by Mike Rose here), but they're also requiring developers actively sign up to this new "service" in a publicly viewable list. I'm sure they have no intention of using it to legitimise themselves and deflect future criticism.

    Then there's the fundamental problem with their solution, it puts the onus on developers and publishers, who never agreed to engage with their platform in the first place, to protect both themselves and their "customers" from abuse which is being facilitated by G2A themselves. ****ing. Nope.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭FAILSAFE 00


    gizmo wrote: »
    G2A proposes key-blocking tool

    In a move that should surprise absolutely no-one at this stage, G2A's proposed solution to the current issue is complete bull****.

    Not only have they completely ignored one of the core issues, the exploitation of Steam Gifts (addressed by Mike Rose here), but they're also requiring developers actively sign up to this new "service" in a publicly viewable list. I'm sure they have no intention of using it to legitimise themselves and deflect future criticism.

    Then there's the fundamental problem with their solution, it puts the onus on developers and publishers, who never agreed to engage with their platform in the first place, to protect both themselves and their "customers" from abuse which is being facilitated by G2A themselves. ****ing. Nope.

    I am all for whacking G2A :) but

    How else though would G2A know they are dodgey keys unless they are told what to look for by developers.

    Some keys are bought legit in bulk from other regions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,405 ✭✭✭gizmo


    I am all for whacking G2A :) but

    How else though would G2A know they are dodgey keys unless they are told what to look for by developers.

    Some keys are bought legit in bulk from other regions.
    It depends what you mean by dodgy keys here. I'm going to assume you mean the ones that have been bought in bulk from other regions due to the follow up line but feel free to clarify otherwise.

    In this instance, the transaction isn't actually legit insofar as Steam's TOS are concerned. They specifically prohibit the selling of keys which have been purchased in regions where the prices are cheaper and then re-sold in another region where they are more expensive. This is one of the reasons why there are so many instances of sellers on G2A not actually selling the keys themselves but Steam Gifts, it's to get around this restriction.

    To tie this back to Rose's original comments, read the rest of the Twitter thread here where he gives a worked example from Descenders. This also happens to be a pretty decent example of a transaction that could be easily flagged automatically on G2As end simply by looking at the sheer number of keys being sold by a single person, nevermind the fact the amount they're being sold for given the historical pricing information available from Steam itself.

    In a further development to their promise to pay developers/publishers 10x the money proven to be lost on chargebacks, the Factorio guys decided to take them up on their offer. So far it's gone about as well as expected. They've detailed what's happened so far as part of their weekly community post here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,878 ✭✭✭Robert ninja


    gizmo wrote: »
    I'm going to assume you mean the ones that have been bought in bulk from other regions due to the follow up line but feel free to clarify otherwise.

    In this instance, the transaction isn't actually legit insofar as Steam's TOS are concerned.
    Isn't it completely legal in the EU and Valve had to accept this legally at some point? Buying and reselling is market 101.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,405 ✭✭✭gizmo


    Isn't it completely legal in the EU and Valve had to accept this legally at some point? Buying and reselling is market 101.
    Are you perhaps thinking of the recent statement from the European Commission regarding the issue of geo-locking Steam keys?


    Valve called out by the European Commission for geo-blocking games (updated)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,878 ✭✭✭Robert ninja


    Yeah that must be what I was remembering. Valve and the industry at large dug their own graves with region restriction nonsense so I have no sympathy for them when end users take advantage of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭K.O.Kiki


    The issue isn't that there's keys being sold from other regions though.

    It's that G2A facilitates the selling of keys which were bought with stolen credit card info, leaving developers with no recourse once they get hit with charge-backs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,878 ✭✭✭Robert ninja


    K.O.Kiki wrote: »
    leaving developers with no recourse once they get hit with charge-backs.
    Don't think the developers have much involvement once the game is out. It's all the publishers problem at that point. Unless it's indies, small studios or publishers I like of course in which case I always buy direct. I won't shed any tears for big corporations like Take-Two losing money, though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,574 ✭✭✭EoinHef


    K.O.Kiki wrote: »
    The issue isn't that there's keys being sold from other regions though.

    It's that G2A facilitates the selling of keys which were bought with stolen credit card info, leaving developers with no recourse once they get hit with charge-backs.

    Do you hold adverts on done deal responsible for good that are sold on there that are stolen?
    Or ebay?

    Not trying to be smart,just interested in how people think marketplaces should work. Should every marketplace be responsible for what its users put up? Or is just a gaming thing


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 12,270 Mod ✭✭✭✭Kingp35


    EoinHef wrote: »
    Do you hold adverts on done deal responsible for good that are sold on there that are stolen?
    Or ebay?

    Not trying to be smart,just interested in how people think marketplaces should work. Should every marketplace be responsible for what its users put up? Or is just a gaming thing

    I was thinking the same thing. It's simply not possible to know which items are stolen and which are not. It's very hard to hold a marketplace responsible unless they specifically know certain sellers are selling stolen items and are turning a blind eye.

    Taking adverts as an example, I'm sure there are countless stolen items for sale on the platform but how are adverts to know which are stolen and which aren't?


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,621 ✭✭✭✭Penn


    Kingp35 wrote: »
    I was thinking the same thing. It's simply not possible to know which items are stolen and which are not. It's very hard to hold a marketplace responsible unless they specifically know certain sellers are selling stolen items and are turning a blind eye.

    Taking adverts as an example, I'm sure there are countless stolen items for sale on the platform but how are adverts to know which are stolen and which aren't?

    I think the issue is intent, and clearly with G2A's responses so far they know people are using their site for fraud but aren't doing anything to stop it. They're not just aware stolen items are being sold on their site, they're willingly facilitating it.

    There's also a more complicated system in place than selling physical goods on the likes of adverts or donedeal which makes it less likely G2A have any responsibility, the customer has chargeback options available and it's the developer/publisher who gets stung with the costs.

    The question is whether this is by design by G2A, something they didn't foresee but want to fix, or an unintended consequence which they don't care about. Judging by their responses and actions, I'd argue it's at least the latter.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭K.O.Kiki


    EoinHef wrote: »
    Do you hold adverts on done deal responsible for good that are sold on there that are stolen?
    Or ebay?

    Not trying to be smart,just interested in how people think marketplaces should work. Should every marketplace be responsible for what its users put up? Or is just a gaming thing

    If stolen goods were sold on Adverts, gardai/repossessor have the power to take them back.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,574 ✭✭✭EoinHef


    Penn wrote: »
    I think the issue is intent, and clearly with G2A's responses so far they know people are using their site for fraud but aren't doing anything to stop it. They're not just aware stolen items are being sold on their site, they're willingly facilitating it.

    There's also a more complicated system in place than selling physical goods on the likes of adverts or donedeal which makes it less likely G2A have any responsibility, the customer has chargeback options available and it's the developer/publisher who gets stung with the costs.

    The question is whether this is by design by G2A, something they didn't foresee but want to fix, or an unintended consequence which they don't care about. Judging by their responses and actions, I'd argue it's at least the latter.

    How can they do anything unless there givin the info on which keys are stolen?

    What are adverts actively doing to stop stolen goods being sold? If they dont have an active scheme of their own,are they a wilful facilitator too?

    Id agree they come accross as slimy,i dont buy from there. Its just i cant see how a marketplace can run with the owner having to check every single item that goes on sale. Especially if they dont have an always bang up to date list.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,574 ✭✭✭EoinHef


    K.O.Kiki wrote: »
    If stolen goods were sold on Adverts, gardai/repossessor have the power to take them back.

    But are you holding adverts responsible,your holding G2A responsible.

    I i was a dev and i could prove some keys were bought illegally and sold on G2A id assume the law could also do something about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭K.O.Kiki


    EoinHef wrote: »
    How can they do anything unless there givin the info on which keys are stolen?

    FFS

    The keys aren't stolen.

    They're bought WITH STOLEN CREDIT CARD INFO.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 51,317 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer


    Would insurance not cover these indie developers for fraudulent sales?

    Or the banks insurance?

    Or is this type of insurance cost prohibitive for indie developers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,893 ✭✭✭Canis Lupus


    Retr0gamer wrote: »
    Would insurance not cover these indie developers for fraudulent sales?

    Or the banks insurance?

    Or is this type of insurance cost prohibitive for indie developers.

    Not sure about insurance but the merchant gets hit with a chargeback fee along with losing the cost of the sale. It's not just a refund of the cost of the game.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 51,317 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer


    Just educated myself on it. Basically you just get slapped with the chargeback fee and the onus is on the merchant then to present a case to the credit card company. And the process seems like a very bureaucratic and timely process that wastes a lot of time. Lots of tales of CC companies making it very difficult and the Credit company also has the power to just stop your ability to accept credit payments.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,245 ✭✭✭Sonics2k


    Retr0gamer wrote: »
    Just educated myself on it. Basically you just get slapped with the chargeback fee and the onus is on the merchant then to present a case to the credit card company. And the process seems like a very bureaucratic and timely process that wastes a lot of time. Lots of tales of CC companies making it very difficult and the Credit company also has the power to just stop your ability to accept credit payments.

    I work in the Chargeback and Anti-Fraud team for a payment processor (not Paypal) and I'll tell you one thing for sure, the credit card/banking companies will side with the card-holder in the extreme majority of cases when they put in a Fraudulent Chargeback.

    The typical EU dispute fee is €15, so even if the card-holder is charged €5, the merchant loses out on €20 (assuming the dispute is lost). For a lot of payment processors, once your dispute rate hits 14% they cut you out straight away.


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 35,076 Mod ✭✭✭✭AlmightyCushion


    K.O.Kiki wrote: »
    FFS

    The keys aren't stolen.

    They're bought WITH STOLEN CREDIT CARD INFO.

    Practically, there is no difference so what does it matter.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,574 ✭✭✭EoinHef


    K.O.Kiki wrote: »
    FFS

    The keys aren't stolen.

    They're bought WITH STOLEN CREDIT CARD INFO.

    I know that,it also doesnt answer any of the questions i asked though.

    The keys are obtained fraudulently. The point still stands,any marketplace has to be provided with eveidence the goods are stolen or how are they supposed to know?

    Also the analogy of adverts is a real one,if i use a stolen credit card to say buy a washing machine from harvey norman then sell it on adverts for less than it was bought for is it not exactly the same thing?

    So i feel its a valid point.

    Relax,untwist your knickers and maybe dont get upset.....FFS:P


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