Gearbox Publishing Provides Ultimatum on G2A’s Business Practices Following Partnership for Bulletstorm Collector’s Edition
Following the announcement of its controversial partnership with G2A, Gearbox Publishing and Totalbiscuit ask for the retailer to change their ways.
Gearbox Publishing is unleashing the upcoming Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition this week for fans of both the original game and those looking to discover it for the first time, and while its announced partnership with G2A gave some fans pause, the publisher appears to be trying to do right by fans and initiate change.
Earlier this week, Gearbox Publishing announced a partnership with the online retailer G2A to exclusively sell the Collector’s Edition of Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition. Since then, numerous fans and prominent figures have openly criticized Gearbox’s decision to partner with G2A on the Collector’s Edition, largely due to G2A’s reputation as a “grey market” key distributor that has come under fire for allegations of fraud when it comes to buying and selling game keys.
The most prominent of these voices came from John Bain, aka “Totalbiscuit,” who stated that he would no longer cover Gearbox’s titles due to the partnership with G2A.
In response and after reaching out and collaborating with Bain, a report from Waypoint revealed that Gearbox Publishing is providing a proposal for G2A to change and alter some of their business practices, with the ultimatum that the company will pull the plug on its partnership entirely. The specific terms from Gearbox (with Bain’s assistance) are below:
Within 30 days, G2A Shield (aka, customer fraud protection) is made free instead of a separate paid subscription service within terms offered by other major marketplaces. All customers who spend money deserve fraud protection from a storefront. To that end, all existing G2A Shield customers are notified by April 14th that fraud protection services are now free and they will no longer be charged for this.
Within 90 days, G2A will open up a web service or API to certified developers and publishers to search for and flag for immediate removal, keys that are fraudulent. This access will be free of charge and will not require payment by the content holders.
G2A makes a public commitment to this: Within 60 days implement throttling for non-certified developers and publishers at the title, userid, and account payable levels for a fraud flagging process. This is to protect content providers from having large quantities of stolen goods flipped on G2A before they can be flagged.
G2A makes a public commitment to this: Within 30 days, G2A restructures its payment system so that customers who wish to buy and sell legitimate keys are given a clear, simple fee-structure that is easy to understand and contains no hidden or obfuscated charges. Join the ranks of other major marketplaces.
In response to the criticism and comments from fans, Gearbox Publishing provided a statement that the company “heard loud and clear the concerns voiced by John “TotalBiscuit” Bain.” The company continued in its statement:
“Gearbox was then provided with a lot of documentation on the subject, after which John was gracious enough to spend time across the last two days with our head of publishing Steve Gibson to put together a proposal and a deadline for G2A to act upon.”
“Gearbox Publishing won’t support a marketplace that is unwilling to make these commitments and execute on them.”
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.