All the gamers around, this is for you. We all know that it’s what keeps us awake, it guides us to the social group we belong to. Most of us out there, though can’t afford to buy a game. It’s just because of the high price to buy the game. There are kids who are in high school doing odd jobs just to buy the game their peers are playing.
Well, to stack up your favourite games sure seems a rise up the mountain hill. Then, there are smart gamers who use G2A for getting those heavy discounts on their game purchases. While most of us would love to purchase their games, are we sure about the below two questions?
- is G2A Legit?
- Is it safe to use?
In this post, I will be clearing all the confusions you have about this website and it’s legitimacy. Based on my experience and research, you will understand what exactly the truth is and how you should act.
Before we clear the eerie clouds around the safety and legitimacy issues of this site, let see what actually is G2A!
It’s an online store, like eBay, which brings together buyers and sellers of grey market game keys for PC games and activation codes for PSN and X-Box. Now, let’s look at some of the features which makes it to the top online store for gamers and worthy of being talked about here. (Well, I know there is steam! But you will know why this) These features would be:
- A very well organised site with option to search and choose games based on platforms and genres
- Apart from games, it also has a diverse list of softwares, skins for platforms and (in-game) unique items to purchase among others
- The modes of transaction are plenty, from PayPal to bitcoins among the other usual modes of payments
- A product of their own, called G2A Shield, which allows you to seek a replacement key or complete refund
- Your own wallet and account, making it easier for buyers to choose the right seller. (Don’t forget, it still is a grey market)
- A recent update (dated July, 2016) makes it mandatory for the sellers to verify their social media details and phone numbers. They would be limited to 10 transactions before this additional verification.
- With the account on G2A, the buyers can interact with folks of similar interests and follow each over social media sites, which is a pretty cool way of networking.
How does G2A Work?
We are not blind or sheep in the herd (no offence aimed at anyone). So, to know if the site is legit and safe we also need to know how it works before we dive into the real deal and churn our brains. Moreover, it’s something essential for a gamer for his curious mind. After all, something giving you the stuff you love on heavy discounts should not be a bait for making you pay heavily, right?
So let’s first see how the low purchase prices are existent. The gaming platforms do not sell their games or the in-game items at the same price all over the world. The price depends on majorly that region’ average salaries. So, the smart and ‘most often’ trustworthy sellers buy the keys in the cheaper regions and sell it expensive region. This boosts the seller’ sales and also leads to discounted purchase (which is huge sometimes) in the buyer’ case.
How then does it work?
- You buy the key over G2A, choosing your preferred mode of payment.
- The key then is sent to you by the seller via email.
- You go to the platform over which the game is and install.
- When you click to install it,somewhere down the line, it will ask you for the key for activation.
- Get your snacks and prepare to rock the game as the files get downloaded.
Note: This activation process takes place over the game’ platform and not on G2A platform.
Is G2A Legit/Legal?
Now, that we have seen how it works, let’s get to one of our main cause of concern. Is G2A as a platform, legit and how so?
G2A was set up gaming enthusiasts, like you and me, up in Hong Kong. If anyone has seen Batman: the dark knight would know about Hong Kong’s jurisdiction. Well, anyways, it was set up with the aim and I quote “providing the best digital game licenses to all our partners and customers”. G2A has cordially shared it’s addresses and phone numbers-it’s headquarters stationed at Hong Kong and have a support office in Poland.
There are more than 50000 sellers on G2A marketplace. The sellers on G2A are third parties, who have keys to sell (We have already seen how they sell it at a discounted rate). These marketplace sellers can be businesses, who have keys in bulk.They can be even be private individuals with access to keys they have not activated yet. There can be game developers as well wishing to make some money with their smartness and help those in need.
Is G2A Safe?
This is not as trivial to answer as the preceding queries we all had. G2A is a grey market. Like all grey markets(it’s still legit) it has its own drawbacks, as schemers and plotters who don’t care for your joy are in plenty. You can only be smart and use a few of the features G2A has to provide.
Rather than talking about how safe it is, I will mention here some points which you can follow to keep yourselves safe.
- On your purchases G2A provides an additional guarantee called G2A shield. When you buy the game product key you were craving for, also buy ‘G2A shield’ which costs around around an additional 70p. It’s like one of those insurance schemes you have for a nominal charge when you buy your travel tickets. ‘G2A shield’ provides you guarantee of key replacement or refund if you were scammed.
- G2A recently updated, as on 12th July 2016, that all buyers have to further verify with their social media accounts and phone numbers. Until further verification, the buyer would be limited to 10 transactions only. (So you know, if someone is trying to make just 10 transactions, he is most probably a dupe trying to make quick money by counting on your enthusiasm for the game.)
- G2A makes you create an account, use it! Check for the reviews of the buyer for the legitimacy of his product.
Here, I would like to give an example which I faced over a site considered very safe (freelancer.com). I was young and naive and wanted to earn some quick money through my skills. So I did sound designing for a person but did not check his ratings or reviews. So, as you can guess it became a work which I did for free without any acknowledgement whatsoever ever.
Point being, it can happen on any site, even it’s not a grey market site. You need to make proper checks on the buyer’ past endeavours as only you yourself are responsible for your happiness and money.
When you are buying a key, make sure to choose your region appropriately. A case being, you bought a global key but it turned out to be in Russian. The problem is you live the USA. Well, there is no refund or key replacement in such scenarios as G2A shield considers it your mistake to not be careful on choosing the right region. It mostly works but why risk it, are you not already risking a lot by coming to the grey market?
1. Where do the sellers of game keys get their codes from?
A. The source of game keys depends on the type of sellers. Businesses buy it in bulk and sometimes when the keys are on sale by the ‘Original’ sellers themselves. Private individuals buy their keys at a cheaper market place and have not activated them yet, so making them still good to sell. G2A states that most of the sellers who are on their marketplace are individual businesses with their own ‘trade secrets’. Although it also states that the sellers are screened by them and that they also provide reviews of each seller/merchant.
2. Are sellers private individuals or businesses?
Well, anyone can sell on G2A marketplace. They are also in the process of preparing tailored solutions for game developers and publishers. G2A states that some of the game developers and publishers are already using their marketplace and reaping great sales.
3. How are sellers able to sell at rates lower than ‘Steam’, ‘Amazon’ and the likes of such?
To this the employees of G2A say that the world is a marketplace beyond comprehension. They are simply providing the local merchants to sell their product globally.
4. What about the code from gamers who have already played the game and selling the codes under ‘second hand’ or ‘used’?
If the code has already been used once to activate, then it gets registered under an account. You can not use that same code again to activate the game.
I hope your concepts and doubts were cleared about if G2A is legit and safe to use. Well, it certainly offers you cheaper prices but you need to be well researched to know what you are getting yourself into. You can always go back to buying from the original sellers but that would be expensive.
As a wise man once said “You get stuff worth what you pay and most of the times you get lucky”. Do let us know if you have any further queries or experiences you had in such endeavours which you think might be of help to us all.