What would you do if you came across a website that was selling game and software activation codes at a fraction of the retail price? Would you question the site's legitimacy? Would you be happy to hand over your bank details in order to purchase a hugely reduced game?
Well, ever since G2a became mainstream, those are the sort of questions people have been asking themselves when looking at using their services. With technological advancements moving faster than ever, scams and cons are becoming ever popular and we need to be on our toes when it comes to handing over our precious personal information. If Kinguin is anything to go by, G2a might not be as squeaky clean as everyone thinks...
So, How Does G2A Actually Work?
The easiest way of explaining what G2A does is to compare it with eBay. We've all either used or heard of eBay and know how the site works. Well, G2A is very similar, it's a marketplace where buyers and sellers come together to "trade" games and software activation codes.
But what's the benefit I hear you say? Well, the benefit is the price that you can obtain these games keys over direct purchasing. This is probably a good place to use an example...
Let's take Rainbow Six; currently, on Steam, you can purchase the game for £16.99, however, if you were to purchase the same game on G2a, it would cost you £11. Intrigued? You should be, savings can be made with the click of a button and it's not just Rainbox Six! There are hundreds of games and software options to choose from and each one can be bagged for a discount. Think Steam, Ubisoft, Origin, Software codes, and Xbox live credits, the options are endless.
Now, you're probably asking yourself, how exactly can these sellers afford to sell games at a reduced rate? That leads us nicely onto our next section...
Is G2A Legit?
Strictly speaking, G2a is legit yes. Whether the sellers that use the platform are legit, is another question entirely. Basically, G2a has no real way of monitoring what the sellers sell and where they get the games from. In turn, you as a purchaser could be buying something that is stolen, faulty or unusable and G2a has no real way of knowing which buyers are at risk.
However, this being said, G2a has implemented some safety precautions to try and protect you as a buyer. The first step G2a put in place was; each seller would be asked to verify their social media and phone number before trading on the site. Furthermore, the sellers were then limited to 10 sales per person, after which they would have to supply additional security details to continue trading. The aim was, ultimately, to prevent fraudulent or dodgy sales transactions occurring and it seems to be having an impact in a good way.
So if G2a is legit, how do the sellers get their codes so cheap?
Product Key Origins
The whereabouts of product key origins on these platforms can sometimes be a grey area... such is life. This being said, thousands of trades are completed every day and most are completely legitimate. So, where do they come from?
As many will probably already know, games will vary in price depending on your location, what time of year you bought the game, buying in bulk and so on. There are loads of ways an individual or business can LEGALLY obtain game and software activation keys at a discounted rate.
However, speculation still surround product key marketplaces thanks to a scandal that occurred a few years ago. The story goes a little something like this...
"Electronic Art's Origin was used to purchase a considerable amount of game codes which were then moved onto Kinguin's marketplace for further trading. Weeks later news had surfaced that the codes purchased on EA Origin then sold on Kinguin were, originally, sourced using stolen credit cards. After Ubisoft got wind of this they revoked the game keys rendering them completely useless and leaving thousands of innocent consumers with faulty goods." - You can read the full article here.
The knock on effect of this has naturally affected the sales of all grey market sales websites. This being said, G2a has since been tweaking service procedures to make sure buyers are as safe as possible.
What If I Buy A Faulty Code
Just because G2a is cracking down on scammers and fraudulent activity, doesn't mean the fraudulent activity is no longer at large. You could easily find yourself victim to scams, just check the numerous forum posts that are circulating the web... So, what happens if I buy an unusable game key?
Unlike Kinguin, who offer customers their buyer's protection program for a premium, G2a has decided to go the other way. Very much like eBay, G2a offer a money back guarantee if "a digital item you purchased on G2A.COM is not as described, doesn’t work or stops working, you will receive a refund." It's exactly the same as what eBay offers, and they're doing alright...
If your "digital item" as G2a likes to call it, is not as described in the product bio, then you as a customer need to first, file a claim. The claim process takes a few minutes and then goes directly to a G2a workforce who in turn investigate the claim. If everything checks out, I.E, your digital item was not as described, then you will receive a full refund to either your bank or G2a account.
And don't worry, the seller doesn't get off free. Again, like eBay, G2a works on a positive/negative seller feedback basis. If the seller has a negative rating against their name, the likelihood of customers buying from him is massively decreased.
Whether Or Not To Buy
So, with everything you've now learnt about G2A, would you still be willing to buy a product via their marketplace platform? It's the big question and one that might bowl down to your own moral compass and conscience.
For me, personally, I've seen what good and bad marketplace's look like, and as far as G2a is concerned, being compared to eBay is a real beneficial statement in the larger scheme of things.
G2A seems much more official and trustworthy than the likes of Kinguin which is great news for anyone involved in the business. The money back guarantee G2A offer seems to serve a purpose at no additional cost whereas Kinguin actively tries to draw more money out of their customer base.
All being said, I think it would be fitting to purchase a game via G2A to show you how the process works, so let's get right to it.
Using a G2a Discount Code
Buying a game off G2a was a really simple process and one that left me with a confidence that I simply didn't get from other marketplaces. The following is a step-by-step guide on the exact process you have to take when purchasing a game's code off of G2a.
Firstly, find the search bar and type in your desired game. If your game doesn't show up on the drop-down menu then select 'See all results'.
Next, either select or click 'see all results' to take you through to the games page.
Select your game from the choices available. BE AWARE - Make sure your code is allowed in your country and the platform you want to use it on. You can check in the game's description if you're unsure.
Once inside the game page, scroll down to see a list of sellers for that specific product.
On this page, you can sort the sellers by best price and best rating. You can also see the seller and what feedback rating they have been given and how many sales they have completed.
Once you've chosen your desired seller, click the cart and it will add the game to your shopping list.
Click continue and you'll be taken to the cart and any items you plan to purchase.
Inside this window, G2a will generate the final price, inclusive of fees. It is also where you activate any discount codes you have.
Before proceeding to payment you will have to agree to T&C's and enter your email address for confirmation.
Once completed click 'Go to payment' to proceed.
You will be redirected to a payment page where it gives you 11 options to choose from. Select your desired payment method and continue through to the payment screen.
Make sure the 7-day FREE TRIAL is unticked, unless you want to be apart of the G2A plus club which will cost you £1.99 per month.
Once your payment has been confirmed you will again, be redirected to a confirmation page (Above) which is where you can see your purchase and access your key.
Just click 'Get CD Key' to see your game code.
The print screen above is where you access your game's code. It's as simple as that.
We all love a deal, but do we love taking a risk to get a deal? I don't think we do... But that raises the question, is G2a a risk?
Well, from a personal point of view, for someone who has seen and used less morally conscious marketplaces, naming no names... I feel like G2a offers one of the more genuine marketplaces for buyers and sellers to trade at.
With G2a's newly introduced standards and policies, I can only see it's popularity growing in the coming years, especially when you consider how much esports, in general, has grown over the last 10 years.
So, in conclusion, if you want to save a quick buck on some cool game titles then G2a might be right up your street. Alternatively, if you want to stay as clean as possible, just wait for the steam summer sale and purchase your games that way.