Saturday, 25 May 2024

TinyBuild and G2A: A Discussion on Grey Market Key Sales

TinyBuild and G2A

TinyBuild, a small game publisher, recently found itself at odds with G2A, an online key reseller, over fraudulent purchases and lost revenue amounting to nearly half a million dollars. The company accused G2A of engaging in the sale of codes purchased with stolen credit cards. In addition, TinyBuild highlighted G2A’s involvement in the deactivation of stolen keys in the past.

TinyBuild expressed concerns about tracking down stolen key batches, as it would be time-consuming and could potentially lead to legitimate keys being deactivated. The publisher also confirmed that none of its authorized partners, including Humble Bundle and IndieGala, sell keys on G2A.

While TinyBuild acknowledged the issue at hand, it also proposed solutions to protect developers and publishers from key theft. These proposals included setting minimum pricing for games, ensuring a minimum distribution of third-party sales revenue, and implementing a vetting process similar to eBay’s seller account verification.

G2A responded to TinyBuild’s accusations, stating that they believe in the innocence of their merchants unless proven otherwise. They acknowledged that some unfair practices exist within their system, but emphasized that G2A is not liable for vulnerabilities in sellers’ billing systems. G2A expressed a desire to restore a good relationship with TinyBuild and invited all developers and publishers experiencing chargeback issues to use their secure payment solution, G2A.Pay.

Despite G2A’s response, TinyBuild stood firm in its reluctance to share batch data with the reseller, citing a lack of trust and concerns about key reselling. The publisher emphasized that the dispute is focused on symptoms rather than solutions.

In conclusion, the conflict between TinyBuild and G2A highlights the ongoing issue of grey market key reselling. While both parties have presented their perspectives, the impact on developers and publishers is evident. It is important for the industry to address this growing problem and find collaborative solutions that protect the interests of all stakeholders.


Q: What is the grey market for game keys?
A: The grey market refers to the resale of game keys through unauthorized channels, often at significantly discounted prices compared to official retail sources.

Q: How does key theft affect developers and publishers?
A: Key theft can result in financial losses for developers and publishers, as stolen keys are often sold at a fraction of their retail value. Additionally, chargebacks from stolen credit cards can further impact revenue.

Q: What proposals did TinyBuild make to address the issue?
A: TinyBuild suggested setting minimum pricing for games, ensuring a minimum distribution of revenue from third-party sales, and implementing a vetting process similar to eBay’s seller account verification.


The conflict between TinyBuild and G2A has shed light on the challenges faced by developers and publishers in the grey market of game key reselling. Both parties have shared their perspectives, and it is crucial for the industry to find collaborative solutions to protect against key theft and unauthorized sales. By working together, developers, publishers, and resellers can create a safer and more sustainable marketplace for gamers.