Nov 23, 2017 Last Updated 1:32 AM, Nov 23, 2017

TotalBiscuit and Gearbox Blackmail G2A. tinyBuild Backs Twisted Collaboration.

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In a new round of baseless attacks against G2A, blackmail is front and center.

After tinyBuild’s CEO, Alex Nichiborchik, emailed OpNoobs a second round of controversial announcements to further defame G2A, I closed his email with a sour taste in my mouth. “Cheap,” I thought. Whatever that was felt like High School drama, in this case with Mr. Mario Mirek, a Senior Account Manager at G2A who, Alex states, at the GDC “came over to the Q&A line, and started shouting that he was the guy dealing with me calling them out last year - embarrassing himself in front of a room filled with industry professionals.”

And so, I grew suspicious. Again. Was there an ulterior motive? Or else, why bother? Was Alex, perhaps, piggyback riding on Gearbox’s recent spotlight with mainstream press, one that had caught my attention on our latest podcast (see 47m50s)?

So, I took a deeper look at what happened between Gearbox and G2A.

I discovered TotalBiscuit, threatening a studio to halt coverage of their games unless they did not act as his representative and push his agenda onto G2A. In such a healthy partnership (sarcasm intended), Gearbox would use as leverage the joint product it had planned to release with G2A: the Collector’s Edition of Bulletstorm: Full Clip.

Gearbox, to my surprise, obeyed.

Below are the terms of their (or TotalBiscuit in disguise)’s cocky demands:

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.

Or Gearbox, perhaps, created the illusion of obeying.

They would impose the YouTuber’s demands on G2A – and if not met, pull their games out of G2A. The illusion because, at the end of the day, Gearbox’s threats may very well be affordable. Of little financial consequences to their entity.

Sure, they might not sell the Collector’s Edition to its full extent – though they did release it and they must have cashed in on a good chunk of the sales already - but the financial hit for a company behind titles like Borderlands, I’m pretty sure, is tolerable – if not insignificant. That’s because AAA studios don’t release original copies of their games on G2A, but Steam instead.

I then went on to visit TotalBiscuit’s summary of the Gearbox/G2A situation on YouTube.

As you can see, once you’ve suffered through the paid advertisement he imposes on his fellow socialists, the video is a chunky 10 minutes of empty attacks on the company. “G2A profits directly from stolen good,” and “G2A almost bankrupted tinyBuild”

tinyBuild… bankrupt? L.O.L.

Yet sadly, TotalBiscuit isn’t a corporate lawyer and you can tell: his amateurish accusations, backed by a serious lack of evidence, as evidence comes defined by our judicial system and would be taken to court should anyone have a real case, are laughable at best. Other than links to online blogs which can be summed down to “he said this” and “they said that,” G2A’s evil-doing remains unproven. I challenge anyone to bring me facts, I’ll rest my case and apologize if they do, but until these have been introduced, I still know not what to make of this.

The bottom-line? Whether they come from the indie publisher, the studio giant Gearbox, or the influencer TotalBiscuit, these are accusations I still don’t understand. It’s about the use of fraudulent cards and identity theft, they say. But why would G2A be the culprit on the matter? Amazon.com will take any card as long as it works, for example. And nobody cares. And if there’s a company to attack, in my opinion, it’s the one that approves the fraudulent transaction in the first place, and that isn’t G2A. THAT would be any company online with too loose a security process – and oh boy, the list is long.

G2A is just like any other, folks.

They can’t control what happens on other sites. It’s a big place, the web.

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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of The Overpowered Noobs, LLC.

Fred Brizzi

Fred is OpNoobs' loyal and undeserving Presidente. He started gaming with Alex Kidd on the Sega Master System back in 1986 and was brought by ID Software to the PC when DOOM hit the shelves in 1993. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and child, plays international politics by day, and games by night. His dream? To leave the elephants and the donkeys at the zoo, and eat, pray, love PC gaming 101% of the time. In fact, when he's not working for OpNoobs, he's apologizing to his wife for OpNoobs.

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