Subnautica developer challenges G2A for $300,000 chargeback fees

By Natalie Clayton
13 August 2019 13:37 GMT

Unknown Worlds is taking on the grey-market storefront after losing hundreds of thousands in illegally-obtained copies.

G2A does stock the studio’s breakout underwater sandbox, Subnautica. But it’s not the developer’s breakout submarine sandbox that’s landed them in trouble.

Unknown Worlds claims someone purchased 1,341 Steam keys for hybrid RTS/FPS Natural Selection 2 via G2A using a stolen credit card. When the card’s owner found out, Unknown Worlds was handed a $30,000 bill.

As per G2A’s tenfold chargeback program, the store should now be paying Unknown Worlds a handsome $300,000 in compensation. Blimey.

G2A hasn’t yet made a public response. But – as with Factorio dev Wube Software – the store will probably stress needing an independent auditor on the scene to check the chargeback. Since discovering the breach, Unknown Worlds has had to temporarily close its own store, and deactivate keys hapless purchasers picked up from G2A.

Subnautica screenshot

Unknown Worlds is, naturally, none-too-happy about the situation. It doesn’t claim to have asked to have its games sold on G2A’s store and has suffered a hefty fine as a consequence of it being listed there. Founder Charlie Cleveland has joined No More Robots founder Mike Rose and others in calling for indie games to be taken off G2A.

“It’s terrible to put the impetus on developers to have to take action with G2A to get this proposal moving in the first place, while G2A profits off grey market sales and credit card fraud.”

Cleveland feels excuses that G2A’s proposed key blocker tool is “expensive to develop” are bogus. He also finds the store’s policy of naming developers who don’t wish to be listed on its platform is suspect. A call to rally store-loyal fans into harassing studios who don’t bend the knee.

“Mike Rose is right – it IS better for players to pirate than buy a key off G2A.”

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