Green Man Gaming is going to start telling you exactly what you’ll get for your money, after being called out on grey market business practices by the Game Deals subreddit.
Steam’s rivals are many. Whether it’s the ill-fated Desura, or prolific niche sites like GOG.com, there is no shortage of people looking to get in on the business of selling downloadable digital entertainment. Since 2010, one of Valve’s distribution platform’s most aggressive competitors has been Green Man Gaming.
The deals offered were amazing, often including deep discounts on newly launched titles. Unfortunately, things were just a bit too good to be true. The problem started with The Witcher 3, when the Game Deals subreddit found that keys being sold by GMG were not authorized by CDProjektRED. Because of this, customers who bought from the online retailer weren’t guaranteed to actually get a valid copy of the game.
These “grey market” keys are often obtained by smaller online retailers from not entirely respectable services in order to meet demand. Since many of the sources veer close to outright piracy, the keys are much cheaper — this allows for prices marked down significantly from the normal MSRP. For reference, check your e-mail’s spam folder. Those amazing bargains on Mexican Viagra may SEEM cost effective…
In response, Game Deals simply omitted The Witcher 3 from its list of scouted bargains. It kept Geen Man Gaming loyalists happy, without directing anyone to a potentially shady transaction. Problems continued to surface, however. The launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 met the same allegations, and further issues for the many customers who found that their code was completely unuseable or unlocked a different product than was advertised.
Two days ago, the Game Deals subreddit moderators released a statement. Activision, Ubisoft, and WB Games all responded that Green Man Gaming was not a supported retailer of their products. WB Games retracted this soon after, but the overall issue remained.
In a Facebook post titled “You Spoke, We Listened,” Green Man Gaming has bowed to the pressure. They will now inform customers as to the expected delivery of their software keys, as well as the source of the product. No word yet on whether they’re going to expand into off-market penis enlargement pills, but if they do you’ll at least get a picture of the guy who bottled them.