Announcing a partnership in video gaming is normally either good or neutral news. This kind of announcement can pass without so much as a single wave made or it could be a wonderful sign of things to come. So, when Borderlands developer Gearbox Software announced a partnership with digital game key retailer G2A, where they would sell exclusive collector's editions of Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition on the notorious website, I'm sure the phrase "what could go wrong?" was thrown around.
Apparently Gearbox is unaware of the controversial nature of the G2A brand.
The controversial online marketplace is known for selling new games on the cheap, but the veracity of those keys is no guarantee. Developers have complained that those keys don't come from them, and they receive no profit from the keys sold on G2A. Meanwhile, users have complained of receiving faulty keys that end up removed from their libraries with no admission of wrongdoing or any restitution from G2A. It's something of a rampant problem, and gamers don't forget.
You don't have to look very far to see the ire in reactions to Gearbox's announcement. It's only a matter of which medium you prefer. Are you a NeoGAF guy? We got anger for you. More of a Reddit fellow? We got you covered. How about Twitter? Here you are.
And the response is universally in the same vein. "Has Gearbox lost their goddamn minds, or did they just not do 5 minutes of research?" one Reddit user writes. "Oh GB, still making big marketing mistakes," a NeoGAF user writes. It's not good.
Perhaps most notably, popular YouTuber John "TotalBiscuit" Bain announced on Twitter that he is pulling all coverage plans for Gearbox games following the partnership with G2A, Tweeting "No support for crooks."
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, as I don't think we've heard the last of this controversy.