Update: G2A has since reaffirmed in a statement to GI.biz that it became a marketplace in December of 2013, and its official start was in 2014.
Speaking to Kotaku, Charlie Cleveland now says he can't blame G2A for the exact incident in 2013, though he maintains that his business is still negatively impaced by G2A's sales.
The original story follows:
Gray market key reseller G2A has tried to refute claims that it's responsible for money lost in the sale of illegally obtained keys for the game Natural Selection 2. But in doing so, the storefront seems to have contradicted its own history, leading to a puzzling chain of events.
Charlie Cleveland, founder of Subnautica developer Unknown Worlds, alleged that his team was owed $300,00 for the sale of Natural Selection 2 keys on G2A. This accusation came in the wake of G2A saying it would refund developers "ten times the money they lost" if the studio could prove its keys were sold on G2A. These keys, when obtained using methods like stolen credit card numbers, can incur significant chargebacks on the developer, while the reseller profits.
In a blog post to its own site titled "Developer demands $300K from G2A for something that happened before G2A even existed," the key reseller calls out Cleveland and says it couldn't have sold keys for Natural Selection 2, because G2A didn't exist in 2013 when the keys were reportedly stolen. "That's just slander, and we expect him to at least edit his posts, if not straight up apologize," G2A writes.
But as GIBiz found, G2A's own website contradicts this statement. A simple jump through the Wayback Machine shows a fully functional key reselling site going live somewhere between January and June 2013, which aligns with the theft of the keys. In a follow-up to GI.biz, G2A reaffirms that the G2A Marketplace (which facilitates the sale of keys between users) went live in January 2014, and that it treats the Wayback Machine "rather like a fun tool, not a credible source" and that it "doesn't change anything in absurdity of accusations."
GI.biz then found a reference within G2A's own support page saying it had launched in 2013. "The number of buyers and sellers has been rapidly growing ever since the launch of the webpage in 2013," the support page reads. "That year there were 20 sellers and 100.000 buyers."
We've reached out to G2A for clarification, but were not reached by time of publication. This all serves as a bizarre footnote on the continued frustration between developers whose keys are being stolen and sold, and G2A, which is trying to downplay its role in the cost it causes.