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G2A Attempts To Address Sales Controversy, Makes Even Bigger Mess

The PR crisis for online games store G2A.com just went from bad to worse. Last week the company came under fire from indie developers and publishers — most notably publisher No More Robots — who petitioned G2A to stop selling indie game keys in its marketplace. Now it seems a rogue employee has put the company in an even worse spot.

According to PC Gamer, a lone employee at G2A emailed the website Indie Games Plus with an offer: publish a puff piece talking up G2A, and also, don't let anyone know who sponsored the post. Indie Games Plus writer Thomas Faust, to his credit, laughed off the attempt and immediately posted the email to Twitter. Here are the highlights.

"At the moment, we are trying to improve our brand awareness and public image," the email states, "especially among the indie and smaller game developers. Unfortunately, the majority of the public does not understand either our business model or how we try to make sure our customers can safely purchase digital products.

"We have written an unbiased article about how 'Selling stolen keys on gaming marketplaces is pretty much impossible' and we want to publish it on Your website," the email continues, "without being marked as sponsored or marked as associated with G2A. It is a transparent and just review of the problem of stolen keys reselling."

Never mind the fact that this is about as non-transparent as a company can be; sponsored posts that aren't marked as such aren't allowed in some locales (including the United States), and most writers are aware that publishing one would instantly flush their credibility down the tubes.

G2A issued the following statement in response: "These e-mails were sent by our employee without authorization, for which we apologise to @SomeIndieGames and the 9 other media outlets he sent this proposal to. He will face strict consequences, as this is absolutely unacceptable."

There were nine other websites that got the same email? Someone at G2A.com is in very big trouble.

We'll keep an eye on this one and let you know if anything else develops.