Both CDKeys and G2A are game key companies, but I’ve heard CDKeys is a more legitimate website but is this correct? I decided to research the internet and find out which ones your best option.
CDKeys is rated 4.5/5 on Trustpilot with over 50,000 reviews, it is a grey market seller that knows where keys come from. G2A is a marketplace that allows anyone to set up an account and sell which makes scams far more likely as G2A does not know where the keys from and if they are legitimate.
I will explain what a grey market is, and the differences between the two companies, and how CDKeys almost never has fraud problems whilst G2A had a lot.
Think you have what it takes to be a professional gamer? Learn the real truth from an amateur in my article.
Why CDKeys Is Better Than G2A
Whilst neither companies are official publishers such as Steam G2A is very shady as it is a marketplace where anyone can submit keys, so how do you know if the key your buying was not bought with a stolen credit card?
Credit card fraud in gaming happens a lot and in 2015 Ubisoft famously deactivated thousands of keys after finding keys were purchased with stolen credit cards sold on marketplaces like G2A! To see more information on how fraudsters steal $1000s from game publishers check this post.
What makes CDKeys different is they do not allow users to sell keys, they get all the keys themselves!
CDKeys management team has over thirty years of combined experience in gaming, this gives them a massive network of suppliers and contracts to source keys. They buy globally to get the cheapest price possible and pass the saving onto the consumer.
To put it simply CDKeys will buy a game from a company where the currency is weaker and the price lower, and sell that game for a cheaper price. This practice is common and makes CDKeys a grey market.
It’s similar to exploiting the Nintendo E-shop to get the cheapest game possible, to see my guide on how to do this check my post here.
CDKeys have detailed terms and conditions that protect both you and CDKeys from fraud, so if stolen keys appeared on CDKeys they would be directly liable, whilst G2A can just say they are not responsible for where sellers get their keys.
I don’t know about you but I know what sounds more legitimate to me!
To see more information on the legitimacy of CDKeys and more information on how they source the keys see my post.
This does not mean CDKeys cannot be shady but you are taking less of a chance with them than G2A, CDKeys also does not have additional hidden charges like G2A has with G2A Shield which arguably is G2A most dodgy service.
What Is G2A Shield?
G2A Shield is an enhanced customer support one-time up-sell and subscription service that promises 24/7 online hat with G2A staff marketed as a one-contact solution, also it promises free transfers of G2A digital currency, cashback bonuses, priority delivery of preorders and price match guarantee.
Sounds like a win-win right? But it gets more sinister as whenever you make a purchase on G2A the G2A Shield option is always ticked and a one-time purchase per transaction of €3 while membership will cost you €1 per month.
The issue is why do you need to buy for customer protection in the first place? Shouldn’t G2A guarantee buyer protection for purchases made on its website anyway? This is what companies like Amazon, eBay, and even CDKeys do for free!
Just look at G2A at the time CEO Bartosz Skwarcze response during Polygons interview with him in 2016 when asked the following question
““So if I do not buy G2A Shield,” I asked again, “and the game code I’ve purchased on your marketplace does not work, will G2A give me my money back?”
“Why would or should G2A give you your money back?” he asked. “I’m saying it always depends on the case. Sometimes a customer buys a product and just uses it, and after that comes back to the marketplace saying, guys, the product isn’t working. And the truth is the product was working perfectly, but the customer doesn’t want to play it anymore.”Bartosz Skwarczek
So you pay for a ‘premium’ service that gives you no more or less of a guarantee as a buyer if your buying a product that does not work, it just makes the whole resolution process easier? I’m not buying it.
In contrast to CDKeys glowing reddit reviews full of numerous examples of excellent customer service see what a reddit user said about the premium service, and he’s not the only one.
Yesterday I buy a game, and its a GetYourGame.net kind of key (first for me). I go in, do everything as instructed, and whaddayaknow the process fails and I end up contacting G2A support.
1 Day Later i get a response, and after a tug here and a tug there (and an hour lost) the support team tells me to just contact the seller. And now according to the form I’m waiting for 3-4 days for the seller to reply???? How’s this any different than if I didn’t have Shield on? What do you mean One-Contact resolution?Reddit user uwotmeight8
To the late gaming YouTube John “TotalBiscuit” Bain he believed G2A shield existence is enough to cast doubt over the integrity of the entire company, in an interview with Polygon he said the following
“I think on a very basic level, G2A Shield is pretty much an admission of guilt,” “To require such a program and even to charge for it on a site, a marketplace that sells keys, is an admission that there is obviously a serious enough risk — of acquiring a key that may be deactivated because it was fraudulently put on the marketplace in the first place — that they need to have this program.”John “TotalBiscuit” Bain
CDKeys doesn’t have this problem as youR purchasing their keys the consumer protection is on them, but it gets even worse for G2A if you can believe that!
Why G2A Keeps Charging You
You have accidentally subscribed to G2A Shield, a subscription service, to unsubscribe you need an email verification code, a credit number verification code, and a time-sensitive unsubscribe link or if you used Paypal, cancel your pending payments.
You ever had a subscription service that was a pain to turn off? Imagine that but on steroids and you get G2A Shield.
If you sign up for G2A Shield by accident which is VERY common to do as whenever you purchase a product the shield option is checked by default. To unsubscribe G2A terms and conditions say you must wait until the two days of the billing period to do so, but when is that?
To unsubscribe you need not only an email verification code, but a credit card number verification code with a 20 minute waiting period whilst the final email contains a time-sensitive unsubscribe link that is timed at around 5 minutes!
These types of tactics are called “dark patterns” a term coined by user experience expert Harry Brignull, the problem is since it isn’t too much money around a couple of dollars it isn’t worth people’s time to keep track and unsubscribe this is how G2A get you.
This would not work for me because my powers of stinginess go past time and space!
More recently in 2020 G2A paid the Czech gaming company Factorio $39,600 over illegally obtained game keys so their shadyness just keeps on coming.
There is not a comparison between who is worse CDKeys or G2A whilst CDKeys might not be perfect and have some stolen keys it is like an alien compared to G2A.