While pinning blame on People Can Fly
Gearbox has shown its ass again, approximately 24 hours since last showing its ass. Yesterday, we reported on Gearbox partnering up with G2A to publish a collector’s edition of the Bulletstorm remaster. G2A has a reputation that’s elevated just ever-so-slightly above that of a common thief. It’s notorious for buying and reselling keys, some of which were purchased fraudulently with stolen credit cards.
There was no trickery involved. G2A isn’t a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a wolf in wolf’s clothing that’s doing wolf things and everyone on the internet is complaining about all the wolf’s shitty practices. Regardless, Gearbox feigned ignorance until the community called it out. Now it’s doubling down on the innocence angle while throwing more people under the bus.
In a statement to Waypoint, Gearbox said that it’s nixing the partnership with G2A. Yesterday’s list of demanded changes came with a 24-hour deadline to respond and commit to them. That time frame has expired without G2A dedicating itself to changing its ways. Why would it? G2A makes far more money peddling graymarket keys than it would selling a few over-priced Bulletstorm statuettes.
Gearbox head of publishing Steve Gibson stated “As there has been no public movement from G2A by the time Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition launched now on PC, Gearbox Publishing will be doing their part to not directly support a marketplace that did not make the new public commitment to protecting customers and developers requested by Gearbox Publishing.” He added “We can confirm that today we have begun executing on our extraction process.”
However, Gearbox couldn’t leave it at that. Studio president Randy Pitchford took to Twitter to insinuate that Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly is responsible for the G2A partnership and that this didn’t start as a Gearbox Publishing initiative. Pitchford also claims that he didn’t know about the agreement until very recently.
So far, Gearbox’s involvement in this saga can be summed up by: It carelessly struck a deal without knowing the reputation of its partner (or knowing but not caring); it made a handful of toothless threats that it knew G2A would never adhere to; and it pinned the blame on its legitimate business partner by saying that People Can Fly is to blame for starting it all. The hole keeps getting deeper.
At this point, Gearbox’s best shot at saving face is just a simple four-word phrase: “Sorry, we fucked up.”