G2A: Großes Interview
Vor einiger Zeit hatten wir die Möglichkeit ein ausführliches Interview mit G2A zu führen.
Von Christoph Miklos am 12.10.2023 - 04:05 Uhr





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Interview (Englisch)

Vor einiger Zeit hatten wir die Möglichkeit ein ausführliches Interview mit G2A zu führen. Aus Aktualitätsgründen wurde es auf Englisch geführt.

• Pre-question: Brief introduction of the interviewee.

Maarten Munsterman – born in 1985 in the Netherlands, I’m a qualified professional with extensive experience in tax advisory and compliance. I held multiple positions of tax consultant specializing in international tax, inter alia at AKD N.V. I have officially joined the G2A team in 2022, however, I’ve been cooperating with G2A.COM for more than 6 years already as an external advisor while working for AKD N.V. I’m also a G2A.COM representative working closely with Dutch Games Association, which represents the Dutch games industry and supports it in achieving its full economic, creative, and social potential.

• Question: G2A is a platform for the distribution of license keys for video games. What exactly is driving the concept?

G2A.COM started out in 2010 as a retail store, dealing with digital and physical copies of video games. After several years, we decided that this business model doesn’t fit our vision and decided to transform into a digital marketplace, where buyers and sellers will meet to conduct transactions. This happened in 2014, when the G2A.COM Marketplace was born. Right now, we are in the midst of another big transformation; not only offering games and gaming-related items, but also non-gaming categories, like VOD and music subscriptions, ebooks, audiobooks, elearning courses, software and more. Our main goal is to open the Gate 2 Adventure for digital entertainment and democratize access to it for everyone in the world, no mater your age, gender, orientation, culture, background or wealth. We want to achieve that by offering not only all sorts of digital items, but also guiding and educating our audience on how to safely and securely move through the digital world.

• Question: In the past, there were always problems with "key shops" that sold illegally acquired keys. How do you protect your customers and partners from such "problems"?

The answer to your question is actually connected to the second transformation. which I mentioned previously – together with the change into the all-digital marketplace, we implemented a rule based on which only verified and registered businesses can sell on the G2A.COM Marketplace. Consequently, in order to be able to start selling, you have to have a registered business that deals in ecommerce, and you have to pass a very strict, 100-factor verification process, where we check all aspects of your business – certificate of incorporation, ID, all relevant business documents – and if even one of them is not up to standard, the application is denied. Additionally, we are also checking what the seller is offering for sale both before and after the transaction takes place, and if there are any issues, we make sure the seller either resolves them, or faces consequences.
As for the “problems” you mention, it’s worth bearing in mind that there is no marketplace in the world that wouldn’t have to deal with the issues of customer protection, and the bigger the market, the more angles of attacks and protection methods appear. Just like Amazon or eBay, we too had to deal with similar stories, though if you look at the raw data, they were actually far less common than it’s sometimes expressed – over 99.9% of our customers experienced no issues whatsoever, and of this 0.1% the issues were quickly resolved with the sellers. The reason we believe these untrue stories arose in the first place was that people were trying to come up with the explanation of why we can offer so low prices. The answer is actually very common in every type of commerce, not just ecommerce: the items, in our case activation keys, are being sold by distributors and publishers to wholesalers and retailers in bulk at a discount, and wholesale discounts almost always exceed the best offers you can find in retail. Then those wholesalers and retailers offer the stock bought that way in many places – their own stores, further down the sales chain, or on marketplaces like G2A.COM. Thanks to the discounts they got buying in bulk, they can offer very competitive prices.

• Question: Traditional retail sales of video games are shrinking. How do you see the future of video game sales/distribution? Purely digital? Or maybe even no coexistence between the two types of distribution?

Recent studies of the industry show that in terms of gaming, traditional offline channels are constantly losing to digital and ecommerce options – back in 2010, the global gaming market was mostly focused on physical with only about 30% of all games being sold digitally, now in 2022 the trend shifted dramatically, with over 90% games sold being digital and only 10% physical. This means that the audience has decided which form works better for them, and this is where the future will lead. This can also be seen in the growth trends of the industries – the gaming industry, which has been strongly connected with the digital world, is now bigger than music, TV and movies combined (in 2022, it was worth nearly $190 billion). The latter are also trying to get into the digital bandwagon, offering more and more VOD and livestreaming solutions. The same goes to influencers – right now the biggest influencers in the world are the ones with the biggest online audience and social media following, and the influencer industry (called that exactly because it’s that big) thrives on digital presence and social media.
This also applies to G2A.COM – in the past, we tried our strength with physical categories, but it turned out that our audience was not really interested in this, which is why we decided to focus all our efforts on the category that our audience is actually interested in: all-digital marketplace.

• Question: How do you deal with the issue of gender diversity in your company? What problems do you encounter in everyday life?

At G2A.COM we have been focusing on the issue of gender diversity from the very beginning and now we can openly say that we succeeded by having staff that is based on competences and is diverse, and by industry standard, we have done it in record time. Right now, our G2Anians are almost 40% female and we aim to make it 50% within 5 years. This get even better when we look at the International Board – there, exactly 50% of our members are female, and all of them are there precisely due to their extraordinary expertise and skill in their respective areas. We have also been very conscious about the issue of gender pay gap and have paid close attention to ensuring that our male and female employees are paid equally.
Currently, we are actively participating in educational efforts, both for our "G2Anians" - through internal workshops and trainings like Google's "I am remarkable" program - and for the gaming and e-commerce community through the Diversity campaign we conducted earlier this year, which gathered a hugely positive reception – in the core markets, it was aimed at (USA and Spain) it gathered over 200 million impressions, and over a third of the people watching the main, longest spot (over 4 minutes long) watched it in its entirety. All over the world, the campaign gathered interest and resulted in nearly 40 media publications with almost 80 million in reach. Although this edition of the campaign was time-limited, we are planning to continue it with new editions, as we can see the need in the gaming and digital world for education in this area – right now, women make up over 45% of all gamers, but only 30% of game developers, with this percentage growing with seniority. This is a gap we cannot ignore and want to address. Our educational efforts will continue by featuring our female experts in interviews and articles, preparing individual smaller campaigns, and promoting games developed by women.
Christoph Miklos ist nicht nur der „Papa“ von Game-/Hardwarezoom, sondern seit 1998 Technik- und Spiele-Journalist. In seiner Freizeit liest er DC-Comics (BATMAN <3), spielt leidenschaftlich gerne World of Warcraft und schaut gerne alte Star Trek Serien.

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