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G2A is often the centre of debate in the games industry. On the one hand, a marketplace where players can resell their unwanted games is not inherently controversial -- yet controversy dogs the company's every step.
Animosity towards G2A has been building among publishers and developers for years, most recently resulting in a petition to stop the site from selling any indie games.
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Each time the company responded -- whether offering to repay ten times the amount developers lost on chargebacks or proposing to build a keyblocking tool -- has been met with everything from apathy to derision and angry tweets of, 'You're missing the point.'
Allegations that G2A allows the sale of stolen game keys, or keys that have been purchased with a stolen credit card, or Steam Gift links that don't actually work, have seen the site widely dubbed a 'grey marketplace.' The company has previously insisted detractors simply don't understand its business model, and continues to assure how seriously it takes these accusations -- yet confusion around it remains.
'We really want to talk,' says head of communications Maciej Kuc. 'We're willing to explain everything because we know we've made a tremendous number of mistakes in the past and of course we admit that. But we've changed in a big way. Right now, we have some of the best practices in the industry -- we can easily compare to eBay.
'Lots of people say we don't verify sellers. Where do they get this information from? Come to our website, become a seller, try to sell something. A few years ago, it was possible to sell something without providing personal data before cashing out. But right now on our marketplace, if you want to become a seller, the procedure is so strict we can assure you we're perfectly aware of who our sellers are.'
This at least is true. GamesIndustry.biz went through the process and were asked for a business registration number, tax number, date of incorporation, plus verification for the identity of each person who would be selling through G2A via their driving licence, passport or ID card. We also had to upload images of a certificate of incorporation or business registration, a document confirming our identity, another confirming our address, and (optionally) a certificate of VAT -- plus a bank statement and SWIFT or BIC code. Even if registering as a sole trader.
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Herein lies one of Kuc's key points: this is far too much effort for your average user. Over 90% of sales on G2A are made by large businesses, with one having sold 4.7 million products since the site started. Total sales for the past five years are now at 37 million, with the number of sellers at around 400,000.
'There's no place in a business like that for any kind of shadiness or fraud because this wouldn't work,' he adds.
Even if someone successfully makes it through this process, Kuc emphasises that G2A cannot prove where a product sold on its platform comes from, but is confident the vast majority are codes won in giveaways or bulk sales to distributors and resellers (more on that in a moment).
'We know we've made a tremendous number of mistakes in the past and of course we admit that. But we've changed in a big way'
Despite the anger from the indie community, Kuc reminds us that G2A's top-selling games for the past five years have been Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League and Grand Theft Auto V respectively, with an abundance of other AAA games often dominating the site. Keys for these titles are sold by the thousands, which raises the question most commonly leveled at G2A: where are those keys coming from?
G2A's own screenshot of sellers offering keys for the No More Robots-published indie racer Descenders -- intended to show how little impact these sales had on the game's performance -- revealed that some users were selling more than 100 keys at a time. The publisher's founder Mike Rose questioned why this wasn't an immediate red flag, but Kuc tells us sellers shifting large numbers of keys is actually commonplace on G2A. On the site's page for GTA V, he shows us sellers who have sold between 7,000 to 73,000 keys in the last twelve months (not all for Rockstar's title, mind you).
'Putting hundreds or thousands of keys on sale for one game is something most sellers are doing every day,' Kuc explains. 'So there's no flag there -- a bigger flag would be if someone sold only one key.'
Fine, selling keys in large quantities is -- in G2A's eyes -- not enough to raise suspicion, but it's still not clear where those keys are coming from.
'I don't know,' says Kuc. 'You can go onto the site, you can ask them straight away.'
So we did. GamesIndustry.biz reached out to three sellers: Gamingimperium (who has sold 64,532 keys in the past year), World_of_Games (43,015) and Keysell2431 (24,466). All three replied, although the oddities of G2A's messaging system means we're unable to know who each response belongs to (messages are accessed with a verification code issued via email, and the user you are speaking to becomes anonymous).
One said it can vary from seller to seller but assures that its own keys 'originate from wholesalers / distributors / resellers worldwide.' Another refused to provide any information. The third simply said 'Steam.' All three closed the conversations, preventing us from following up.
Kuc insists key theft is 'purely impossible', adding: 'Just out of plain common sense, do you really think you could illegally obtain 100,000 keys? How? In what way?'
He continues: 'Who can generate keys? Only publishers and developers. In the vast majority of cases, the keys come either directly from them or from distributors. Some people wonder why developers would sell keys to distributors when they could sell on Steam. But if you're a company and you need to meet your KPIs, having the possibility to sell 100,000 keys straightaway to one distributor for a discounted price... absolutely [makes sense]. Yes, if you sell on Steam, you can sell for €30 but if you sell in bulk at €10, you have €1 million instantly. It's far better to invest that in making new games -- especially if it's a long time after release.'
Since it's more common for people to sell keys in bulk through G2A, why was the opposite not flagged, i.e. the number of people selling just one or two copies of Descenders? Kuc says that while it's less common, it's still possible for users to sell a single key but emphasises they still have to go through that rigorous checking procedure.
'Games can be cheaper. That's exactly what we do. But we're not saying that games are not worth your money'
'It can happen - people buying bundles and selling single games, people winning keys in competitions or giveaways,' he says. 'We are totally fine with that... However, we treat them in the same way as we treat businesses that are going to sell large quantities.
'What's also worth remembering is that the vast majority of games sold on G2A are AAA titles, and these are almost always acquired in wholesale. With the smaller titles the number of keys available isn't big. If a developer doesn't sell keys in wholesale, there are only few available on our marketplace, and they usually come from bundles and giveaways.'
During the Descenders dispute, Mike Rose also claimed that many of the games sold on aren't actually Steam keys -- they're 'dodgy Steam links' further muddying the process. When asked about this possibility, Kuc said he didn't believe this was the problem as it's 'probably more complicated for people to use them.'
'There are only a few sellers who use Steam Gifts on our marketplace, and they are rated Excellent sellers -- if they are Excellent Sellers, the number of negative comments needs to be really, really low.'
Kuc also reiterates that customer satisfaction on G2A is at 99%. In other words, if no one has complained, it's not an issue. We followed up with Kuc for further clarification on the sale of Steam Gift links, but again were told to ask the sellers.
Finally, a major point of contention around G2A is the fact that games are sold well below the retail price. The company openly says it thinks games can be cheaper -- a sentiment Kuc believes developers and publishers might misunderstand.
'If you're 30-something and you have a stable job, you can afford to pay standard retail price and not care about discounts, sales and so on -- G2A is not built for that person. G2A is for someone who is actually struggling with money, who has a choice of whether they buy the game on the marketplace or they pirate the game instead.
'For some people, it's either G2A or piracy. So over the last five years, we have done a lot of good for the industry'
'This is something we really try to encourage -- please buy legitimate products. [Ours are] legitimate products you can have, but far cheaper than the usual price. We know that for some people it's either G2A or piracy. So over the last five years, I think we have done a lot of good for the industry because we actually introduced the idea that games can be cheaper.'
Rose, however, argued during the Descenders incident that the site is actually damaging the perception of value. Why would consumers buy from Steam if they can get everything for less at G2A? Kuc counters this by pointing out that most indie publishers offer a discount around launch -- while No More Robots limits this to 10%, some offer bigger price cuts.
'And yet it's G2A's fault that the perception of value is...? Come on. You have full control [over the price], you can generate as many keys as you want, you can sell the game on Steam for a price you set. But it's G2A's fault the perception of value is worse?
'Our goal -- and we're not hiding it -- is we want to raise awareness among people that games can be cheaper. That's exactly what we do. But we're not saying that games are not worth your money. If you're discounting your game the first day... People who missed that, what do they do? Do they pay more, or do they wait for discount?'
Kuc reiterates that G2A wants to address any issues developers or publishers have with its business, but it's hard to do that when responses to its solutions are limited. Only one company has so far taken up the offer of ten times chargebacks, and only 19 studios registered interest in the key-blocking tool.
He concludes: 'Everything bad in the industry [seems to be] G2A's fault. Everything someone doesn't like is our fault. What is G2A going to do to solve this issue? We're getting questions all the time -- imagine eBay being asked about how to stop crime in certain areas because we know there are bikes being stolen there and these bikes are ending up on your platform. What could eBay do? It's a platform with security of its own. It's down to the police and the people who own those bikes to prevent that from happening.
'Our position is a bit better, because we can easily help our partners, distributors and developers because the keys are unique and we can check very easily a certain key that has been obtained in a shady way appears on our marketplace. All it takes is to contact us'
The Best Satisfactory Mods
So you want to try mods in Satisfactory but don't know where to start, well I've played with a few and though it's still early days, there are already a lot of great mods to choose from, according to your play-style I hope to help you pick the right one.
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Firstly I need to point out that I have not demo'd every mod that's currently available and I can only speak from my own personal experience, that being said over the last few months I have tried out a couple of dozen mods. Some mods stand out to me as a content creator, and others add to the playability of the game, whilst some are geared towards being decorational or Quality of Life. These four groups are the ones that I will focus on in this article and do note that I intend to return to this guide throughout the life of the game.
Also do note that if I've missed out a mod a particular mod, that doesn't mean it's a bad mod, these are just my personal favourites.
If you're dying to start using mods in Satisfactory but don't know how, why not check my guide on installing the SMM.
Mods for Playability
When I say playability, I mean that the following mods can add more things to play around with whether that's new items, buildings or manufacturing lines, or some that can vastly change the way you play.
Refined Power is one of the most in-depth mods I've had the chance to use so far in Satisfactory and is the most downloaded Satisfactory Mod to date. The team started out with adding green power solutions and automated biomass burners, but things quickly grew to include particle energy sources like the arc reactor adding new products to play around with including, carbon dust, photovoltaic cells for solar power, refined E65 and coolant adding more depth to the mod. That being said the team is constantly working on their mods and have recently released a modular power option, allowing you to build a totally custom power plant that's easily upgradable.
If that appeals to you, why not check out my recent review.
Similarly to the above, the Farming Mod is from the same developers and was one of the early mods in-game adding the ability to farm items and automating doggo item collection. The mod itself resolves a few quality of life issues as well as adding farming and baking to the game along with some new items as well. I should mention that the team is currently working on overhauling this mod, but it's worth checking out nonetheless.
I am a huge believer that Logic gates and signalling will vastly improve the playability of this game, unfortunately, this isn't currently available in vanilla, however, Panakotta has done some amazing work on Ficsit networks. If you know Lua coding or have the patience to learn it, this will give you a huge amount of customizability in-game. If adding logic gates wasn't enough, Panakotta is also taking a lot of time to develop the mod further, he recently adding multiplayer support and he is working on a visual coding functionality for people who struggle with coding like myself. I can't wait to get my hands on the next update!
PUREX Reprocessing (beta)
Though I can't personally speak for Purex Reprocessing as I haven't yet tried it out, a lot of people have encouraged me to give it a go. The Purex mod is closely inspired by PUREX reprocessing (Plutonium Uranium Reduction Extraction) To allow for waste-free nuclear power. The mod itself adds more production lines to the game whilst making use of late-game assets. By the sounds of it, it's worth checking out.
Mods for Decoration
The following mods are perfect if you want to add more decoration to your factory, I'll admit there are many more to choose from, but here are a selection of mods that I frequently use, to add a little zest to my playthroughs.
At the top of any decorations mod list for Satisfactory, you'll no doubt find Moar Factory. This mod adds a huge selection of objects to play around with, from extra foundation pieces, walls and doors to unique factory objects such as cranes and chimneys - You'll even find a Volkswagen! There is one downside to this mod however, there is a bug which occurs when you point the colour gun at a Moar Factory door which crashes the game. It's a minor bug which if you're aware of it, can be avoided, but certainly worth noting.
The Decoration Mod is fantastic if you want to add some nature back into your factories. The mod takes in-game assets such as trees, rocks and plants and makes them placeable in-game. I highly recommend partnering this with the Micro Manage Mod below.
Though this mod doesn't add new assets to work with, the Micro Manage Mod is certainly a necessity, it is still being developed with regular updates but allows you to select a given item, and then adjust its placement, allowing you to make the most minute of positional changes or even change the size and orientation of a given asset. Well worth a download.
Light It Up
Everyone wants light in-game and rightly so, the devs are working on solutions to this problem but if you can't wait for a vanilla solution then definitely check out the Light It Up Mod. This mod gives you a selection of lights to play around with that can use fuel sources or power to brighten up the darkest of factories. Although lights are intensive on the game so I would recommend going overboard with the lights.
Quality Of Life
Quality of life mods don't necessarily add more playability to the game, (although they often do) but instead, tend to improve the quality of the vanilla experience. If you want to lightly mod the game then I recommend checking the following.
& Hopper Mod
The Dispenser and Hopper Mod are well worth checking out, they add a dispenser and hopper in-game, allowing us to drop off or collect a group of items in one click rather than sifting through our containers. This certainly helps with organisation and makes searching for items much easier. Well worth checking out.
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Fluid Extra boasts a selection of new pipe junctions to use as well as a fluid packaging plant. The building looks great and has some incredible detail on the animations making it feel like part of the game. What makes this so beneficial is that it hugely reduces the space and power requirements to set up a packaging plant, by removing the need for refineries. If you're looking at hauling packaged fluids around your factory, look into this.
I'm a big fan of Utility Signs, you can see me using this in my 5x5 Challenge. The developers have mentioned that they are planning on implementing signs, but until then, any sign mod will do, but my go-to is Utility Signs, clean and simple. What more could you want?
I am surprised at how much people dislike the combat system in-game, I am inclined to agree that it's not necessary and definitely feel it needs to be fleshed out more before it feels like part of the game. I am also fully aware that a lot of people are terrified of the spiders (myself included) and some just want them out of the game. In that case, check out passive mode, it gets rid of all hostile creatures and also the toxic clouds from plants and rocks. If you want to play in peace. You need this.
This is one of the newest mods available and took me completely by surprise. The Efficiency Checker Mod allows you to instantly check the throughput and capacity of your conveyor bus or pipe to tell you if you're running the factory line efficiently, it's surprisingly useful and the developer has plans for adding more to this mod. If you want to ensure you're running a factory efficiently, then you'll want to pick this up.
Mods For Content Creators
These mods are particularly aimed at Content Creators to help them produce factories quickly or provide extra tools that can really give your photos or videos the edge. Yes non-content creators will find these tools useful as well, but they can be quite 'cheaty' so I would recommend them if you're doing a normal playthrough.
PAK Utility Mod
Pak Utility is probably my number one mod for when it comes to producing videos. The mod firstly gives me the ability to fly and change speed accordingly (although an extra slow flight speed would be a great addition!) That's not all, it adds a creative style mode, allows you to unlock all technologies in-game and can gift you resource as per your requirement. If you're making guides, grab this.
Okay, so I don't use Area Actions because I'm a simple soul who doesn't understand how to use it. That being said you can find some great guides to it online as well as on here (coming soon) With this mod you can bulk place structures, fly and micro manage structure placement. It's a bit like if PAK Utility and Micro Manage had a baby together. If you're interested in using this definitely check out Samueras and BrainDG's videos and livestreams.
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So I haven't covered this mod in a video, maybe I should... It's one of the few mods like Pak Utility, that are permanently saved on my game. With this mod I can place down green screen walls and foundations allowing me to focus on a single given item in-game. Great for youtube thumbnails.
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Our last mod covered is Permaday, this can help make videos with day time lapses, but more often than not, I use this mod for changing the time of day to give the videos a given feel to them.
Whether you're taking a photo and want the best light, or need a clip with the sunset in the background, this is well worth checking out.
So there you are guys, my personal favourite Mods currently available in Satisfactory that I've had the opportunity to try out! I'm well aware there are many other great mods out there, the chances are I just haven't had a free moment to try them out yet! Subsequently, we'll do an update to the best mods every now and then!
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