GameStop Sued Over "Deceptive" Used Game Sales

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GameStop Sued Over "Deceptive" Used Game Sales

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GameStop has been sued over its "deceptively misleading" pre-owned game sales after a customer bought a used copy of Dragon Age: Origins and then discovered he'd have to pay extra to get the downloadable content advertised on the box.

In January, James Collins purchased a pre-owned copy of BioWare's hit RPG Dragon Age: Origins from a GameStop in Hayward, California, paying $54.99 rather than the $59.99 cost of a new copy. "Weeks later," however, he discovered that the DLC advertised on the package would actually cost him another $15, putting the price of his used game $10 higher than the cost of a new one. When he attempted to return the game, he was told that he'd gone beyond the store's seven-day return policy and was therefore out of luck.

But rather than just learning his lesson and getting on with life, Collins did what everyone does these days: He sued. "GameStop fraudulently, unfairly, unlawfully, and deceptively misleads consumers at the time of their purchase to believe that the game comes with free downloadable content, when in fact, it does not," Collins claimed in his lawsuit. "Despite the representation on the packaging that the game comes with a free use code, unbeknownst to consumers who purchase a used copy of one of these games, upon attempting to download the content identified on the game's packaging, consumers are unable to do so unless they pay an additional fee. This occurs because the use codes have already been used by the individual who purchased the game as new."

"GameStop, who makes more than 20% of its revenue and nearly $2 billion from the sale of used video games, is aware of this issue, and continues to fail to alert customers that this content is not available on used games," it adds.

I checked out my own copy of Dragon Age: Origins and it does specify, on the back, that it includes Shale, The Stone Prisoner and Blood Dragon Armor as DLC, but each is marked with an asterisk; reading further, the asterisk is revealed to mean, "One time use code available with full retail purchase. Expires April 30, 2010." It seems clear enough, but then again, who's got time to read and comprehend when there's five bucks on the line?

It's an interesting and, I would imagine, entirely unforeseen consequence of EA's "Project Ten Dollar," the company's creative, hopefully successful attempt at combating used game sales by offering bonus content to people who buy new. But who is actually responsible for making consumers aware of the program and others like it: GameStop or the publishers who provide and, ultimately, limit the content?

Collins is seeking restitution, punitive and compensatory damages, legal fees and other monetary awards. A full copy of his lawsuit is available here. (PDF format)

Source: IGN

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It wasn't unforseen. That is why they put in the *. Shouldn't the lawsuit be directed at EA though? It wasn't GS who packaged it. The end result would be the same sure but he might have a chance at some free swag. If EA wasn't bitter about him buying used.

It is stupidity like this that gives "gamers" a bad name.

Andy Chalk:

I checked out my own copy of Dragon Age: Origins and it does specify, on the back, that it includes Shale, The Stone Prisoner and Blood Dragon Armor as DLC, but each is marked with an asterisk; reading further, the asterisk is revealed to mean, "One time use code available with full retail purchase. Expires April 30, 2010." It seems clear enough, but then again, who's got time to read and comprehend when there's five bucks on the line?

God Damn how can people be so retarded to not read the god damn games they buy but go to the trouble of taking on a massive retailer-chain?

Edit:Can Gamestop even be sued for what they did?I mean sure it's deceitful as hell, but who the heck buys a used game for $5 less then a new one?

How has this dude not heard of Project 10 dollar? It's been all over the net.

slowpoke999:

Andy Chalk:

I checked out my own copy of Dragon Age: Origins and it does specify, on the back, that it includes Shale, The Stone Prisoner and Blood Dragon Armor as DLC, but each is marked with an asterisk; reading further, the asterisk is revealed to mean, "One time use code available with full retail purchase. Expires April 30, 2010." It seems clear enough, but then again, who's got time to read and comprehend when there's five bucks on the line?

God Damn how can people be so retarded to not read the god damn games they buy but go to the trouble of taking on a massive retailer-chain?

Edit:Can Gamestop even be sued for what they did?I mean sure it's deceitful as hell, but who the heck buys a used game for $5 less then a new one?

I did it once. I had an Edge card to take off 10% of a used game, and a coupon to do the same again.

Surely there's no case here?It says on the packaging that the free DLC is only for new purchases so how can this possibly be Gamestop's fault?Cheapskate should have just forked out the extra $5 and bought it new

squid5580:
It wasn't unforseen. That is why they put in the *.

Indeed, at least one developer has equated used games sales to piracy when viewed from the standpoint of revenue* going to the developer (and other costs like support requests from those same non-paying customers). So, outside of the piracy reasons, Project 10 dollar was likely squarely targeted at reducing/profiting from used game sales as well.

* New game money going back to the developer who made it, paying for their last several years of work or so: anywhere from $5-$20 of the $60 box if I recall correctly.

* Money from a recently released used game (i.e. games that are sold practically "as-new", and usually to the same target market that would buy the new game due to a minimal savings) sold at $55 that goes to the people who made it: $0

I can't fault Gamestop for making the most money with the least effort, as that's what companies are for, but they still have to play fair with their paying customers. And it's up to the people who do care about such things to make sure the people who deserve it get paid for their work. And it's up to us to make sure those people are informed about what's really going on as best as we're able. ;)

Both parties are idiots. Gamestop is a stupid company. However, the guy is also stupid.

I can't decide!

I hate gamestop because they screwed me out of a lot of things. They keep forgetting to give me my code when I pre-order from them. They didn't so this just once. They have done it several times to me.

I also think it is bullshit that gamespot buys games from you saying "Oh we will give you $5 for it" only to turn around and sell it for $40 more.

However, I believe this kid is just plain stupid to be honest. It's what we call "not reading." There is a difference between gamestop screwing me over and myself being stupid causing me to be screwed over.

Although I hate gamestop, they are actually in the right on this one.

there's a creepiness to the editorial tone of this article that i'm not very comfortable with.

Andy Chalk:
It's an interesting and, I would imagine, entirely unforeseen consequence of EA's "Project Ten Dollar", the company's creative, hopefully successful attempt at combating used game sales by offering bonus content to people who buy new.

why exactly would we, the consumer, be hopeful that this attempt be successful?

why are used game sales a bad thing?

Stupid people are stupid, and stupid people are also ridiculously greedy.

slowpoke999:

Andy Chalk:

I checked out my own copy of Dragon Age: Origins and it does specify, on the back, that it includes Shale, The Stone Prisoner and Blood Dragon Armor as DLC, but each is marked with an asterisk; reading further, the asterisk is revealed to mean, "One time use code available with full retail purchase. Expires April 30, 2010." It seems clear enough, but then again, who's got time to read and comprehend when there's five bucks on the line?

God Damn how can people be so retarded to not read the god damn games they buy but go to the trouble of taking on a massive retailer-chain?

Edit:Can Gamestop even be sued for what they did?I mean sure it's deceitful as hell, but who the heck buys a used game for $5 less then a new one?

How is what GS does deceitful? Unless of course the employee specifically said "ya you get the DLC" I don't see how they are to blame.

It's pretty sad that he's suing over such little money.

squid5580:
It is stupidity like this that gives "gamers" a bad name.

I'm almost both ashamed and offended that I share a similiar name to this guy, Colin being my first name and James my middle name.

Buy a used game in order to save 5 bucks? Seriously? You've gotta be kidding me.

In order for me to even consider to buy used, the saving amount should be at least 20% of the full price, otherwise it's just not worth it.

slowpoke999:

Andy Chalk:

I checked out my own copy of Dragon Age: Origins and it does specify, on the back, that it includes Shale, The Stone Prisoner and Blood Dragon Armor as DLC, but each is marked with an asterisk; reading further, the asterisk is revealed to mean, "One time use code available with full retail purchase. Expires April 30, 2010." It seems clear enough, but then again, who's got time to read and comprehend when there's five bucks on the line?

God Damn how can people be so retarded to not read the god damn games they buy but go to the trouble of taking on a massive retailer-chain?

Edit:Can Gamestop even be sued for what they did?I mean sure it's deceitful as hell, but who the heck buys a used game for $5 less then a new one?

Two things, it isn't deceitful, and second, I bough Assassins Creed 2 used for $5 less than new, but it was in perfect condition.

Even though I don't think his lawsuit is as just as that guy makes it out to be, but still at least people are letting game stop know that what they do is bull. Because even though it was ultimately his fault for not "reading the box", Game stop tricks people all the time into buying used games.

The whole thing is a giant cauldron of stupid and I can only hope that the concentration of dumb rips a hole in the space time continuum and wipes out gamestop, EA, the whiny bitch who filed the lawsuit, his lawyer, and anyone who friended him on facebook for good measure.

The real solution for publishers. Refuse to sell wholesale copies to retailers that also have used sales. That would expose gamestop for the skeezy pawnshop it is.

As far as I'm concerned there hasn't been a single good piece of DLC. Down with DLC, up with expansion packs.

Kross:

squid5580:
It wasn't unforseen. That is why they put in the *.

Indeed, at least one developer has equated used games sales to piracy when viewed from the standpoint of revenue going to the developer (and other costs like support requests from those same non-paying customers). So, outside of the piracy reasons, Project 10 dollar was likely squarely targeted at reducing/profiting from used game sales as well.

I don't think it was to reduce piracy whatsoever. DLC seems to be just as readily available as any other retail game. I remember while waiting for RTO to drop people on Bioware's forums were complaining that pirates were enjoying it while us paying customers were forced to wait. I wonder if the Cerberus Network has been cracked though. It seems like it would be an effective piracy killer for the DLC anyways.

He's in the wrong but...

I hope he wins.

James Cassidy:
I hate gamestop because they screwed me out of a lot of things. They keep forgetting to give me my code when I pre-order from them. They didn't so this just once. They have done it several times to me.

I also think it is bullshit that gamespot buys games from you saying "Oh we will give you $5 for it" only to turn around and sell it for $40 more.

However, I believe this kid is just plain stupid to be honest. It's what we call "not reading." There is a difference between gamestop screwing me over and myself being stupid causing me to be screwed over.

Although I hate gamestop, they are actually in the right on this one.

Dude, it's you local store. The GS I go to is awesome. They are fast (they can take the disk out from under the counter, put it in the case, get the receipt and give it to me in 5 seconds for a used game), they are always good about the codes, and they don't even bother with trying to sell me Game Informer, I go there enough that they know I won't get it. I always get the disk warranty, if only because I'm always slightly paranoid over my disks, even though I never damage them.

GrandmaFunk:
there's a creepiness to the editorial tone of this article that i'm not very comfortable with.

Andy Chalk:
It's an interesting and, I would imagine, entirely unforeseen consequence of EA's "Project Ten Dollar", the company's creative, hopefully successful attempt at combating used game sales by offering bonus content to people who buy new.

why exactly would we, the consumer, be hopeful that this attempt be successful?

why are used game sales a bad thing?

Well, alot of us buy games new. I want Ten Dollar to succeed because I buy most games new.

I thought at first this was going to be a "stick it to the man", and since I've allowed the opinions of others to colour my view on GameStop (who was it who said not to allow that to happen, and to make your own damn choices?), I was ready to dispense my abject approbation along with the masses.

But no, instead it turns out that GameStop, which is evil, Or So I Heard, is being sued by, not a heroic citizen fighting injustice and improving the world, but an idiot who clearly doesn't know anything about Bioware's policy on the in-box DLC.

It'd be nice if we could really put a damper on this suing culture people seem to have (the more successful and powerful your country, the more time its citizens have to try and get free money for being stupid), but then again, that'll possibly infringe on the freedoms we want.

When will the parade of ambiguously moral situations end?

Tune in next week to not find out.

xDHxD148L0:
Game stop tricks people all the time into buying used games.

How exactly do they trick people?I've bought plenty of games from GS over the years and have never been "tricked" into buying used if I didn't want to

I had planned on buying a used copy of DA:O and went to gamestop. Read teh back of teh box and saw teh DLC was only with full retail purchase, I bought the retail. It says on the back of teh box that the DLC comes with "full retail purchase", its not Gamestops fault that this idiot didnt read the box and its a very reasonable 7 day policy? Anymore and GS will have people who finish the games fast just returning them and getting new ones like clockwork. I have no symapthy, he failed to research, he failed to read with his own two eyes and he shouldnt get a penny for it.

Tiamat666:
Buy a used game in order to save 5 bucks? Seriously? You've gotta be kidding me.

In order for me to even consider to buy used, the saving amount should be at least 20% of the full price, otherwise it's just not worth it.

For me it was, as the disk was in perfect condition. However, that may be because I shop there alot, so they know I'm a customer that they should favor. I like saving as much money as I can, so getting Assassins Creed 2 for $5 cheaper and in perfect condition was good enough for me.

No case.

This'll get thrown out. Asterisk power!

*************

xDHxD148L0:
Even though I don't think his lawsuit is as just as that guy makes it out to be, but still at least people are letting game stop know that what they do is bull. Because even though it was ultimately his fault for not "reading the box", Game stop tricks people all the time into buying used games.

Tricks? How do they trick people? I bought Assassins Creed 2 used knowing it might mess up, but they gave me a disk in perfect condition. I was never lied to, never fooled. I knew I was taking a gamble, and I knew that there was a (slim, I preorder alot of Special Editions) chance that I would lose out. But I got a perfect condition disk.

I can see this will be thrown out before it gets anywhere near to a judge.

Its clearly stated and he just decided not to read it and try to skimp out on a few coins...his own fault in the end.

Got to say, not a fan of random lawsuits, but anything involving GameStop possibly losing money is good in my mind...so conflicted. I don't think it'll make it to court but then again worse lawsuits have.

KillerMidget:
I thought at first this was going to be a "stick it to the man", and since I've allowed the opinions of others to colour my view on GameStop (who was it who said not to allow that to happen, and to make your own damn choices?), I was ready to dispense my abject approbation along with the masses.

But no, instead it turns out that GameStop, which is evil, Or So I Heard, is being sued by, not a heroic citizen fighting injustice and improving the world, but an idiot who clearly doesn't know anything about Bioware's policy on the in-box DLC.

It'd be nice if we could really put a damper on this suing culture people seem to have (the more successful and powerful your country, the more time its citizens have to try and get free money for being stupid), but then again, that'll possibly infringe on the freedoms we want.

When will the parade of ambiguously moral situations end?

Tune in next week to not find out.

This is another reason why socialism is my thing. The government could get a bit more strict on idiotic lawsuits.

ma55ter_fett:
He's in the wrong but...

I hope he wins.

Why? Why would you hope he wins in a ridiculous case such as this if you already willing to admit he's in the wrong? I can't see any reason why he should win or how his victory in this frivolous lawsuit could possibly be good for anyone.

Well, other than Collins, but what's good for him here isn't good for anyone else.

this reeks of premeditated law suit

I don't think he's goona make any money, at all.

LunaticFringe:
Got to say, not a fan of random lawsuits, but anything involving GameStop possibly losing money is good in my mind...so conflicted.

Why do you hate them? I see them as one of the few large corporations that haven't ripped me off or lied to me. That gets alot of respect out of me, as I trust large corporations like I trust a Rottweiler-Pitbull-Great Dane-Bulldog Mix with rabies.

slowpoke999:
It seems clear enough, but then again, who's got

God Damn how can people be so retarded to not read the god damn games they buy but go to the trouble of taking on a massive retailer-chain?

Edit:Can Gamestop even be sued for what they did?I mean sure it's deceitful as hell, but who the heck buys a used game for $5 less then a new one?

I totally bought Halo 3 in this manner, but then again, it didn't come with free DLC.

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