GameStop Sued Over Misleading Used Game Sales

Thursday IGN reported that GameStop is now facing a lawsuit that alleges the company is "deceptively misleading" customers. The lawsuit, uploaded here in PDF format, says that the company is misbehaving because it's selling used games without informing the buyer that the downloadable content is not free.

Consumers who purchase a new game receive one-time-use-only codes to retrieve the free content (DLC) from publishers online. Those who purchase used games don't receive the same benefit, even if the used version is only $5 cheaper than a new copy. From a consumer standpoint, the minuscule reduction in cost is already a rip-off.

The current lawsuit centers on plaintiff James Collins. He purchased a used copy of Dragon Age: Origins for $54.99, a whopping five dollars less than the new, unopened version. He bought the game based on the advertisement on the box promising free downloadable content.

Weeks later he discovered that he would have to pay an additional $15 to grab the additional DLC. This would mean that ultimately he would spend ten bucks more than the new, sealed version of BioWare's RPG. Collins tried to return the game, however GameStop denied his request, stating that the seven-day return window had passed.

"GameStop, who makes more than 20-percent 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," the suit states. "As a result, GameStop tricks consumers into paying more for a used game than they would if they purchased the same game and content new."

But who was really at fault here? GameStop charges a ridiculous amount for recent, used games. Most informed gamers know about the DLC rule when it comes to used titles-- this is a tactic used by publishers to reel in revenue. However GameStop should make an effort to inform the uninformed consumer by attaching labels or marking out the promise of free content on packages.

Or, GameStop should just simply lower the price of used games.

According to the lawsuit, Collins is seeking "restitution, punitive damages for fraud, and numerous other compensatory damages." So far GameStop has not replied to the allegations.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • lightsaber
    Hope he wins, Gamestop= ripoff!!
  • thepetey
    Good! Used games are totally over-priced!

    Im sick of hearing "Oh is that (insert relatively new game) for the ps3/xbox/pc, ill give you $5 for it... packaging alone is worth more. Sigh.

    Go Lawyers
  • Fox Montage
    I think it should be clearly labelled. It seems like they're trying to "get away with" not telling customers what they're (not)getting, which is bad form in my books.
  • filmman03
    haha; just posted this on the othe Gamestop article...

    i think the CEO of GS should do the Undercover Boss show LoL improve his lame stores b4 they go out of business.
  • Good intentions, but the case is a loser. Used is used is used. If I go to the dump and find a Cracker Jacks box, can I sue when there is no prize inside? Nope. Sorry.
  • JD13
    That's why I w ill not buy used from Game Stop. No real savings for buying used games. I once saw used BK games go for the same price as a new BK games.
  • DM0407
    When are we no longer responsible for doing a little research? Im sure someone on the box it states that a code is given to download the DLC....

    Why does every retard need to be protected from his own stupidity. If you don't like gamestop don't go. I think they should refund his $55 bucks and then he should get charged court costs.

  • restatement3dofted
    Gamestop's policy is a bad one, but why should this guy be entitled to punitive or compensatory damages in excess of what he paid for the used game? His loss is purely economical; he doesn't deserve to be put in a better economic position than he was before he bought the game.
  • rage machine
    Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't it be a bigger loss to the developers who receive NO compensation on used games at all? If anything, selling it 5$ less and having that massive profit gain without any money going to the publisher should be illegal in the first place.
  • DM0407
    All bar soap now must state that it will not remove syphilis gained from excessive Facebook F*cking...

    I should sell Honda cuz I was not aware I needed to put gas in my car upon ownership. I should have been warned!!!