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GameStop Sued Over Deceptive Used Game Sales

EA's DLC initiative is causing legal issues for GameStop.

Earlier this week, a class action lawsuit was filed against GameStop for deceptively misleading customers into believing used games purchased come with all the downloadable content advertised on the game's packaging. GameStop has failed to disclose that the content is only available for those who have purchased the game new, via a one time use code that comes with a new copy game.

The class action lawsuit was filed by James Collins, who was upset that he purchased a pre-owned copy of Dragon Age for $54.99. One of the reasons he purchased the game was because of the free downloadable content that was advertised on the game's packaging. Unfortunately, Collins found out that he had to spend an additional $15 in order to access the supposed free content that was advertised.

When Collins found out about the content issue, he tried to return the game for a refund, however the local GameStop store manager refused because the seven day return period for a used copy had elapsed.

Currently, Collins is seeking restitution, punitive damages for fraud, and numerous other compensatory damages in the lawsuit.



Our Take

Lukasz Balicki Staff Alumnus

03/26/2010 at 06:42 AM

While I think it's perfectly to be mad about potentially false advertising, on the back of the Dragon Age box it says: "One-time use code available with full retail purchase. Expires April 30, 2010."

So I don't understand how this case will go through as the fine print technically does say that you need to purchase it new.

Kathrine Theidy Staff Alumnus

03/27/2010 at 01:38 PM

Has GameStop ever said that the DLC was included with used games? Because if they've never said that, there's definitely no case here.

Lukasz Balicki Staff Alumnus

03/27/2010 at 07:55 PM

As you know, all GameStop does with used games is slap a yellow used sticker on it and nothing. Though on the back of the game it explicitly states "One-time use code available with full retail purchase. Expires April 30, 2010." So not only is it available by only a one time use code, it also expires in exactly one month from now.

Jason Ross Senior Editor

03/27/2010 at 08:44 PM

I don't see how the plaintiff could win this, since just a little fact-checking, or just reading the box on display, would do a great service to understanding the product for sale.

Still, if this lawsuit gains a little bit of widespread notoriety, it could encourage lower prices on some of these games from GameStop, which I don't think is a bad thing.

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