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The Past, Present, And Future of GameStop's California Used Games Settlement

How one customer's purchase of Dragon Age: Origins forced GameStop's hand, and whether it means anything for used games going forward.

Unless an unexpected hiccup occurs, for the next two years, GameStop locations in California will have to better inform customers about downloadable content tied to new games when they purchase used, and, over the next several months, must pay $15 to anyone who bought a used game believing everything on the box was on the disc.

James Collins is the one who got the ball rolling on this.

It’s unlikely Collins is the only person who has dreamed of suing GameStop, but on March 23, 2010, Collins made the step that most people don’t: he lawyered up and filed a class action lawsuit against the Texas-based retailer.

“GameStop tricks consumers into paying more for a used game than they would if they purchased the same game and content new,” reads the original class action filing from late March.

Dragon Age: Origins is one of many games that now ship with content free only if the game's new.

Collins purchased a used copy of Dragon Age: Origins for $54.99, roughly $5 less than what it would have cost to purchase it brand-new, from a GameStop in Hayward, California on January 6. The game’s box promises free downloadable content for buying the game, when in reality, it’s only free if you’re purchasing a new copy with an unused redemption code found inside. Collins claimed to have no knowledge of this, and played the game until “on or around” January 19, when he returned to GameStop to complain about having to pay more money to access said additional content.

The DLC would cost Collins $15, meaning he only saved $5 from the used game purchase--a $10 loss. Since it was more then seven days, per GameStop policy, GameStop refused his return.

So he filed a lawsuit.

Matthew Proctor and Danoby Ortiz have a similar story. For Proctor, the game was The Saboteur. For Ortiz, it was Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition. Since the lawsuits were filed as class actions, meaning the outcome can benefit more than just the individuals who filed the claim, the lawsuits were combined.

The first details on the settlement were announced in a press release last week by law firm Baron & Budd.

GameStop has not responded to my requests for comment on the settlement.

What happened is a preliminary ruling by the courts on the settlement agreement. There will not be a trial, though a trial was the original goal of Collins’ lawsuit. There’s an unlikely chance the settlement dies, as there is a period between now and September 17 for objection from outside parties. Those parties do not include GameStop, who has already agreed to the terms of the settlement.

If you purchased a used game from GameStop between March 23, 2006 and April 9, 2012, you’re affected.

And because it’s a settlement, GameStop doesn’t have to admit it did anything wrong.

“Neither this Agreement, nor any exhibit or document referenced herein nor any act performed or document executed pursuant to this Settlement Agreement [...] shall be construed as, or deemed to be evidence of, an admission or concession by GameStop.”

What happens next? For starters, there’s a website: www.gamestopsettlement.com.

Since the preliminary approval, GameStop has handed over applicable customer information to the claims administrator handling the case. The aforementioned website will (soon) have claims forms, but if GameStop has your details, that's coming via mail or email. GameStop has information for customers who have used its PowerUp program, but if you aren’t part of that program, you can still get your money. That’s where it gets a little weird.

For example, the used games affected by the lawsuit will not be disclosed. Games affected, according to the law firm, include ones “that offered free downloadable content to consumers of a new copy that was not available without additional payment to people who purchased a used copy of the game.” If your game fits that, you're good.

Used games have and probably will remain a common scapegoat for the industry's problems.

The other strange thing? Consumers can, should they chose to then be legally liable, make claims on purchases that may or may not have happened. You only have to enter the game name, date of purchase, location of purchase and whether the extra content would have been available through Xbox Live or PlayStation Network.

“Option Two Claim: Settlement Class members may elect to receive a $5 payment and a $10 Store Credit. Settlement Class members who elect to make an Option Two Claim shall not be required to provide proof of purchase, nor shall it be required that GameStop verify their purchase through GameStop’s own records.”

To protect against fraud, the claim form underscores you’re making statements under penalty of perjury.

“With the understanding that many people do not save receipts from relatively small consumer purchases like video games, and that not everyone who may have purchased a qualifying used game is a member of GameStop’s PowerUp rewards program," the law firm told me in a statement, "the parties came up with Option 2 as a way for those people to be compensated.

That said, you can’t rack up hundreds of dollars in claims. Even if you bought dozens of used games, it only amounts to one payout.

Going option two entitles you to $5 in real-world money and $10 in GameStop credit towards used products. If you provide a PowerUp number, they can verify the purchase and offer $10 in real-world money and just $5 in GameStop credit. Again, it's only a single payout, and even in the event that consumers are actively defrauding GameStop, keep this in mind: most of the money being paid out will probably go right back to GameStop.

Claims must be postmarked by July 19, and the claim forms are below. Do not use these claim forms, as they are not final. The correct claim forms will eventually be available on the website.

In addition to the pseudo refunds, GameStop stores in California must also have “shelf takers” (you know, this stuff) near used games, warning consumers about possible additional purchases related to used games, counter mats that include similar warnings, and a disclaimer on GameStop’s official website. All of this will last for two years.

Having established a legal framework, the law firm is already seeking individuals with similar stories in states other than California, but lawyer Andrew Ehmke of Texas-based Haynes and Boone is hesitant to read too much into it.

“That seems unlikely,” Ehmke told me. “What might happen, though, is that GameStop might be sued in a handful of the larger states. On the flip side, GameStop could also be considering options to minimize the risk from these future lawsuits by preemptively providing a similar settlement offer to any of its customers, but that’s speculation on my part.”

One scenario could involve GameStop getting ahead of the problem, rather than untangling a series of legal battles.

“I would not be surprised to see GameStop adjust its marketing, advertising and pricing across the country for used games that contain the first-time buyer one-time use codes,” said Ehmke. “It may be too much of an administrative hassle to have different pricing and advertising in different states.”

Want to read more? Get your legal on.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
152 Comments
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Posted by thechessclub

I'm pretty sure they're called "shelf talkers." Unless I said it wrong all of the 4 years I worked at Borders...

Posted by BigChickenDinner

It always make me giggle when people comment on the quality of writing on this site. Anyway....

“Neither this Agreement, nor any exhibit or document referenced herein nor any act performed or document executed pursuant to this Settlement Agreement [...] shall be construed as, or deemed to be evidence of, an admission or concession by GameStop.”

I fucking love it. Absolutely fan-fucking-tastic. If you get the pun, yes, it was intended. But really, how can you even release a statement like that? Company gets sued, company settles out of court, company acts nothing is wrong?! I hate people sometimes.

They need to talk to OJ about how to kick ass in court.

Gamestop's newest book, "We're totally not trying to fuck you out of your money, but if we were, this is how we would do it"

Posted by Frumpa

@Deusoma said:

I am suddenly reminded why Alex should really leave the article-writing to Patrick. This is well worded, professional, even respectful. This is exactly what a gaming news article should be. Good show, old boy. I wonder if this settlement also applies to EB Games, they don't have GameStops around here. Worth looking into.

Well I for one really enjoy Alexs articles as well as Patricks. If you dont like his stuff dont read it and maybe realise its not only your site sir .. we're a community with many opinions.

Posted by sciential

@Jab1235 said:

It's just another example of someone lawyering up to reap the benefits of a trivial situation. Boo Hoo he spent $55 on a game and didn't get his code, why should we pay for the court costs of him arguing that he thinks he's entitled to downloadable content for a game. It's not something we should be bringing to courts, it's something we should have common sense about.

As much as I dislike Gamestop and most of their practices I hope they crush this guy.

He didn't fall and pretend to be hurt so he could take money from a bar or convenience store owner. He sued Gamestop over a practice that - even if it was manufactured in his case - surely rips off at least some of its customers who genuinely fail to realize that the used copy is missing content worth more than the savings over a new copy.

Gamestop could be forthright if they wanted to, but we all know that they make more money on used copies. A sticker that says "Does Not Include $10 Multi-Player Access" on used copies of Mass Effect 3 because Gamestop is afraid of another lawsuit is a good thing. You might already know better, but some mother buying a birthday present from a Gamestop clerk who is pushed to encourage her to buy the used copy might not.

Posted by chaosnovaxz

Meh, as far as buying used games, I don't think the $5 discount is enough for me to make the choice to go to Gamestop, but I can understand why some people think it's worthwhile.

Five dollars is five dollars. Any amount of money is worth saving.

I still say go to Amazon. Games are out for just a few weeks or maybe two months before someone's selling them for $40 or less, and in my experience, a lot of the time, the online code is still intact because the first buyer didn't care about multiplayer or whatever. I don't even buy new games anymore, and I only do buy when I don't rent them, which is hardly ever..

Posted by Leosol

People seem to not notice that that the lawsuit was filed in March 2010, only a few months after the game's release. This was also one of the first game EA released that had any sort of online pass tied to it. So I'm sure Gamestop had no concept of how to deal with that.

Since this suit was filed in 2010, GameStop has marked all preowned games requiring an online pass at 47.99 when the new price is 59.99. Unless gamestop is giving away the online pass for free; ie WarnerBrothers games and Sony games, they are still priced at 54.99

I can understand animosity towards GameStop from the GB community, but being the largest video game retailer in the country, the staff of GB should try to be less ignorant to their policies and practices

Posted by Smokey_Earhole

There are some motherfucking narrow-minded users on this site.

Posted by GhoulishShadow

I have had some good times at Game Stop before surprisingly. Peoples Game Stop experiences seem to be hit and miss with a lot more misses then hits. Most of its problems seem to be in the form of bad managers who hire their friends or people even higher up with policies that make people want to avoid the store. These policies, their card and pushing pre-orders, are what ultimately what made me switch to amazon for my console games.

Posted by Jimbo

Advertise your shit correctly. It's not too much to ask.

Posted by TheHT

I gotta say, I went in to two EB Games today on my quest for Vanquish and Bayonetta and that RECYCLED GAMES shit was fucking everywhere.

Some asshole is probably so proud of it though. Ugg.

Anyways, good read.

Online
Edited by nERVEcenter

Stopped buying from Gamestop after I:

A) Got bored of my consoles,

B) Traded in a game for a markdown towards credit that was practically worthless since I barely bought from them at all,

C) Got tired of being pestered with membership and preorder talk while making a purchase.

Posted by Nymphonomicon

@Phatmac said:

Gamestop is in a lot of trouble.

GameStop IS a lot of trouble.

Posted by sephirm87

@Smallville123: she didn't actually burn her mouth, she burned her body when she spilled it, enough to require corrective surgery. McDonalds also was making their coffee unusually hot in order to save money. Eventually, an appeal from McDonalds got the punitive damages thrown out, and McDonalds only had to pay for damages.

Posted by MoseSSesoM

I really don't see how ignorance of common business practices is GameStop's fault.

Posted by gamerpigeon

I had this issue recently. I went to buy Fifa and at every store the Used copy was only £1-£2 cheaper than the brand new copy. I obviously knew i would need an online pass so i bought the New copy. At the checkout the ghuy said i could save money if i bought the used Copy. i said no i wont i'll actually lose money cause i will need to buy an Online Pass. The guy smirked and said oh yeah.

This was the first time i had bought a game at a brick and mortar store for 3 years. How these guys are ever going to stay in buisness i dont know. The game was 40% cheaper brand new on Amazon. I only bought it at a shop because i wanted it that day. So the used copy without an online pass was £14 more than the new copy with it online. Madness. Obviously have a premium in store over online. im not an idiot. But come on!?!?

Everything about buying a game in store is miserable. From used game prices,customer service,Travelling,The Layout of the store itself. Not knowing if they will actually have what you want. Finding what you want only for the checkout guy to tell you they dont have it (happened twice in 3 stores).

F**K Brick and Mortar Game Stores. The day they go i wont mourn.

Posted by Disembodio

Please tell me the guy was mad over the Saboteur DLC that was the one with the boobies.

But also good on them! They may have taken his boobies but he made a tit out of gamestop!

Posted by ShinjiEx

This is stupidest news I've ever read!

How dumb is that guy for A buying a used game fore $5 less

& B thinking he's would magically get a redeem DLC card that was already used buy the original owner

Fucking people use common since!

how old is this tard? man what a nOOb!

P.S. Don't buy used games ever unless you do NOT care about DLC

or are willing to by set DLC later that was "free" to those who bought new

Posted by Vod_Crack

@dza360: It was only about 3 months old when he bought it, you didn't read the article correctly.

Posted by Funrush

Why is Origins still $60?

Posted by Willy105
@MoseSSesoM said:

I really don't see how ignorance of common business practices is GameStop's fault.

You are accepting the problem as part of the game, which no one should ever do. The problem should be fixed.
Posted by MacEG

People still go to GameStops? Don't you know what Amazon is?

Posted by thomasnash

@Smallville123: http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

Posted by Xpgamer7

I've had a few crappy gamestop experiences and I don't like how their business makes developers lose out in the situation but I think it's an example for game publishers to find a better price model. Other than that though, gamestop(for me) has kinda been filled with nice people who honestly love games. I ended up talking about old Shinobi games for half an hour with one employee. Still I can see both sides on this.

Posted by BiG_Weasel

What's next, Ebay? Craigslist? People, especially gamers, should know how DLC works. I think it would behoove Gamestop to cease selling used games entirely, forcing consumers to buy new games at full retail price and end any threat of future lawsuits. The game publishers would like this, too- so I think they may use this outcome to spearhead this again.

Posted by SomeJerk

GameSpot and their used game sales moneymakinglikeamutha is not a scapegoat for industry problems, but a concern.

Posted by dbene

Are you sure he paid that recently? I thought it was an old case. Because even Gamepost doesn't still have the game new for $59....it's like $29 new. So, I think this is referring to a purchase some time back.

Posted by Claude

He probably could have got another dollar off if he were a Power Up member. I just renewed yesterday. Plus, you get Game Informer.

Posted by TPoppaPuff

Good. I'm happy this is happening because it's better for the industry as a whole. Used games are a necessity to promote video games and keep the industry going, but the current consumer is so cutthroat they'd rather kill the entire industry than spend an extra $5 a game. Used games can almost be thought of as a necessary evil. Too little used sales and it hurts the industry drastically, too many used sales and the industry hurts dramatically. Hopefully this new law will largely kill the used sales of recent releases that are only a few months or less old while not affecting the much older titles that are simply too much new or hard to find. I want to see this new policy taken nation-wide.

Also, this is kind of a strong sign that new purchase codes are beneficial to the industry as a whole. It doesn't cost the new purchaser anything and they still get the same game, yet it allows for that initial used game purchase to go cheaper to offset the price of buying an online code, and also puts that online code money into the actual games industry and recoup some of the money lost to used game sales. It's win-win.

Posted by sofakingstewpit

The most offensive thing about this whole situation is that Gamestop knew exactly what the fuck they were doing. Please don't buy used games. It kills the industry we all love. But if you must buy used, at least go somewhere else. Gamestop is a humungous parasite on the underbelly of the gaming whale. Buying used games from them only helps them to suck more precious life blood from our majestic friend known as gaming.

Edited by DoctorWelch

Can't wait until I get out of college and actually have money so I never have to go to gamestop again.

Edited by gaminginpublic

When I first bought my Xbox 2 years ago this happened to me.. I didn't know better. Back when I gamed years ago, this was never an issue. I bought Battlefield Bad Company 2 for around $54. Then had to pay $15 to play online. I was not told about this, so I thought it was better to save $10. Instead i lost 10. Gamestop is pretty shitty for selling used games at $50-59 in the first place.

Posted by TPoppaPuff

@DoctorWelch said:

Can't wait until I get out of college and actually have money so I never have to go to gamestop again.

LOL. If you took out student loans, you will be in debt until you're 40. And that's assuming you never decide to own a house, or buy a new car.

Posted by MoseSSesoM

@Willy105 said:

@MoseSSesoM said:

I really don't see how ignorance of common business practices is GameStop's fault.

You are accepting the problem as part of the game, which no one should ever do. The problem should be fixed.

To be fair the problem is part of the game, if the DLC was just there on the disc without a code it would be a non issue. Blaming Gamestop for making money of something that truly is not their problem (DLC code already being used) is not a answer. Buyer beware, being uninformed as a consumer is your own issue. Ignorance of the law is not a excuse to break it (Just a real world example).

Posted by Eyz

Here in Switzerland, new "HD" games cost ~100 CHF (which 1 CHF ~= 1 USD)

Yeah, I know. They're ripping us off...

I bought Street Fighter X Tekken for a pretty cheap 20 CHF (so I spared 80 CHF!) and bought the DLC characters without feeling robbed by Capcom. Thanks to second hand games!

Posted by MoseSSesoM

@MacEG said:

People still go to GameStops? Don't you know what Amazon is?

Having packages sent to the area I live in is not really a viable option. Gamestop is the only place around here that has the harder to find games that say Best Buy or Wal-Mart dont.

Posted by MacEG

@MoseSSesoM: Gotcha.I've had 3-4 GameStops close up around where I am because they couldn't do enough business. Now it's basically a place where middle schoolers go to buy Pokemon cards.

Also, I hope that someday you'll be able to know the glory of ordering stuff from Amazon the night before and having it arrive the next morning.

Edited by Leosol

This court case and general reaction sets a bad precedent for retailers in general. That a retailer is liable for claims made about a product they don't themselves produce. When I've worked in retail there are plenty of people who just straight up don't listen when you tell them about features and function, or lack there of in the specific product they are buying. Then once they figure it out on their own they become irate and complain, and in this case sue, but the only thing that can be blamed is their own ignorance. The boxes of games that have online passes always have printed on them that they either require the pass code to access online features or certain features are locked by the code. If people aren't reading the box already, Gamestop putting more stickers on it or signs up about it isn't going to change anything.

This hypocrisy from the online gaming community regarding Gamestop is extremely disheartening. There's a fundamental misunderstanding of what Gamestop represents. Without a company like Gamestop, one devoted purely to the sale of games and gaming products, there would be no demand for more general retailers to care about gaming. The only reason amazon/ target/ best buy deal with preowned at all or even have dedicated video game department staff is because of the market Gamestop created. No Gamestop, no market.

The anti prewoned/recycled/used rhetoric is getting ridiculous. "I hope none of the new consoles will play used games, then Gamestop will die, I hate Gamestop, they rip you off, that's why I only use Gamefly" or "I only use ebay, I can get games so cheap on day one." Guess what, if there are no preowned games, there are NO PREOWNED GAMES. No renting, no borrowing, no trading, no selling. NOTHING.

I'm not in a position where I make enough money to afford to buy all the games I want to play, but when I rotate my collection of games by trading them in at Gamestop at the right times with the right promos, I'm getting 60 to 80 percent of what i paid for them. There have even been a few occasions where I MADE money because Gamestop had overlapping promotions. Without the ability to resell their games, most people who buy 5 to 10 games a year would only actually be able to afford 1 to 2 new games a year. Crippling Gamestop would cripple the video game market as a whole.

I would compare a world w/o preowned to the way you used to buy NES games when you were a kid, you maybe got 2 a year, one for your birthday and one for your winter holiday. But now take out the ability to rent games, or borrow them from your friends. So every single game you ever buy is a blind purchess, no return policy, $60.

Edited by TPoppaPuff

@Leosol: As I said, this law in itself is good for the industry. In the current time we live in, the understanding of online passes and new game codes is still in its infancy. Do you honestly think any of those parents buying games for kids or relatives buying games for relatives honestly understand the implications of online codes? Because they buy maybe one or two games a year at most they don't realize the damage caused to the creators and customersby saving $5. This law will hopefully rectify that by forcing information to people. At no point is properly informing the consumer a bad thing.

If it were up to me Gamestop wouldn't be allowed to sell used games until six months after initial release, because that's the part of used games that is significantly hurting the industry. The good part of used games is six months and later when the game's life on store shelves is waning. Now imagine if those used games are initially cheaper used and if you want the new purchase experience you hand that money to the actual people who makes the games.

This law just helps create a good balance of used game sales that helps instead of harms by keeping used game sales neither too small or too big a part of the industry.

Posted by DoctorWelch

@TPoppaPuff said:

@DoctorWelch said:

Can't wait until I get out of college and actually have money so I never have to go to gamestop again.

LOL. If you took out student loans, you will be in debt until you're 40. And that's assuming you never decide to own a house, or buy a new car.

Not if you're frugal and you only took out a few thousand dollars a year.

Posted by TPoppaPuff

@DoctorWelch:

That's assuming you had some sort of college fund to begin with. Not all of us have/had that luxury.

Posted by Sekoku

Not to defend Gamestop, but this sounds more an issue with EA/Bioware and other publishers than the retailer itself. Yeah, it sucks they price their used games for $5 less and the publishers want more ("Project $10") for used games but that's the reality that's happened. In the small print, they most likely mention that you need to buy new or pony-up in the store if you bought used.
 
Also if people did more research in their purchasing habits since this shit started, they would be better informed so things like this wouldn't need to happen.
 
Or, publishers can dealwithit.gif and just accept that used games happen and try to get people to buy new instead of forcing them to pay more after buying used because they didn't feel the new product was worth buying anyway.

Posted by phantomzxro

@MoseSSesoM said:

@Willy105 said:

@MoseSSesoM said:

I really don't see how ignorance of common business practices is GameStop's fault.

You are accepting the problem as part of the game, which no one should ever do. The problem should be fixed.

To be fair the problem is part of the game, if the DLC was just there on the disc without a code it would be a non issue. Blaming Gamestop for making money of something that truly is not their problem (DLC code already being used) is not a answer. Buyer beware, being uninformed as a consumer is your own issue. Ignorance of the law is not a excuse to break it (Just a real world example).

Well i do think it's fair business practice to informed the customer if something won't be included in the game. The closest thing i can compare it to is buying a car "as is" which the gaming market does not have something of the same label. Just buying a game used does not do it justice to understanding what is or is not in your game at the time of buying the game.

Ignorance of the law is a fair point but it won't fight the issue of if it says the content is included in the box via code or whatever a person will expect that content. From that point on i do think it is a Game Stop problem because the first owner got what he was promised while the second to third hand owners are buying it from a store in which that content won't be available. This is when it's Game Stop problem, But it seems like a simple fix of having a slip on any game with DLC or code unlock content that warns that customer that this content may not be available. Or something that pop up when you ring up the game at check out.

Game Stop have already done some shady practices in my mind like selling opened games as new which in my mind should be consider used if it has been opened or it should be priced as an opened new copy. So i have no problem adding some law to protect customers.

Posted by Contrarian

@Lucien21 said:

He was only saving $5....I'd have bought a new copy.

This is what I NEVER understand. If I am not saving at least half the new cost, then I wouldn't bother at all. For me, I won't pay more than about 20% of the full price for a used game. If I really want the game, I buy early and the best price I can find, or I just wait 6 months for a dirt cheap price.

Posted by HerbieBug

@Lucien21 said:

He was only saving $5....I'd have bought a new copy.

It's pretty clear that he specifically made the purchase with intent to nail Gamespot on their policy. This is also why he waited until after the return period to attempt to obtain a refund. Both of those things are critical to the suit. 1) used game results in an unadvertised price hike over the content included with a new purchase due to online pass lock out and, 2) denial of refund.

Edited by QuistisTrepe

Yeah, I normally expect everything to be just like brand new with everything included when I buy something used too.

OHNOES I GOTZ TEH RIPPED OFF MAW FREEDUMB!

So Collins is an illiterate tool who doesn't know how to bargain hunt and it's Gamestop's fault? What a dumb shit.

Posted by shishkebab09

I cannot stand--CANNOT STAND--people who can't learn a lesson and leave it at that. So you spilled hot coffee on your crotch. Do you really want everyone in America to have to be reminded like babies EVERY TIME they buy a hot coffee that it's hot?

GameStop didn't "trick" anyone into anything, and they've long since 2009 adjusted their pre-owned prices to reflect whether the games have content missing from the new version. It was EA that started pulling this online pass shit, not GameStop.

Posted by BreakfastKing

Gamestop has already adjusted its pricing structures to reflect DLC that is included in a new game, in many cases. While the typical used price of a new release is 54.99, a new release with, say, an online pass generally runs 47.99.

In the case of games with actual DLC, the prices generally follow a similar pattern. For the brief duration that used copies of Batman: Arkham City were sans Catwoman, it too was 48 bucks. Now that you can get a Catwoman code with a used copy too, it's back at 55. The price may have gone done since then, as the game has been out a few months now, but you get my point.

All of the Gamestops around me are pretty good at reminding folks if there's any big difference between a new and a used game. I understand other areas of the country (world) have had some serious issues with Gamestop, but I just don't see it here.

Posted by StingingVelvet

I prefer to buy new so that I support development, but I would still fight tooth and nail to keep used games viable. Why? Mostly for preservation. If the nest round of consoles go Steam-like on a closed system, who knows how many games could eventually become completely unobtainable someday. That's a much more dangerous idea to me than used games.

Posted by kkotd

Nobody knows how to read, do they? The article clearly states that the guy bought this on March of 2010, DAO had only come out in Nov of 2009. The game was under a year old at that time and was priced at $55. This was around the same time that EA was doing similar things with Mass Effect 2 and just before EA started using 'online pass' for it's sports games. The problem right now is that Gamestop could argue that Online Pass shouldn't be included because it's not 'additional free downloadable content' but rather the ability to use an online function, essentially using the argument that they aren't sued for people who buy online games and can't play online because they never notified anyone of the fees for Xbox Live. Not to mention, some of the boxes even state that online play requires an online pass.

I believe they need the PR though right now as they prepare for what essentially is the start of a transition state for them. They have to be worried about the coming consoles and what it means for their business model on used games. They've also gotten a lot of attention and general flak (most of it appropriate) because of UK retailer Game going into bankruptcy and then being bailed out. Both of them treated the industry the same, both pushed used games with careless abandon and both more or less tried to rip customers off with their 'used prices' and 'trade in deals' which essentially was, you can save $5 on any used game and we'll pay you $10 for a game we then sell for $55. I believe that if this settlement goes well, and the interest is shown (after a masquerade of them hyping people on whether to do it or not) they'll use it as a promotion rather than legal settlement, $10 in store credit, $5 cash, sign a paper that you won't sue us and we'll throw in an addition 5% trade in value!

And also, what's stopping them from changing their customer agreement stating that they are not responsible for 'addition DLC', 'codes given for DLC' and any 'non-Gamestop promotions that may or may not involve DLC being included with a copy of the game'?

Posted by sickVisionz

More power to the people and I'm glad the shenanigans are over.

Collins purchased a used copy of Dragon Age: Origins for $54.99...

I immediately said, "come on dude," when I saw this. The industry as a whole needs to do a better job of getting names and faces out there rather than corporate entities so that people understand that saving $5 to buy a high quality game from a high quality developer but not giving anything back isn't worth it.

I wonder how many people buy used and then stare at it on their shelf like...

  • Why didn't this game get a sequel?
  • Why don't they make more game like this?
  • Why did this developer get closed?

and other stuff.

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