When GameStop sells a game requiring another purchase to access content that would have been available if a consumer had purchased the game new, it has to better advertise that fact.
For now, this only applies to California, and is a preliminary approval by the court. Final approval will (or won't) be handed down in September.
It’s the result of a settlement over a class action lawsuit filed by law firm Baron and Budd against GameStop.
The settlement covers the next two years, and requires two steps from the games retailer.
One, GameStop must “post signs on the shelves where used games are sold in California stores, and online, warning consumers that certain downloadable content may require an additional purchase.”
In essence, if you’re buying Batman: Arkham City used, GameStop must go out of its way to inform you about the Catwoman downloadable content, which is only available "free" through a code in the game's new box.
(Yes, I'm aware GameStop had an existing deal with Warner Bros. regarding this--it's just an example.)
Two, customers have the option to “recover” $15 from qualifying used game purchases. If you’re part of GameStop’s “PowerUp” program, that means a $10 coupon and a $5 check, while everyone else can elect to receive a $10 check and a $5 coupon. More details will reportedly be available through this Facebook page set up by the lawfirm.
The lawfirm said it’s looking into the same practices in other states--again, this only applies to California.
GameStop has not yet responded to my request for comment.