A class action lawsuit has put the onus on GameStop, not videogame publishers, to warn buyers of used games that they will be unable to access certain downloadable content (DLC) and online features unless they pony up an additional $15 for an online pass. GameStop could have fought against the measure, but opted for a settlement that requires the world's largest games retailer to post warning signs on shelves where used games are sold in California stores, as well as online, for the next two years.
GameStop also agreed to reimburse 'PowerUp Rewards' customers with a $10 check and a $5 coupon if they purchased a qualifying game. Customers who purchased a qualifying title but aren't part of GameStop's PowerUp program are eligible to receive a $5 check and $10 coupon.
"We are pleased that as a result of this lawsuit, we were able to obtain complete restitution for consumers, with actual money paid out to people who were harmed by GameStop’s conduct," said Mark Pifko, Baron and Budd attorney and counsel in the lawsuit. "The in-store and online warnings are an important benefit under the settlement as well, because if GameStop discloses the truth to consumers, it is unlikely that they will be able to continue selling used copies of certain games for only $5 less than the price of a new copy. In fact, we already know that not long after the lawsuit was filed, GameStop lowered prices for used copies of many of the game titles identified in the lawsuit."
The class action lawsuit took issue with the price of online passes even though game packaging lists DLC as being available for free with the purchase of a game. Since GameStop is the one selling used games, it's the one that came under fire, rather than the game publishers who instituted the additional fee.
According to the lawsuit, GameStop rakes in more than $2 billion a year on used game sales, all of which is royalty free.
Do you agree with the settlement, or do you think game publishers should be held accountable?