A new class action lawsuit has been filed against retailer GameStop this month alleging the retailer is deceptively selling used games that advertise additional content to its customers.
The suit is centered on the issue of selling games used that contain one-time use codes. These codes are included in all new copies of games and unlock downloadable content at no additional cost. However, if the code is not included or has already been used, the owner will then have to pay an additional fee to access the content.
The suit claims GameStop misleads consumers at the time of their purchase “to believe that the games which are originally sold with free downloadable content are also included when consumers purchase the same games used, when in fact the free downloadable content is no longer available.”
In some cases, such as the three customers that filed this new lawsuit, the combined cost of a used game from GameStop and the download content can exceed the cost of brand new copy. Several game publishers, such as Electronic Arts with its Online Pass, have started including these codes to incentivize customers to purchase games new.
The lawsuit alleges GameStop’s concealment of this information is to induce its customers to buying used games instead of new.
“By advertising the additional downloadable content as being included with the game and by not informing consumers that they will not receive all the advertised features of the game, GameStop misrepresented and concealed material facts regarding its used games,” the lawsuit reads.
“This situation is analogous to selling a used book to customers without telling them that there are chapters missing.”
A copy of the lawsuit in PDF form can be seen here.
GameStop was hit with a similar lawsuit in March of last year. Customer James Collins purchased a used copy of Dragon Age: Origins and later found out he could not obtain the download content for free as advertised on the game box. The case has not been resolved.
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