By Anni Simpson on August 12, 2013 at 12:20pm
A federal judge granted three South Jersey gamers the right to sue used game peddler GameStop this this week for overcharging on games.
Some games – including the “Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit X,” “Madden 2010,” and “FIFA 2010” titles named in the lawsuit – require a license to access the game or the game’s servers. When players purchase the game new, the code is included for free. However, the access code is required for every new player, and those who buy the game used must purchase their own code separately. The codes can cost between $10 – 15 on top of the price of the physical disc. The GameStop location charged up to $45 for used copies of the listed games; receipts included a summary of the supposed savings the players received by purchasing used.
However, the employees did not warn their customers that they would need to purchase an additional access code to play their game, driving the price past the $59.99 customers are accustomed to seeing for AAA games. Joseph Osefchen, the lawyer representing the three South Jersey plaintiffs, stated:
Nobody ever told them they would pay less if they bought it right out of the wrapper.
GameStop declined Philly.com’s request for comment on the lawsuit.
This isn’t the first time GameStop has found themselves in hot water. In 2009, they faced an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for allowing employees to play new games, repackage them, and sell them as new. The practice of “checking out” games was confirmed by Kotaku when they reached out managers of the company. GameStop was also slammed by Joystiq in 2011 for instructing employees to remove OnLive coupons from copies of “Dues Ex: Human Revolution. Without the codes, employees repackaged these games new, as well. At the time, a GameStop representative defended themselves by stating:
Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons.
Although they apologized for the OnLive debacle, it apparently has not stopped GameStop from continuing practices that directly deceive and hurt consumers – some of whom vehemently defended them when the rumors about Microsoft blocking used games from the Xbox One initially began.
Be on the lookout for your minimal class action lawsuit payout and the hope the lawsuit will result in more transparency from the store gamers love to hate.
Philly.com: Video game suit can proceed Kotaku: GameStop Sells Played Games As New, Sources Say, Practice Could Be Illegal Joqstiq: GameStop intentionally removing Deus Ex OnLive coupons from retail PC copies (update: GameStop statement and legal outlook)