updated 11:25 am EDT, Wed April 11, 2012
GameStop settlement offers customer restitution
GameStop has settled a class-action lawsuit concerning advertised downloadable content not being included in used games being resold. Under the settlement terms, the game retailer must warn potential buyers from California online and in-store that certain content may require an additional purchase.
The suit, brought against the game retailer by law firm Baron and Budd, focused on the downloadable content shown on the box as free with the purchase of the game but would most likely be used by the original game owner and so unsuitable for resale. It was noted that GameStop buys used titles cheaply and resells at a mark-up typically $5 less than a new copy of the game, generating an estimated $2 billion per year in profits from games with reduced features.
Used games will have warning stickers applied and signs on nearby shelves in an effort to educate shoppers. Affected customer in California will have the opportunity to recover $15 in the form of a check and coupon with details appearing on the GameStop Settlement Facebook page. Other states may yet receive similar treatment as Baron and Budd are conducting further investigations.
The lawsuits will add to the existing pressure felt by GameStop from the rumors the next Xbox and PlayStation consoles will block used game sales entirely, effectively closing a large source of revenue for the retailer.[via TG Daily]