US, March 25, 2010 - A lawsuit filed earlier this week against retailer GameStop says the company is "deceptively misleading" its customers into believing a used game purchased from the store comes with all packaged downloadable content advertised on the box. This content, however, is only made available for free to those who purchase the game new, as the code to access the content can be only used one time.
The situation began back in January when plaintiff James Collins purchased a used copy of Dragon Age: Origins from a GameStop store in Hayward, California. Collins paid $54.99 plus tax for the game, $5 less than a brand new copy.
Collins states he purchased the game in part because of the box cover, which advertised that additional character and quest content could be downloaded for free upon purchasing the game. Collins discovered weeks later, however, he would have to pay an additional $15 to access the downloadable content, ultimately paying $10 more than the cost of a brand new copy with the same content.
When Collins tried to return the game for a refund, the GameStop manager at the store said he could not because the seven-day return window had passed.
"GameStop, who makes more than 20% of its revenue and nearly $2 billion from the sale of used video games, is aware of this issue, and continues to fail to alert customers that this content is not available on used games," the suit states. "As a result, GameStop tricks consumers into paying more for a used game than they would if they purchased the same game and content new."
Collins is seeking restitution, punitive damages for fraud, and numerous other compensatory damages.