GameStop Forced to Label Used Games That Feature Free DLC

Apr 10, 2012 by  

GameStop Must Label Used Games with Free DLC

It was only a matter of time, as publishers continued to offer free DLC and require online passes for their games, that GameStop was going to come under fire for their used game market. While most figured that this could result in the used games market, a constant bane for publishers like EA and Ubisoft, going the way of the dodo bird, something a little less drastic has been done about it.

In California and online GameStop is now required to place a warning label on all used games that either require an online pass to unlock free content, or have a one-time use code for DLC. Many of the games featured in the used game section promise free in-game items, but typically those can only be redeemed once, which causes some confusion for the consumer.

The labeling comes after a settlement was reached between GameStop and the law firm Baron & Budd, which determined that the retailer was selling used titles at significantly high price points even though some of their value had already been removed. It also goes back to publishers and developers feeling like they are being cheated out of profits in this secondary market.

The hope is that if GameStop has to start labeling these used games like Arkham City or Kingdoms of Amalur as missing certain in-game content they will be unable to offer them at only $5 off the retail price. Since many of these DLC items, like the Catwoman missions, go for upwards of $10-$15 on their respective digital marketplace, it would make sense for GameStop to start knocking that much off the used game price. According to Baron & Budd, gamers might also be able to receive a $15 worth of credit from GameStop as a form of compensation for previous used game purchases.

It might be a small victory for gamers in the war against used game inconsistencies, but ultimately this move is meant to discourage GameStop from accepting used games all together. There have been times when GameStop will show their generosity, and also times when they make it abundantly clear they’re all about top dollar. Hopefully this settlement will change things for the better.

How do you feel about this GameStop settlement? Should they be required to label games with free DLC as such?

Source: Business Wire (via Kotaku)

19 Comments

Post a Comment

  1. I haven’t bought used from Gamestop specifically for that reason. You end up paying more for a used game then you would have for the retail copy. And the worst part is that people wouldn’t even realize it until they got home and were forced to buy DLC that should have come with the game in the first place.

    It’s a double-edged sword though. While at first this seems like a win for the end consumer, this is still just another step taken to help publishers wipe out the used market. Not only are they eliminating the practicality of purchasing a used game, but now they are beginning to eliminate the incentive for retailers to sell them in the first place.

  2. The Gamestop I buy used-games from gives me a code for what ever original DLC that came with it.

  3. I have a friend that works at my Gamestop and he gave me online pass codes for my used AC Revelations and SSX

  4. online passes are the most stupidest things i had ever seen

  5. Will they ever get in trouble for selling new games that are open at retail price. I hate going to the new section and getting a game that is in a drawer behind the counter. I only buy cheap ass used games from there or when they have a special on used games. $5 bucks off is not enough for used games. Look on Craigslist, you can get some new games for $40.

    • The thing with the open cases is that it allows consumers to look at a game they may not have seen before, read the info that’s on the box, and ultimately make a better decision about buying a certain game — while discouraging shoplifting by it being an empty case — than going to a department store where the games are kept in those stupid cabinets that require people to ask for assistance every time they want to even look at a game.

  6. My thoughts are that they should keep used games. What if you want a classic for cheap? Well anyways DLC should be made cheaper on used games bc the code is already been used and the game is preowned

    • how can the game system identify that the game is a used copy and how can the developers do that

  7. “the bane of Ubisoft and EA”. How about this “big name companies”, you give me access to EVERYTHING on the disc for the $60 dollars I’m paying for it, and I’ll stop buying used games. But until then, all this DLC and locked disc crap needs to stop. The gaming industry is continually pushing people like me out, when I have to pay close to $100 to view everything in a game that should just be there for the $60, that’s when the entire industry needs to be sued.

    It’s a terrible time to be a gamer.

    • Wouldn’t a worse time to be a gamer be 1638?

  8. Oh its ok, this change is another instance where the “cost” will just get passed onto the consumer, per say. So instead of giving you 12 to 15 for that copy of battlefield 3 you paid 60 for in which they sell for 54.99, you will get more like 8 and they will still sell it for 47.99. I
    own a used game store and I always sell the dlc and one time only games for 40, that way they are still saving 10 if they have to buy the dlc. And when I buy these games I give
    between 20 to 30 cash/credit. But some people swear by Gamestop and won’t give smaller stores a chance I just don’t get it.

  9. The true era of gaming was killed once games became a commodity. In a sense everything these comPanies are doing is capitalizing on the popularity of gaming. As much as i hate this practice of online passes and the anti free game notions, i do understand from a business pov. They are trying toget as much as they can for every game despite public approval.

  10. Why are they doing this? What kind of idiot customer doesnt know what a once off online pass is?! Really are people that stupid? What next, gamestop customers having to hold customers hands! Come on!!!!

  11. What a lose/lose situation. So the game companies are being complete asshats about offering one time use only DLC and Gamestop must now suffer the end result of that decision.

    If the game companies were smart they would offer the DLC content for free and then offer it for a small price if someone else wants to reuse the game. Oh lookie! Now the Game companies can actually make some money off the used market they complain is eating into their profits.

    • infact im pretty sure that was the entire point of the online pass in the first place, so that game companies could recieve a piece of that used game pie.

  12. I was an employee at gamestop for the last holiday season and i noticed many of the used games that would have come with content new , the online code or dlc code would print on the receipt. Batman for instance would get the Catwoman DLC or Mortal Kombat the online pass.

  13. It’s not really Gamestop’s fault. They’re just kinda caught up in the storm. I’ve never been shafted by Gamestop in any way; they’ve treated me with respect and good deals all the time. They always give me the extra content I’m missing, and the manager at my favorite location gives me a discount sometimes.

  14. I have no blood loyalty to GameStop but this is stupid. If the gamer hates the Online codes than complain to the Developers and Publishers. I have fallen in love with whole franchises just because of buying used one used game. Artists get critized all the time for their art so I dont get the argument that game companies can’t get critized at all.

  15. I still rather purchase a used game because if I dont like it I can return the game. The extra content is suppose to be an incentive for the initial purchase of the game and free. But still able to purchase from online. They dont charge extra for the added FREE code. Its a promotional item. you need to decide in terms of what is a better value for you. I think the suit it dumb in the face that they say it should devalue the used product unless its selling for a almost new price as used. Then the buyer would be smarter to just purchase a new and not used game. I do agree they should label content that is no longer included. Or have a disclaimer saying they cannot guarantee added content like that. Gamestop is a great service and I wouldn’t sue someone that is providing that service. I love being able to by old games cheap. If they went out of business or jacked up prices because they got sued so much well then I would have something to complain about.

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.