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?