Friday, August 09, 2013

Those Darn Used Games Cost Me More!

A federal lawsuit against GameStop in New Jersey has been okay-ed by a judge to proceed. The case? Some customers feel they were ripped off for buying a used game without knowing that the “downloadable content” wouldn’t come free with the purchase as if it were a used game.

Honestly…I don’t know where to go with this. I understand the customer’s concerns that there was nothing on the used game package that stated that any and all downloadable content would not be available-they would need to be purchased separately. But at the same time, there’s a huge “no duh” moment in all of this. With DRM regulations (3 of the games listed with the court documents were EA products, so there you go), and how prominent the Used game market, you would think these customers would have researched and known better. Since when has it become the obligation of the employees to notify customers of every single download restriction, and every price point outside of their control? EA, Ubisoft, and the developers are responsible for how downloadable content is distributed, not the retailers.

But this is also assuming that these individuals are logical beings and, well, that’s why we have warning labels for absurd things. Such as the Segway “Caution: This item moves when in use.” Well no kidding. I wasn’t aware of that!

So that’s what this lawsuit boils down to. Customers who did 0 research and expected to be told everything at the point of sale. Technically, they did get the game cheaper at GameStop by purchasing it used. It was $10-15 less than if they paid for the full price of the game. However to play online or to use other features, it required purchasing a code, all handled by the developers. That’s something GameStop has no control over. The lawsuit is not that the Used Game was more expensive at the point of sale, but afterwards when the developers got involved. When you buy a Used game, it’s Used for a reason. Someone else played it, took the codes and things are no longer valid. It’s like buying Monopoly at a garage sale. You know it will be missing pieces, but you bought it because it was $.50 cents instead of the full-price $12.99 version. You make do with it. Video games work the same way. If you want those missing pieces, you have to write the company and pay for it.

It’s a frivolous lawsuit. I don’t know what GameStop offered the customers, if anything at all, but you can bet that soon every store will have a sign about Used games. /sigh Common sense. People don’t have them anymore. Everything needs to be spelled out  and come with a million labels which, more often than not, people don’t read. Most of us in this country don’t read any of the manuals. I do. That’s how I know my USED GAME won’t come with the same content as a new game. Just saying…reading is a good thing kids.


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