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GameStop Used Game Lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed in the Northern District of California against GameStop, citing deceptive practices relating to used game sales. IGN has details on the suit, which stems from a customer buying a used copy of Dragon Age: Origins with the belief that additional DLC was available for free based on the cover blurb. Of course this DLC is part of the new trend intended to impede used-game sales, which the customer learned when they tried to get the DLC, which set them back an additional $15.00, making their final purchase price for the used game $10.00 more than the cost of a brand-new copy (that sound you hear is EA execs exchanging high-fives). IGN has a copy of the complaint in Adobe Acrobat-format, and an article on this on Gamasutra offers thoughts from an analyst saying that GameStop will probably be able to remedy this problem by affixing stickers to used games clarifying DLC availability.

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107. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 28, 2010, 00:47 I've Got The News Blues
Jerykk wrote on Mar 28, 2010, 00:12:
I think the popularity of movie rentals is why there isn't a flourishing market for used DVDs.
No, that is not the reason because people who rent movies don't typically buy them. It's the people who do buy movies that are not buying and selling used ones. That is why there is no large used DVD market. And, the reason these people don't buy and sell used movies is because it isn't worth the trouble given the already perceived low price.

While I agree that people are more likely to buy something new when it's cheaper, I don't really see how that would dissuade people from buying used games when it's always the cheaper option.
One, it's not worth the risk. Something which is new has a perceived higher value because it's pristine and unspoiled. It's the same reason why people generally don't buy the opened package at a retail store if there is an unopened one available. The second reason why it suppresses used sales is because there simply won't be nearly as many used copies available because people won't bother selling or trading them in. If something is perceived as inexpensive people will simply throw it away when they are done with it or no longer wish to save it.

If there was no radio and no digital availability of individual songs, the used music CD market would be huge.
Not all music ends up on the radio and even that which does get played doesn't get played on demand or in totality (entire albums) so your radio example is inapplicable. And, even back when digital music wasn't available (legally or otherwise), used record and CD sales weren't a huge market like what used video game sales are today.

Unlike movies, videogames will never be offered for free on television or shown in theaters...Unlike music, you can't buy portions of videogames for significantly less than the price of the full game, nor can you listen to videogames for free on the radio.
The Internet is littered with free, legally available video games. So, if someone wants a free gaming experience there is an almost unlimited supply to be had. Yes, those games predominately run on a PC and not a video game console, but those looking for a free video game experience can certainly choose that platform instead and still do so inexpensively. A $300-400 PC can run a lot of free games as can a $250 netbook. Yes, the games which are free are not the same titles as what are available for sale on video game consoles, but the genre and gameplay are the same or similar. Not all movies and music are available for free viewing on the television and radio either. The wide availability of free options isn't suppressing the used market. It's the wide availability of low-priced new product which does.

For the people who buy used games, used copies would still be cheaper than new copies.
Yes, they would still be a little cheaper, but they would not be as popular or as available so their effect on the game developers and publishers would be minimal. More used games would end up in the landfill or the recycling center or stay in people's closets than end up back in the market for sale.

This comment was edited on Mar 28, 2010, 01:03.
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