GameStop Settles California Used Games Class Action Lawsuit

Law firm Baron and Budd has reached a settlement agreement with GameStop over DLC. The firm filed a class action lawsuit against the video game retailer over DLC and labeling related to used games. In the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Senior District Judge Thelton E. Henderson entered an order approving a class action settlement Baron and Budd reached with GameStop. The settlement concerned used video games sold by the retailer to consumers who are unable to access certain downloadable content and online features (DLC) unless they pay an additional $15, even though the video game packaging claims that the DLC is available for free with the purchase of the game.

Under the terms of the settlement, GameStop must post signs on shelves where used games are sold in California stores and online, warning consumers that certain downloadable content may require an additional purchase. The company must do this for the next two years.

Consumers will also have the opportunity to recover the additional $15 they would have been required to pay to access the downloadable content. Consumers who purchased "qualifying used games: and who are enrolled in GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards customer loyalty program can receive a $10 check and a $5 coupon. Consumers who purchased a qualifying game but are not members of GameStop’s loyalty program, can receive a $5 check and a $10 coupon.

“We are pleased that as a result of this lawsuit, we were able to obtain complete restitution for consumers, with actual money paid out to people who were harmed by GameStop’s conduct,” said Mark Pifko, Baron and Budd attorney and counsel in the lawsuit. “The in-store and online warnings are an important benefit under the settlement as well, because if GameStop discloses the truth to consumers, it is unlikely that they will be able to continue selling used copies of certain games for only $5 less than the price of a new copy. In fact, we already know that not long after the lawsuit was filed, GameStop lowered prices for used copies of many of the game titles identified in the lawsuit.”

According to the lawsuit, GameStop purchases used video games from consumers for only a fraction of the original price, and then sells them to other consumers at a marked-up price, usually around $5 less than the price of a new game, to maximize their profits. Utilizing this practice, GameStop makes more than $2 billion a year on used video game sales, without paying any royalties to video game publishers or developers, the lawsuit alleged.

If you believe you have been affected by GameStop’s policies, visit Facebook to learn more about this settlement.

While this settlement only applies to California, the firm says that it is investigating similar GameStop practices in other states. If you live outside of California and have experienced the same issue at your local GameStop, you can contact Baron and Budd at 1.866.844.4556 or via email at info@baronbudd.com.

Source: The Escapist by way of Andrew Eisen.

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