GameStop stores in California will now require a downloadable content (DLC) warning on pre-owned games that make use of online passes or free DLC that becomes void upon use. Many current titles offer free online content or perks that can only be enjoyed the first time around. Purchasers of pre-owned discs may no longer have access to such content or online passes, unless they choose to buy it at an additional fee.

This comes as part of a class-action settlement reached by law firm Baron and Budd and GameStop. The retailer was sued in 2010 over sales of pre-owned games which claimed on the packaging that the title included free DLC. Customers who had purchased a used title for five dollars off the retail price of a brand-new copy later found that many of these required them to spend an additional chunk of change on the additional content.

In a press release issued by the law firm, attorney Mark Pifko said, “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 paid by GameStop’s conduct.”


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For the next two years, according to the settlement agreement, GameStop will have to post signs on shelves where used games are sold in California and online, with warnings informing potential buyers that they may have to pay for additional content.

Furthermore, consumers who purchased qualifying titles can be reimbursed the $15 they paid for their DLC. The terms, according to the release are as follows:

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.

[via Business Wire]

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