GameStop stores in California will now have to warn you when their used games come with one-time-use online passes or additional fees for downloadable content.
For the next two years, GameStop will be forced to put up signs both online and in California retail stores to warn that customers who buy used versions of games like Batman: Arkham City and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will have to pay for online codes to access the advertised "free DLC." This DLC is only free to customers who buy new copies of each game.
This is the result of a class-action settlement reached by the law firm Baron & Budd. Baron & Budd alleged that GameStop was misleading customers and attempting to maximize profits by buying used games at a fraction of their costs and jacking up their prices "without paying any royalties to video game publishers or developers."
"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, in a press release.
"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."
Baron & Budd also says customers will be able to recover "the additional $15 they would have been required to pay to access the downloadable content" in the form of checks and GameStop credit.
We've reached out to GameStop for comment and will update should we hear anything.