Gamestop has reached a settlement with law firm Baron & Budd over used game sales in California that will require the retailer to warn customers online and in stores when the used game they purchase feature paid DLC or online passes that would have been free had the game been purchased new. Many such games advertise that they come with "free DLC" and online multiplayer without notifying customers that they'll have to pay extra if they get the games secondhand. California will now require Gamestop to let consumers know when that's the case.
That's certainly a victory for consumers, though we have to ask ourselves whether Gamestop is to blame for publishers' anti-used games policies. Obviously game-makers want to make money off each sale, but what makes games so much different from books, music, movies, and every other type of product that's regularly sold used?
As a result of the settlement, customers who've purchased such games will be able to receive a a $10 check and a $5 coupon if they're members of Gamestop's PowerUp Rewards program, or a $5 check and a $10 coupon if they're not. The firm also claims that Gamestop's already begun lowering their prices for used games as a result of the settlement.
Should Gamestop be punished for the policies of publishers? With many consumers buying digitally or online, does it even matter anymore? Let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter.