A federal judge has denied a motion by GameStop to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed against the video game retailer regarding the absence of single-use downloadable content codes for used games. The lawsuit alleges that selling used video games without the single use downloadable content codes violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
United States District Judge Robert Kugler made the opinion on the lawsuit that was based on the three plaintiffs believing “their pre-owned video games would include all of the content of a new video game.” The plaintiffs also alleged that purchasing a used game then purchasing a single-use code separately would be more expensive than purchasing the entire new $60 video game.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that GameStop knew “DLC was not included with the purchase of pre-owned games, but did not reveal this fact to plaintiffs.” The plaintiffs also allege that GameStop “induced” them to purchase the used games by stating that its “used game trade program creates value for customers” and by printing a tally of the savings on receipts.
According to the lawsuit, GameStop did not disclose that the used video games did not include some downloadable content. The content is included in the purchase price of new games. Downloadable content can include “extra game characters, levels, maps, screens, weapons, adventure scenarios” and the ability to play against other gamers online, according to the lawsuit.
In the class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege “because the pre-owned video games were missing DLC, they did not ‘work in the same manner as a copy of the same game’ because ‘significant aspects of the original game'” were not included with the purchase.
The lawsuit was originally filed in New Jersey state court in June 2012 before GameStop asked for the case to be moved to federal court in August of that year. According to court documents, GameStop sold 437,000 used games at its New Jersey stores between October 2010 and July 2012. GameStop has made the argument that it has posted signs in its stores that explain the downloaded contents could require an additional purchase.
The plaintiffs are seeking refunds of $10 to $15 for each used game purchased from New Jersey GameStop locations between October 2010 and July 2012. The retailer claims the video game boxes disclose there could be additional costs associated with online downloads for the video games, however, the plaintiffs disagree, and claiming that GameStop never disclosed an additional purchase would be required.