GameStop has settled a class action lawsuit brought against the retailer for allegedly engaging in "deceptive and misleading practices" with its used game sales and paid downloadable content.
The suit was filed two years ago after California resident James Collins accused the company of selling used copies of games that require users to purchase downloadable content for features, even though the packaging for those games advertise that content as free.
A number of games include one-time-use codes for consumers to download free content, but they require users to purchase that same content if the code has been redeemed, as is the case for many used copies of games.
"As a result of GameStop's deceptive and misleading practices, consumers who purchase used games from GameStop unknowingly find that they must pay an additional fee to access the full game they thought they purchased," said Collins in his original complaint
As part of the settlement, for the next two years, GameStop must post online warnings and in-store signs (in California, where the lawsuit was filed) next to used games to remind consumers that certain downloadable content may require an additional purchase.
Consumers in California will also be able to recover the $15 they might have paid for downloadable content -- if they've purchased a qualifying used game and are enrolled in GameStop's PowerUp Rewards program, they'll receive a $10 check and a $5 coupon. Non-PowerUp Rewards members can receive a $5 check and a $10 coupon.
While this settlement only applies to California customers, the law firm behind this class action lawsuit, Baron & Budd, is investigating similar GameStop practices in other states. It's inviting consumers from other states who have experienced the same issue to contact the firm for a free legal consultation.