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Class Sues GameStop Over Used Games

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - GameStop, the video game retail chain, deceives customers into believing its used Xbox games come with free downloadable content, though they do not, a class action claims in Federal Court. "Many ... do not realize they do not have access to all of the advertised content until after the time to return the game has expired," the class claims.

The class claims GameStop makes more than 20 percent of its revenue from selling used games. It claims the retailer "tricks customers into paying more for a used game than they would if they had purchased the same game new," since players must pay extra for the downloadable content online.

Games such as "Dragon Age Origins," "Mass Effect 2," "Rock Band 2" and "Battlefield: Bad Company 2," all sold at GameStop, are advertised as containing codes than can used to redeem extra game content for download on Xbox Live, the class claims.

Lead plaintiff James Collins said he bought a used copy of "Dragon Age Origins," the cover of which advertised an additional character and quest that could be downloaded for free upon purchase. "A couple of weeks later, [he] discovered that he would not have access to the full features of the game," though access to the additional character and quest was the sole reason he bought the game, Collins says.

Collins says he complained to the GameStop manager, but was told that the 7-day return period had expired and he would not be able to return it. He had to pay another $15 for the character and quest on Xbox Live.

Collins claims that "as a result of GameStop's concealment, [he] ultimately paid $10 more to purchase a used game than he would have had he purchased a brand new copy of the exact same game."

The class demands restitution and punitive damages for fraud and unfair business practices, and interest on the money GameStop made from selling used games. It is represented by Gene Williams with the Initiative Legal Group of Los Angeles.

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