California Makes GameStop Warn Customers about DLC on Used Game

GameStop has recently lost a class-action lawsuit in the state of California for not warning gamers about “free” DLC on used games no longer being “free.”  Not every gamer knows that DLC included with games normally comes in the form of a redemption code with a new copy of the game, so when someone buys a used copy, the DLC advertised on the label has been used up by the previous owner.  Part of the lawsuit GameStop lost requires them to put up signs in stores and online to warn used game shoppers that this DLC won’t be included.  They only have to do this in the state of California, and they only have to do it for the 2 years.

This is a great victory for consumers of used games; especially for those who non-gamers out there that aren’t in the know about this stuff when they purchase these games as a gift for others.  This is also a great victory for gamers in general, because anyone that plays video games has probably been irritated by a GameStop store at one point.  Now if only someone would sue them for those crappy trade-in prices…


Console Manufacturer’s Greed May Destroy Next Gen Gaming

The current generation of console gaming systems have introduced many new elements of gaming that only seem to exist to put bigger dents into the pockets of gamers.  MSRP game prices rose to a new standard of $60, Microsoft made online gaming a paid service, greedy publishers used DLC as a means to nickel and dime gamers for content that should arguable be part of the full game, rushed games fly out the door with severe bugs still in the code… I could go on forever with this list.  If console manufactures get their way things could be even worse when you buy your next console.

There are rumors floating around that gaming giants Sony and Microsoft are flirting with the idea of requiring an “always on” internet connection to protect games from piracy, meaning that every time your shitty ISP has a service outage, no gaming for you.  Sony is looking to tie the games you purchase with your PSN account, making it impossible to sell your used games to retailers such as Gamestop, and preventing game rentals.  Nintendo still seems to be struggling to bring gamers decent hardware, as the specs for the “Wii U” are still not even on the same level as the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3.

Will gamers actually behave like real consumers and reject this sort of consumer abuse, or are they going to let the console industry walk all over them again and keep handing them money without question?  This generation of consoles showed me that gamers can be awful consumers.  No one complains when a firmware update for a console forces you to sign a mandatory EULA that takes away your right to sue a console manufacturer for letting hackers have your personal information, but if someone doesn’t like the ending to a game there is a media-fueled shit storm.  It’s time for gamers to man up, get some priorities straightened out, and stand up to real consumer abuse by console manufacturers and game publishers.


Spoony Bard Podcast: Episode 26: We Miss MST3K

Never being one to do anything that would call the integrity of the show into question Stark made a very conscience choice to not play the game this week at all.  That is OK, because I went entirely out of my way to be overly bored with Legend of Legaia.  Stark talks about playing Ar Tonelico 1 and 3 and how much he really really hates PSN at the moment.  I talk about the article that I did on Valve and how everyone is complaining about DLC in Portal 2, even though that never went up on the site.  We also talk quickly about Forza 3.  There seemed to be something wrong with the recording this week, so there is some odd feedback.  I thought that it would be better to give it to you guys instead of making you wait even longer for me to figure out how to fix it in post.