Console gamers are all too familiar with the now-commonplace practice of implementing online passes. New games come with a one-time use code that grants access to a game's multiplayer mode. In some cases (as with Batman: Arkham City), certain single-player content is locked out without redeeming the included voucher.
While gamers that purchase new games are unaffected, gamers that buy used games must shell out an additional fee (typically $15) to purchase an online pass via Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. This hidden cost is at the center of a recent lawsuit against GameStop--a retailer that profits significantly off the secondhand games market.
A class action lawsuit against GameStop, filed in California, has been settled today. As a result of the lawsuit, Californian customers of GameStop will be entitled to a cash refund, and stores will be required to warn consumers of the potential added costs of used games.
"Under the settlement, GameStop must, for the next two years, post signs on the shelves where used games are sold in California stores, and online, warning consumers that certain downloadable content may require an additional purchase," the agreement details.
Customers that purchased a used game will be able to receive a $15 compensation. PowerUp Rewards customers can receive a $10 check and a $5 coupon. Customers that are not members of GameStop's loyalty program can receive a $5 check and a $10 coupon.
Baron and Budd, the law firm representing the class action, promises to provide information on how to receive the compensation on a newly created Facebook page. However, as of publishing, no information on the redemption process has been made available.