The new game market is a tricky world. Vendors such as GameStop have “perfected” the selling of both new and used games. While many have become gradually irritated with GameStop’s selling of gutted (opened) copies of games, Hupp took it one step further. Read more for the details.
It’s a tricky road when you sale video games both new and used. On one hand, you have stores such as GameStop who are prone to opening new copies of games by their system they use called “gutting a copy,” which means they’ve gutted a brand new copy in order to promote a new copy of the game with its box on the shelf. While not many copies do get sold this way, it’s not an uncommon practice for GameStop to do.
However, many would argue, GameStop should not advertise the game as a new copy since it has been removed from its packaging, placed in a sleeve along with its packaging contents, and then sold later on as a brand new copy. To some, they would argue the game is used, it no longer holds the brand new value that it had once been known for. After all, they have no way to track if the game had been played and then taken back as used if the customer didn’t approve of the game.
However, GameStop, in many ways, is able to do this as they are known for both their new and used products that they sell and they aren’t known for actually using those gutted copies of their games. However, things have taken an interesting twist when a man by the name of Ryan Hupp has decided to take things one step further and ended up having a sale blocked by Bethesda’s legal firm, Vorys, stating that Ryan Hupp’s listing of a sealed copy of The Evil Within 2 on the Amazon Marketplace was “unlawful” and he would have to remove it or face legal action.
During QuakeCon 2018, we were able to join Twitch streamer Wyld, writer Ian Boudreau of PCGamesN, and a few other members of the press for a roundtable with Pete Hines, Bethesda’s senior vice president of global marketing and communications. In the discussion, Hines explained that he did not have an issue with the fact that Hupp was selling their game – The Even Within 2 – second-hand, but rather, that he listed it as a “new” product.
“Here’s the only issue: don’t take a game that you’ve purchased and already owned and try and list it as if it’s a new product,” explained Hines. “If you list it as ‘used’ or ‘pre-owned,’ you’re fine.”
He continued on by explaining that it is impossible for Bethesda to verify whether or not those copies have been opened, which includes the possibility of damage to the discs, missing items that may be included in the packed in components such as DLC codes could have been found in what looks like brand-new, shrink-wrapped packaging that most new games can be seen within.
“I don’t want our customers buying things that are represented on Amazon as being new and suddenly finding out, oh, the inserts weren’t in there, or there’s a giant scratch in the disc,” Hines said. “He could have wiped his forehead with it for all I know – this is not a new game. That is literally the beginning and end of the problem.”
While Hupp has since removed his Amazon listing for his copy of The Evil Within 2, he doesn’t agree with the approach Bethesda took to the occasion or their approach,
Hupp has removed his Amazon listing for his copy of The Evil Within 2, but he doesn’t agree with Bethesda’s rationale or the approach the company took with dealing with the issue. However, in an email to Polygon, Hupp explains that he understands that the company (Bethesda) has an invested interest in how their products are sold, but he thinks their approach was a “massive overreach”.
Now if only game companies could take the same approach with GameStop and their re-selling of gutted copies of their games instead of marking them as like-new (used).
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.