Bethesda blocks sale of used game, claims it was to "protect buyers"

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Amazon's Marketplace is home to many sellers who try to resell used games, or occasionally, new games. Usually, there's no issue with this method, at least, until Bethesda involved themselves with one of the sellers, Ryan Hupp. Hupp had been trying to sell a sealed copy of The Evil Within 2; the product itself had been purchased by him prior, but still remained in the shrink wrap from original store that he'd bought it from. The sale page stated the copy of the game was "new", rather than used, due to that fact. However, shortly after creating the listing, Bethesda had contacted Hupp, telling him that he needed to remove the listing. He was also issued a legal notice from their lawyers, telling him that if he didn't take down the sale, legal action would be taken. Within the notice was the explanation that Hupp's sale was "unlawful", as he was not an authorized reseller of the company's games.

Unless you remove all Bethesda products, from your storefront, stop selling any and all Bethesda products immediately and identify all sources of Bethesda products you are selling, we intend to file a lawsuit against you

After the listing was removed, Bethesda made an official statement on the matter, claiming that they never have, nor ever will prevent used games sales. They specifically took issue with Ryan Hupp selling The Evil Within 2 due to the fact that he marked the copy of the game as "new", and according to the legal team, it's impossible for him to sell a new game, as he cannot provide a warranty on the product.

Bethesda does not and will not block the sale of pre-owned games. The issue in this case is that the seller offered a pre-owned game as “new” on the Amazon Marketplace.

We do not allow non-authorized resellers to represent what they sell as “new” because we can’t verify that the game hasn’t been opened and repackaged. This is how we help protect buyers from fraud and ensure our customers always receive authentic new product, with all enclosed materials and warranty intact.

In this case, if the game had been listed as “Pre-Owned,” this would not have been an issue.

Currently, there are no listings for "new" copies of The Evil Within 2 sold by marketplace users on Amazon. Though, eBay has dozens of listings of "new", factory sealed versions of the game, sold by regular eBay sellers, with varying amounts of feedback. Do you agree with Bethesda's stance, or do you think that they're trying too hard to police the public on game sales?

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TotalInsanity4

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Eh... Bit of both, I guess. He should have listed it as "like new" (hell, everyone on eBay should be as well), but I don't know that it should necessarily be within a game companies' right to force a listing to be taken down over that. I can see this being justified on both sides I suppose
 
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Sealed copies have been marked "New" since the dawn of game resale. I mean, surely they've taken a gander at eBay. While "Like New" is likely the appropriate moniker to use, I don't think selling "New" warrants harsh legal action against specific individuals or anything. This seems like more a move to make an example out of someone and scare others into changing their listings. Although, I do see Bethesda's point if the resellers are selling "New" copies en-masse, which would actually warrant legal action if they're not an authorized retailer/reseller. Though the people mentioned here don't seem to be doing that, so more likely than not they're just being picked on to set an example.
 
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Meteor7

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A gossamer excuse on on face value, since Bethesda are not at all responsible when it comes to unaffiliated sellers, but if they actually were concerned with what they claim, their message to Hupp would have addressed changing the status of the listing from "new" to "used" instead of demanding he take his listing down completely. They say that "the First Sale Doctrine does not apply when a reseller sells a trademarked good that is materially different from the company’s genuine goods.", which gives them the rights to take action, yet that the goods had been tampered with or altered was simply a possibility (as stated by them). They had no proof or evidence of alteration when sending the notice. They were likely counting on being able to scare Hupp into submission without things hitting the new outlets, and now that they have, they need to backpedal.
 
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Mark McDonut

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Hahaha, like these assholes would replace a cracked disc for less than a full re-purchase anyway. I've tried to get a broken FO3 disc replaced by them and was told they couldn't verify my physical purchase so I just pirated it and they lost a customer. This doesn't surprise me in the least.


Warranty. That's some world-class legal trollin'.
 
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kingfrost

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I disagree with this but fully expect multiple posts from people saying how it's their right and the property belongs to them like they too are making money here.
 
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My question is this: why would Bethesda involve themselves in governing the Amazon marketplace? These are third-party sellers, and listings like this probably happen all the time, so I fail to see why Bethesda would even bother to intervene, much less threaten the seller with a lawsuit.

The whole situation is silly anyways; yeah, it's a bit scummy to pass off a used copy as new, but worse things have happened on Amazon. Stuff like this doesn't form good relations with your playerbase. If anything, they're more likely to criticize the company for it's nanny-like approach to online sales.

Sealed copies have been marked "New" since the dawn of game resale. I mean, surely they've taken a gander at eBay. While "Like New" is likely the appropriate moniker to use, I don't think selling "New" warrants harsh legal action against specific individuals or anything. This seems like more a move to make an example out of someone and scare others into changing their listings. Although, I do see Bethesda's point if the resellers are selling "New" copies en-masse, which would actually warrant legal action if they're not an authorized retailer/reseller. Though the people mentioned here don't seem to be doing that, so more likely than not they're just being picked on to set an example.
Call me cynical, but I'm wary when a company decides it has the right to make an example out of an individual.
 

Ritsuki

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They are protecting themselves. If the guy sells this game as new, if there was anything wrong with it, Bethesda could be sued, and the warranty for the item would still apply. Since it's still second hand (even if it's unopened) all of this is not applicable, but someone with bad intentions could buy the game and involve Bethesda in some legal conundrum. Not very likely to happen, and I'm pretty sure the guy hasn't any bad motives, so it's a bit harsh, but all he has to do is to change from 'new' to 'as new'.

Btw, title of the news is a bit misleading IMHO, they just told one guy to not sell one game advertising it as new. By reading the title it feels like the decision is general. But it's just my opinion.
 
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SomeKindOfUsername

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Unless I'm wrong, Amazon Marketplace is not random people selling their stuff like on eBay. They're established vendors or stores so to speak and with that comes different kinds of terms and conditions, like not being able to claim an item is "new" if you are not authorized to.

Not saying this completely justifies their overly harsh reaction and monitoring but context is important. Just seeing a lot of people bringing up eBay and stuff when the situations are not totally comparable.
 
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