Bethesda sent a letter threatening to sue someone trying to sell their copy of The Evil Within 2 online.
There’s a weird dichotomy in the gaming world. Brick and mortar stores, like GameStop, love used video games. In fact, they make more money from reselling old games than they do from selling new ones.
But games developers hate it when people buy used. A used game doesn’t give them any more money--only a new purchase does.
Of course, there’s not a whole lot that developers can do to prevent the resale of a game. Unless they’re the size of Bethesda, that is.
In a story broken by Polygon, Bethesda sent a legal notice to a guy just trying to sell his old copy of The Evil Within 2 on Amazon Marketplace. Ryan Hupp had never gotten around to actually playing his copy (probably because he bought a new gaming PC than a PlayStation 4) so he decided to sell his still sealed and as-new copy online.
That’s when he got a letter from Bethesda demanding he take down the game, and any other Bethesda games as well. In the letter, Bethesda told Hupp that he was not an authorized reseller, and the fact that he was advertising his copy of The Evil Within 2 as “new” was false advertising.
Keep in mind, Hupp’s copy had never been opened, and so there’s no difference between what you’d buy at GameStop versus what Hupp was selling from Amazon. That didn’t matter to Bethesda, who argued back that since the game can’t come with a warranty if it’s offered from Hupp, then it’s not truly a “new” game.
Polygon reached out to Bethesda for comment received an official statement that the true issue here is Hupp’s use of the word “new” in his Amazon listing. If he’d used the words “pre-owned” there wouldn’t have been an issue, but since he called it “new”, Bethesda had to unleash their lawyers.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Bethesda head of global marketing Pete Hines weighed in on the issue. "You could have opened it up," he explained, "played it for five hours, taken whatever inserts or stuff was in there, put it back in shrink wrap and said, 'Hey this is new.'
“It's not new - you owned it, you bought it, so just list it as a used title. That's it, that's the end of the argument."
It certainly sounds like Bethesda is both splitting hairs and coming down quite harshly on someone who just wants to recoup their losses from a game they’d never played.
On the other hand, PC gamers never have to worry about reselling a game, because they can’t. So if you want to avoid Bethesda’s legal wrath, just start playing on PC.