In recent reports, Bethesda contacted a person who, they found, was trying to sell an unused, unopened copy of the game—yes, still sealed in plastic—on Amazon. While selling used games on Amazon is common, Bethesda demanded that he remove the listing saying that it lists the game as “new” is “false advertising” because a brand new game, purchased from an authorized retailer, comes with a warranty. Ryan Hupp’s private sale, thus, comes with no warranty.
At QuakeCon 2018, Bethesda’s Pete Hines explained, that the issue was, indeed, with the fact that Hupp described the product as “new”. He attests that while the package might appear new, there is still a chance that it could have been altered in ways that most buyers would not be aware of.
He comments, “He’s not trying to sell a secondhand game, he’s trying to sell a new game. He was listing the product as if it was new. All we’re saying is if it’s a previously owned product, you have to sell it as a previously owned product – you cannot represent it’s new because we have no way to verify what you’re selling actually is new.”
Hines continues, “You could have opened it up, 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.”
“You want to sell it as new, go to your buddy and say, ‘Hey I haven’t opened this copy, it’s new, give me $60 for it.’ If he buys it from you, knock yourself out, but don’t go on Amazon and represent yourself next to a retailer who we know we shipped sealed product to and they’re going to sell you an actual new copy of the game.”
Hines also made sure to stress that Bethesda supports the sale of used games but they must be marketed as such.
Hupp argues “I understand the legal arguments Bethesda are relying on, and accept that they have some legitimate interest in determining how their products are sold at retail, but threatening individual customers with lawsuits for selling games they own is a massive overreach.”