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Bethesda hits Amazon seller with legal threat over reselling pre-owned game as 'new'

Bethesda hits Amazon seller with legal threat over reselling pre-owned game as 'new'

August 13, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon

August 13, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon
More: Console/PC

Bethesda sent a letter threatening legal action against an individual for selling a sealed copy of The Evil Within 2 on the Amazon Marketplace, a threat that the company has since clarified is in response to the product being listed as ‘new’ rather than a crackdown on reselling Bethesda games.

Originally, Polygon first reported over the weekend that an individual had received a letter from Bethesda’s legal firm Vorys, warning him that the company would seek legal action if he did not remove his listing for a ‘new’ copy of The Evil Within 2 on the Amazon Marketplace.

Bethesda senior vice president of marketing and communications Pete Hines offered an explanation of the company’s decision to send a letter to that individual to Eurogamer, noting that Bethesda’s issue was with a non-authorized reseller claiming to sell a ‘new’ copy of one of the company’s games specifically.

“We are not trying to stop anybody selling a used game, we would never try and stop anybody selling a used game,” Hines told Eurogamer. “We do have an issue with people representing they are selling a new copy of the game when we have no ability to tell its actually new, so we aren’t going to allow somebody to say ‘this is new.'"

Hines’ statement backs up one of the issues raised in the original letter received by the reseller which said that this particular sale was not protected by the doctrine that typically covers used media sales since his listing wouldn’t include the typical warranty provided in the sale of new games.

“You could have opened it up, played for five hours, taken whatever inserts or stuff was in three, 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, said Hines. "That’s it, that’s the end of the argument."

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