As explained here, Bethesda’s legal firm, Vorys, recently sent a letter to one Ryan Hupp, telling him that his 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.
Following up on this, Eurogamer approached Pete Hines, Bethesda’s senior vice president of global marketing and communications and marketing, at QuakeCon for more information.
Hines explained that the issue was not that Hupp was selling their game second-hand, but specifically that he listed it as ‘new’. “All we’re saying is if it’s a previously owned product, you have to sell it as a previously owned product”, he told Eurogamer.
“You could have opened it up,” he went on to explain, “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.”
Hines was at pains to explain that they’re not seeking to block sales of used games, so long as they’re described as ‘used’ in the listing. “If you want to sell your copy of the game, it’s ‘pre-owned’. You can’t say that it’s new because I have no way to verify that, and ultimately that person is our customer we have to deal with and if there’s stuff missing or things that have happened we’re the ones that are going to have to make it right.”