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Bethesda blocks one customer's resale of The Evil Within 2

Published: 12:35, 13 August 2018
Tango Gameworks
Poster for the game The Evil Within 2.
The Evil Within 2

Even though Bethesda was initially seen as the bad guy for blocking a sale of a sealed and supposedly brand new copy of The Evil Within 2 on Amazon Marketplace, it turns out that they've actually acted in their players' best interest.

As usual though, the whole ordeal didn't start to untangle until the masses started kicking up a ruckus, mostly due to the false information they've been fed. Well, false may be too strong a word so we'll use misleading instead, for reasons you will soon learn.

It all started when Ryan Hupp, resident of Philadelphia, USA, wrote to Polygon claiming that Bethesda have wronged him by making him take down his copy of The Evil Within 2 from Amazon Marketplace. As you'd expect, the world plus dog immediately assumed that Bethesda are trying to prevent sale of their used games but there's more.

Hupp claimed that the game was not even unwrapped because he planned the sale beforehand, which has turned out to be, you guessed it - misleading. In the letter that Bethesda's legal team sent Hupp, he was accused of false advertising, since the game was in fact unwrapped.

Even though Hupp complied as per the company's instructions, he did try to justify his sale via the First Sale Doctrine, which grants individuals rights to sell legally purchased games, books, DVDs and the like, the way they see fit. Unfortunately, Bethesda's team had a response for that as well.

It turns out that the First Sale Doctrine covers "goods have not been altered so as to be materially different from those originating from the trademark owner", which would exclude Hupp's copy of The Evil Within 2. After all, the game was unwrapped and does not come with full warranty, which would legally mean it was "altered".

Bethesda Sebastian shooting at a montster in Union The Evil Within 2 - She's got half a mind. No seriously.

The company insists that they never blocked sale of used games, nor will they ever do so. What they will do though is protect their customers by preventing sales of used games that are branded as new, which actually makes the company look good. Oh well, information does that.

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