Bethsoft: Dodgy reseller lawsuits, new media review policies, and Legends crossplay ultimata


Today in why we can’t have nice things, it appears that Bethsoft is using its legal weight to crack down on folks selling fully legitimate boxed copies of its games. Polygon’s report follows one gamer who was attempting to sell his unwanted boxed, sealed copy of The Evil Within 2 through Amazon, but was sent a threatening letter from Bethsoft’s legal team accusing him of not being an “authorized reseller.” Though he wasn’t breaking any laws or agreements, the company appears to be trying to scare games out of selling stuff they legally own by threatening them with lawsuits.

Bethsoft, for its part, told Polygon that the problem was the individual’s use of the word “new” on Amazon rather than “pre-owned,” even though the box was still sealed. “We do not allow non-authorized resellers to represent what they sell as ‘new’ because we can’t verify that the game hasn’t been opened and repackaged,” claims the company.

In other Bethsoft news, the company has apparently changed its review policy. You might recall the big stink a few years ago when Bethsoft decided to hold review copies of the game until launch, thereby denying media the chance to preview it, which had the presumably intended effect of squelching any negative reviews that might arise and influence preorders. The company’s Pete Hines told VG247 that it’s been re-evaluating that policy.

“We were tired of reading reviews where the first paragraph spent more time talking about our review policy than the game,” he says. “So we decided we’re not going to keep drawing attention to it – we’ll send out copies and maybe people will start talking about the game instead of talking about policies. So we did.”

For what it’s worth, Bethsoft’s policy never seemed to affect us or MMORPG Elder Scrolls Online, as we’ve always had plenty of access there even as indie media.

Finally, GameInformer’s QuakeCon interview with Hines sheds some light on the brewing Elder Scrolls Legends fuss, as he’s laid out cross-platform terms that he says are “essentially non-negotiable” – specifically, he suggests that the game won’t port to any console that won’t cooperate with complete cross-platforminess. This basically implies that Sony’s PS4 will either have to cooperate or be left out.

“We can’t be talking about one version of Legends, where you take your progress with you, and another version where you stay within that ecosystem or its walled off from everything else. That is counter to what the game has been about. […] I’m just telling you that’s our stance. That is our intent. And that is our message. Not specific to anyone in particular, but to everyone we are talking about. This is 100 percent clear. This is what we are doing, what we need, and what we intend.”

Source: Polygon, VG247, GameInformer. With thanks to Xijit, Cotic, Estokha, and Winterskorn.
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