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

    
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Cool.

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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McGuffn

None of the games were new anyways, they were previously owned by at least Bethesda, and could have wiped their butt with the “cloth” map you get.

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thirtymil

In between this and the lockboxes/limited time offers in ESO, it feels like Bethesda have just hired a bunch of former EA execs.

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Darthbawl

Jim Sterling has a great video up on Youtube about this issue with Bethesda. NSFW/young ears warning. :P

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

iirc the prerelease review copy thing started because certain influencers and press outlets chose to take that opportunity to score hits by posting major spoilers for games ahead of their launches. and it started with a black list and then mutated into an embargo/not sending out review copies ahead of launch.

it was a super shitty thing to do but also a day that ends in y for those involved.

anyways bethesda has no room to sue anyone for reselling. and new in box is perfectly ok to list as new condition when reselling. there’s nothing bethesda has to say about it unless it’s being resold on their own market place. with luck these lawsuits will be dismissed with prejudice upon being filed. such an absurd display of unwarranted self importance by beth here. >>

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thalendor

There won’t be any lawsuit because the person took it down. Regardless of who is in the right, I can’t blame him for doing so as it’s just, for him personally, a no win situation. How many people really want to spend how much time and money in court against a corporation with team of lawyers that will make things as miserable as possible for you even if you do, in the end, win the right to… sell a game for less than $60 on Ebay? Even so, I do agree that what Bethesda did was a whole lot of asshattery…

harbinger_kyleran
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harbinger_kyleran

All the guy has to do is re-list it as an unopened game and drop the word “new.”