US retail giant GameStop has been accused of "deceptively misleading" customers over access to free downloadable content offered as part of EA's Project Ten Dollar initiative.
First reported by website IGN, the lawsuit claims that GameStop has failed to warn customers that used games do not allow access to downloadable content intended only for the original purchasers.
The original plaintiff in the case is James Collins, who purchased a used copy of Dragon Age: Origins but could not access the additional free downlodable content, which requires a one-time use access code.
A similar system is used in Mass Effect 2, also by developer BioWare, with replacement codes costing around $10.
Collins claims that advertisements for the downloadable content on the box cover implies that it is still available for free and that "GameStop tricks consumers into paying more for a used game than they would if they purchased the same game and content new."
GameStop initially refused him a refunded as he had not returned the game within seven days.
Project Ten Dollar was specifically designed by EA to combat second-hand sales, but the retail world has so far been critical of the move. Chipsworld MD Don McCabe in UK suggested that the scheme would alienate customers.
GameStop's response has been more diplomatic, suggesting that publishers should activate participate in the pre-owned business, by releasing more downloadable content, rather than trying to discourage it.