GameStop discarding Deus Ex coupons before selling game

[UPDATE] After removing codes for free OnLive streaming version of Square Enix's new release, specialty retailer pulls PC game from sale completely with publisher's support.

When Square Enix launched Deus Ex: Human Revolution earlier this week, the publisher proclaimed that all purchasers of the PC retail version of the game would receive a free OnLive digital copy of the game as well. However, Square Enix's plans appear to have been partially thwarted, as GameSpy reports that specialty retailer GameStop has been removing the OnLive coupons from its copies of the game before selling them to customers.

The OnLive version of Deus Ex sells on its own for $50.

A GameStop representative confirmed the news for GameSpy, saying, "Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our [Deus Ex: Human Revolution] product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons."

OnLive is a game rental and purchase service that allows PC gamers with an Internet connection to stream titles for play on "nearly any" PC or Mac or on TVs equipped with an OnLive game system and controller. The company is also prepping iPad and Android tablet versions of its service.

While OnLive and GameStop can be said to compete at the moment, their markets are likely to overlap more in the future. Earlier this year, GameStop acquired the streaming game company Spawn Labs, and it plans to launch an open beta of its own streaming service later this year.

[UPDATE]: A Square Enix representative told GameSpot "We have no comment" on the matter. An OnLive representative similarly had no comment.

GameStop also provided additional comment on its Facebook page, saying, "Regarding the Deus Ex: Human Revolution OnLive codes: We don't make a habit of promoting competitive services without a formal partnership. Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull these coupons. While the new products may be opened, we fully guarantee the condition of the discs to be new. If you find this to not be the case, please contact the store where the game was purchased and they will further assist."

[UPDATE 2]: GameStop has reportedly changed its position on the PC version of Deus Ex. A company representative told CNN today that it has stopped selling physical copies of the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution until it receives a new version from Square Enix without the OnLive coupon included. However, GameStop continues to offer the downloadable version of the PC game, which includes no such OnLive bonus.

[UPDATE 3]: Square Enix decided it had a comment after all. The publisher released a statement to GameSpot, saying, "As part of Deus Ex: Human Revolution's boxed offering on PC, Square Enix included a third party coupon. GameStop was not made aware of this inclusion and Square Enix respects the right of GameStop to have final say over the contents of products it sells and to adjust them where they see fit in accordance with their policies."

The publisher went on to invite gamers who want to purchase a coupon-free version of the game to get it from any of GameStop's North American stores, or download it from the retailer's website.

For more on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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889 comments
XanderZane
XanderZane

TigusVidiks said: @XanderZane That's not true. Square did not admit Ganmestop was right at any point . Read the update for what it says. What Square says, is what we have all been saying: That Gamestop is free to decide what they want to sell(or Not) at their own store, and to adjust the products they sell, according to their own policies. They don't say that they agree with those policies. They simply state the obvious. Or, as I say, If you want to go arround your house naked screeming that you are a butterfly, I agreethat it's your right to do whatever you want inside your house. That doesn't mean I agree with it. Furthermore, Gamestop stepped back and decided to stop selling the game all together, until they get new copies without the cupon. And that's all everyone has been saying. ************************************************************* I think you got me confused with @Spartan-1657. He said that, not me. I was just commenting on what he said. What I said was that SquareEnix should have notified retailers, including GS, of the coupons before shipping the games. This way retailers could decided if they wanted the game with or without the coupon inside. Review my post again.

XanderZane
XanderZane

2TigusVidiks @XanderZane lol of course they admit it. They are laughing their a**es out. they had more publicity to On Live with all this than what they could have ever expected from the cupons alone. eheh ****************************************************************** OnLive may have gotten some good publicity off of this, but they lose some potential customers with GS pulling the coupons out of the retail boxes. Knowing GS they will just reseal the boxes and sell them as new without even telling the customer the box was opened. A couple of phone calls could have gotten this resolved fairly quickly.

Link3301
Link3301

It was just like when I was a kid and I bought that Yugioh game and the promo cards were already taken out, except this makes some sense since its a the coupons are a threat to Gamespot.

Immartinez
Immartinez

Long before this I had decided to never shop at GameStop. Now with more reason. Some other reasons? They will gladly give you $7 for your brand new but played once copy of Black Ops, and turn around and sell it to you for the bargain price of almost the same price as a brand new version. They do this millions of times over with all sorts of games, and how much of that ridiculous 800% markup do the developers/publishers see? They are just as bad for the industry as pirates, if not worse. Services like OnLive are a direct threat to their exploitative, unfair, and soon to be extinct business model. BOYCOTT GAMESTOP. SHAME ON GAMESTOP. HOORAY ONLIVE!!

neonfrax2
neonfrax2

So eerie to read how mega-corporations are working peacefully together, hand-in-hand, to abuse the customers. Apparently, GameStop can alter their games for sale anyway they see fit AND Square Enix kindly offers no support to customers who unknowingly purchased "modified" games without codes.... Maybe next GameStop can start removing the Online Pass codes (which suck) from EA Sports titles without telling customers, since EA now offers online downloading of their games through EA Season Pass.

cubachino
cubachino

Wow, talk about oppressive! What's next GameStop? No more selling of Mortal Kombat because you don't like Johnny Cage performing the crotch punch on female combatants? If we don't ban together people, soon who knows they might just have the power to do just that. Personally I stopped buying games from them after the third time they sold me an unsealed game as new. For those who don't know, it is GameStop's policy to allow their employees to open and play all new games. Therefore, if its been played it's been used and should not be sold as new. Hopefully soon some company will slap them with some kind of lawsuit or accuse them of a monopoly of some kind and then they will learn.

redskinStu
redskinStu

Here's a crazy idea: don't shop at Gamestop.

X_Colbert_X
X_Colbert_X

Going to Gamestop to buy new PC games is like going to a movie theater to play in the arcade.

killerjay13
killerjay13

SCREW GAMESTOP!! They have screwed me over soooo many times! Now that i know bestbuy does trade ins im only going there.

Necronomnicon
Necronomnicon

I agree Starduke, Definitely buying more from steam now and avoiding gamestop altogether unless it'ss omething likely older I'll have trouble finding elsewhere. I usually get from steama nyways ha ha , cause it's convenient

starduke
starduke

Hey, wait-a-minute, doesn't Deus Ex HR have Steamworks DRM? How is selling the PC version, even without the Onlive coupon, not promoting a competitor? Don't you have to register with Steam to even play it? Say what you will about Steam, but it's defiantly one of Gamestop's biggest competitors, probably even more then Onlive.

ziproy
ziproy

Oh well everyone will just buy the game from Walmart, Best Buy, or the like. Gamestop will lose ALL of the sales for this game except for pre-orders. Never EVER pre-order a game

PdPstyle
PdPstyle

After gamespot's "employee program" where they would repackage and sell a game as new after the employees and played the game...their guarantee does not hold much water. Regardless, they should have simply sent the product back to factory and asked for a refund on grounds of conflicting interests (you can do that). I loath gamespot for its shady dealings so im a little bias (ok very) I dont see any other companies complaining?

x_hunter00
x_hunter00

@Frame_Dragger: actually your first point directed towards NoFormation is wrong. By Square Enix admitting that they didnt tell GameStop about the coupons and then later "respecting" Gamestop's right in having "final say" over product content, Gamestop has the legal right to remove the coupons from the PC version of DXHR. Square Enix was the one who breached the contract.

method115
method115

I actually just read this article for the first ( I skimmed through it yesterday) and this is just horrible. I've never really agreed with the complaints others have made about gamestop but this one I do. I'm going to do my best not to buy from them. I'm not going to make things harder on myself just to avoid them but if I can I will.

Scottisme
Scottisme

@Frame_Dragger yeah i know it was just a joke, thanks anyways though

ggregd
ggregd

And I love Square Enix's comment. I detect a note of sarcasm in their invitation to those who "want to purchase a coupon-free version". Who wants to deliberately forego something free? It's like a jury deciding the plaintiff is the winner in a lawsuit and awarding them $1.00. Buuurrrnnnn.

ggregd
ggregd

This is the opening shot in the war between digital and retail that retail will inevitably lose. This is seriously tacky and unprofessional on the part of GameStop and smacks of desperation. They could have just refused to sell the game - but nooooooo, they gotta have the money. Sleazy.

Scottisme
Scottisme

what would they have done with these free onlive coupons for deus ex? I bet they were going to sell them! joking but that would be hilarious

Noformation
Noformation

@PixelAddict well books aren't a billion dollar industry. Since Gamestop did purchase the games, technically they can do whatever they want with it. Sure, they got caught and it looks bad for their business, but is this going to stop all people from going to Gamestop to buy games? No. All we can do as consumers is: complain (which is what most of us are good at) or save your money (if you don't agree with their practices, buy from somewhere else or don't buy it at all). So what's it going to be?

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

@Frame_Dragger What's amazing to me is that the publishers despise Gamestop for selling used, when nearly every other industry has this same practice. Sure, I can buy a used car on the same lot as where new cars are being sold, but an analogy closer to the truth is used books and CD's. I've never heard of a book publisher hating small used book stores for such a practice. Heck, those small mom and pop book stores do almost the same thing as Gamestop. Last time I sold some books, I received $1-3 apiece, and those books went on to sell for $10-15.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

@Frame_Dragger If Square thinks of Gamestop as a competitor, they have a funny way of showing it. Let's say I'm a company creating some good, and I lack the ability to sell the good myself, so I partner with another company to sell said good. It would be foolish of me to hurt that relationship. No?

bobbo888
bobbo888

@Frame_Dragger Well I see you repeating yourself once again... Like I said previously it's because people complaining that gamestop felt the need to apologize. People wanted something for nothing. @SocialAnXieTy Onlive isn't a popular service... most people don't have a good broadband connection or an onlive gaming system to even use it. Please tell me how gamestop didn't own the copies of deus ex? I mean Square Enix didn't just give them out for free... Gamestop can do anything they want with the products they have in their store. All in all it wasn't a good situation for gamestop. People were gonna complain either way.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Say what you will about Gamestop, but Square Enix handled this whole thing terribly. What were they thinking putting OnLive coupons in titles going to Gamestop, or any other retailer for that matter.

Xdz89
Xdz89

I might add that waiting to sell the game would have caused a HUGE uproar from the customers. This was really a lose-lose for GS: send them back and upset people because of not getting their games on time or: take out the code and sell them an opened "new" game. either way its bad news. If it had been late I'm sure GS would have had to do something in order to soothe the wounds by giving out free stuff too, because everyone would say: "If you guys werent so greedy and wanted all the publicity for yourselves we would have our game right now!" A sad state of affairs all around....

Xdz89
Xdz89

@Frame_Dragger I Agree with you. I'm sorry that my post appeared to be completely directed toward you. I was directing some of my comment to all the people that think because GS sells used games they are killing the industry. @SocialAnXieTy I think that bobbos point was that while many people CAN use onlive, few do, so while a small amount of the people that are complaining MAY have used this code, MANY of them are complaining just to complain and get something for nothing. I will say again that I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE that GS was in the wrong but, I can't help feeling like this is just a lot of whiners trying to get free stuff. Furthermore as stated GS do legally own the copies of the games they are selling, and as we know possession is 9/10 of the law =/

shinmew
shinmew

GameStops Greed is also part of the problem. Haven't they heard of professional courtesy?

bobbo888
bobbo888

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

SocialAnXieTy
SocialAnXieTy

@bobbo888 I mean, OnLive is a fairly popular service that anyone with a decent internet connection can use, so I don't know what your point is there. And once more, it's the fact that GS pulled contents from a product they didn't own, and then attempted to re-seal it and sell it as new. As others have stated over and over, GS should have decided to not sell it until SE could provide copies without the coupon. The fact that they straight-up trashed them is unacceptable and disgusting business practice.

bobbo888
bobbo888

@Frame_Dragger They didn't disagree with me, they apologized because people complained, like I previously said. The fact that you're opposed to my opinion proves that you are too sensitive to the issue. It's really not a big deal. Out of all those coupons that customers actually received, how many do you think actually used it? It's just a coupon... A coupon that supports competition to GameStop... it's just good business for them, I guess GameStop figured their customers weren't so whiny, but they were wrong. Do you use OnLive to rent games? Does anybody for that matter use OnLive? People are arguing for the sake of arguing and to get their reimbursement. It just goes to show you that if people complain, they get their way, like when they were children.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Lol, great way to say, buy the game elsewhere... May well be worthless, but I wouldn't like somoene unsealing the game pratting around with the box and probably screwing up the booklet... I've seen how people in game stores handle the merch, not exactly with care.

bobbo888
bobbo888

@Frame_Dragger Honestly, how many people would have used that coupon in the first place? The only reason they're apologizing is because people are complaining and they know that they will get some sort of reimbursement for it. Did you intend on buying the game in hope for that OnLive coupon? I don't think anybody did. like Xdz89 said, this is being blown up because the market is way too sensitive. How would they have figured this out sooner? They stated that they didn't know that SE had placed the coupons in the box until they received the merchandise. P.S, obviously I don't just side with the way the thread is going... I couldn't care less about the opinions of others, so you just jump on that bandwagon. I bet you didn't even buy the game lol.

Xdz89
Xdz89

@Frame_Dragger I totally agree that selling them as new, without saying "yeah we opened this and removed the competing retailers stuff" is morally wrong. however having worked in retail of textbooks I can tell you this stuff happens often, more often than you'd think. I'll tell you flat out, I don't buy games from GS that often, I go amazon all the way. I don't sell my games there either as its a crock to do that as well. I either trade them on the game trading website I'm a member of (O teh noes, no ones making money, hes like a pirate!) or give them/sell them to friends or workmates (OMG I'm getting all the profit, not the developer/publisher!) Anyhoo, business X does have the right to remove competing business Y's promo stuff from the products that X plans to sell. Is it right? no. not morally, and both GS and SE are being grown ups and saying "whoops sorry" to both each other and now the consumers who were "harmed" in this situation. I honestly feel like this is being blown WAY out of proportion, if consumers really knew how much of their "new" merchandise was actually used but returned in the box, or opened by store associates I'm sure that games would be the least of their problems. I read a comment on kotaku stating that he sort of wishes his 360 copy had a code taken out so he could get a FREE TOTALLY DIFFERENT GAME, but instead hes stuck playing the game he paid for. I think all the console gamers who purchased DE:HR would agree with that statement, I know I do...

akdiuuuryttt
akdiuuuryttt

ive bought NEW games from ebgames (gamestop) that have marks on the disk.. no wonder they just play and sell them as new wtf

bobbo888
bobbo888

@Frame_Dragger Of course they had other options but who are you to decide if it's better? If they just sent back the copies (like I'm sure you would have suggested they do) they would have lost soooo many sales to other distributors of the game, i.e Target, Best Buy, Play N Trade, etc. Does that sound like a good idea to you if you were the owner of the company? Well you can't really answer that question because you're not. Who cares that they took out the coupons... the people got the game they wanted! People need to stop whining...

pidow
pidow

It was not something I wanted, I personally do not like those Steam, etc., I am unable to play Deus Ex, because my CDC 512MB problem is be pondered for an fix, because of having to go through someone else to play. I do not think it is fair when some get to play the games while others has to try to find fixes. All of this having to be on-line continual or their server is unavailable, try again later, hell, I paid for the game to play immediately, not a a later date in time. Those places are rip-off period. From now on, I will not pre-order, nor will I buy any game that is controlled.

G1Ga-B1T3
G1Ga-B1T3

Gamestop is a bunch of hypocrites. That is all.

headninjadog
headninjadog

Gamestop must go out of business for the survival of of the game industry.

jekyll
jekyll

@Infinity_Gauntl "What right did Enix have in trying to slip it by GS...." They didn't try to slip anything by anyone. They tried to provide consumers with a bonus for buying their game.

StarMcCloud
StarMcCloud

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

winnazdaluza
winnazdaluza

Gamestop just over-reacted about an issue with a problem that could have been solved with a simple call to square saying "hey don't send anymore boxes with coupons kthxgbye" but noooo they had to make a spectacle of it all.I mean what happened to diplomacy ?? Their treating square like a a repeat offender ,I mean seriously if they asked would square say no? Kudos to square for taking the high road on this and being respectful in their reaction.Gamestop are worried about their digital service while most of us already have steam which they should really be worried about. This whole thing makes em look bad , and other download services look good.We know the bussiness world is hard ,but if you cannot remain civil to each other in front of your customers, they may just decide to go elsewhere.

DEEmoneyDEEtox
DEEmoneyDEEtox

if you get the game for PC whats the point of a digital copy really? steam has digital copies if you wanna take that route

McBoogerballz
McBoogerballz

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

true_hurdler
true_hurdler

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

@StarMcCloud like I said in my comment, placing display copies on store shelves has no correlation with openning all PC games up. They give you the box, they give you the CD. All they have done is separated them. They can HAVE the display box up front, and just leave all the sale boxes unopened to give to the customer since they put it back in the box anyway when they give it to you. And sadly, gamestops PC game selection is just as paltry as other brick and mortar resellers so that excuse doesn't really fly either. AND if you buy the copy of a PC game from them its pre openned... so you can't ever return it. If i buy my brother an unopenned box for christmas he can keep it shut and give it back if he doesnt want it... not at gamestop... because they ALREADY openned the box.

maxwell97
maxwell97

@VileFiend: Onlive uses streaming instead of download, meaning that the game is actually run on their server, and it just sends the display to your computer. So, you can play on a computer that's not nearly powerful enough to run the game, which might be nice for someone who has, say, a good desktop pc to play the 'real' game but a low-end laptop that could run the Onlive version. The downsides are input lag, compressed graphics, and the need to be constantly connected to play.

bob21colts
bob21colts

I want Game Crazy back :( That was the best place for buying games :/

bob21colts
bob21colts

omg i remember buying a new game for ps3 $60 and it wasnt sealed!!!!!

VileFiend
VileFiend

I don't quite undersand what the reasoning behind the extra digital copy is in the first place. I see why dvd's sometimes come with them - so the user can load it into his/her ipad or other portable device. However, what does Square Enix think I would possibly (legally) want to do with a second digital copy of the same game I just puchased on cd? As far as I know, a hard copy is always preferable anyway, so it's not much of a bonus. Anybody have a good idea about this?