CEO of specialty retailer apologizes to customers, offers store credit and "buy two, get one free" coupon for used games as a make-good.
The new Deus Ex game was supposed to be all about the Human Revolution, but the game's arrival in stores was marked by a bit of conflict spilling over from the digital distribution revolution. Upset that the PC version of the game came packed in with a coupon for a free digital streaming version from OnLive, specialty retailer GameStop removed and discarded those goodies before selling the game to consumers.
That move provoked considerable ire from some gamers, which in turn led to GameStop ceasing all sales of the boxed PC edition of Deus Ex: Human Revolution until Square Enix replaced its stock with coupon-free games. The company has gone a step further today, as Joystiq reports GameStop CEO Paul Raines has issued an apology and promised a $50 gift certificate and a "buy two, get one free" coupon on used games to customers who purchased the PC game.
"We regret the events surrounding this title release and that our customers were put in the middle of this issue between GameStop and Square Enix, the publisher of this game," Raines said. "And for this, we are truly sorry."
As of press time, a GameStop representative had not returned a request for comment. However, a store employee confirmed that he had been told to issue $50 gift certificates to those customers who brought in a receipt to the same store where the game was purchased.
For more on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, check out GameSpot's review.
@WiteLite they usually just do the circle sticker but they do have wrapped ones I've bought too "it looks like a heat sealed zip lock bag" also the purpose of the circle sticker is not to make it seemed "wrapped" it means you bought a copy on the shelf so that people don't steal those copy's they keep the disks behind the counter and you watch them put the disk in the case the circle sticker is so they know if you opened it when you try to return it nothing more and nothing less and they have factory wrapped games in the glass case behind the counter most of those are new releases so if you pre order something it will be factory wrapped
Gamespot is drawing attention to this for publicity of OnLive (which is owned by Gamespot). Conflict of interest, much?
Must be an American thing. My room mate bought a pc copy from Gamestop and the Onlive cupon is in there...we live in Canada.
Alright, well I'm gonna take my receipt in and I better not get any trouble over this. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if none of the employees know anything about this.
i agree gamestop is a very bad and selfish company i used to work for gamestop about 5 yrs ago and they are so backwards on even their own policies. i was an assistant manager in nyc there was a customer who came in and bought some ds titles he came back about two mins later and said he left his bad in here with his ds i said i havent seen it because i was in the back getting all the paperwork ready to close the store. he said maybe the guy who sold me the games saw it i asked the associate and he said no i havent seen it so the guy leaves as we r leaving after i lock the door and put the alarm on the associate tells me that he has the guys stuff so i take it from him report to my manager then two weeks later i get fired for taking it out of the store my argument was i didnt take it out of the store the associate did and i took it from him so you see gamestop doesnt care about the customers or even their own loyal employess so i hope they burn in hell
One time, GameStop attempted to sell a used game at full price to me. I asked for a new copy of Uncharted 2, and what I got was an already opened copy with some huge circle sticker sealing it. There was notable shelf ware on the case, as well as dust and finger prints on the disc. Then, there was this time when I bought a used copy of Saint's Row 2 (PS3). There was a tiny blemish on it. A few weeks later I went back to trade it in because it wasn't really my thing. But guess what happens? They feed me some BS about how they can't buy it because of that blemish. So, I explain the situation, and then they finally decide to buy it. Only problem is that they charge me for a refurbish fee. More than likely that blemish was already there when the original owner traded it in, so that tells me that GameStop never bothered to refurbish it in the first place. Naturally, I hope they go out of business one day. They are a blight on the gaming industry, along with EA and Activison.
@Frame_Dragger pc games come in the same wrap console games come in. fact and as i said before they dont rewrap games...ever. the wrap is only used to group several games together for inventory purposes in backstock. -fact they always use circle stickers to seal games that have been opened. -fact but anyway................im done. your opinion of how gs operates is off base. and you lack the ability to have a legitimate debate, as you choose to ignore topics you cant validate. .....anyone want my onlive coupon (pm me)...or ima just throw it away.
At least they did something, but now even more people are going to be watching what GS does, which is good.
They're only apologetic because it was noticed and publicized by the media. For every incident that I'm informed of I wonder how many other unethical things this company does that isn't discovered.
The way I see it this is just Gamestop trying to get rid of their used game stock more than likely, people will just use the giftcard immediately and get two or three used games.
@Frame_Dragger you have obviously never worked in retail. 1- there is an obvious difference between the 'crispy' wrap manufactures use...and the 'stretchy' wrap retails use. 2- huge waste of time. no manager with a half a brain would have had the copies re-wrapped. have you ever bought anything from gs? they NEVER wrap a game.....opened cases are ALWAYS re-sealed using 'circle-stickers' exactly like the once used on systems. quote - "You think that employees sold copies and said, "Hey, just so you know we didn't tamper with that!"" - no i dont think that, apparently thats what you think. you obviously have an issue with the concept of a question. 3rd time asking - if you bought a pc game that had already been opened would you not ask why????? Where (for the 3rd time) is my "scenario" different from "chain of consequences we've seen laid out before us."? all iv done is point out that you cant answer my last question... where does it say employees were told to lie to customers.? you keep saying "because thats not the deception that occured" "lie of omission" "employees had to lie" "customers weren't notified about the alteration" "despite the evidence that they were not?" ^^last just the last 2 posts...several more but where is this evidence???
@GiantsFan2290 I guess it's more of a regional term from were i live that didn't got translated very well. It's like this, one guy came calling everyone names and using... eerrrmm "low level" terms, and then someone answered with good arguments and without having to descend to that level. It's pretty much like an discussion were one gives a good point of view that's hard to argue against. Hope that explained, i dunno how it's the term you use for that, so i translated one from my city.
@Frame_Dragger you said "So, you just find it inconceivable that customers weren't notified about the alteration" yep, i sure do. because.....> you didnt answer my question. if you were buying a pc game that had already been opened, would you not ask why? maybe its just me....but yes, i find it extremely hard to believe that someone with more than a 5th grade education would not ask why the pc copies were open. kinda dumb founded as to how thats a complicated line of thought. on your other comment...ill just copy and paste the other question...again. "where exactly do see my version straying?" i have no version. just pointing out the fact that there is zero evidence to support that employee's were flat out lying to customers about the product being open. not a version....just an observation.
@Icehearted Yeah, I don't really know what else to say that hasn't already been said at this point, and these fools still aren't getting it. As I said, I'm done arguing with people who know nothing of what they're trying to discuss.. if they want to involve themselves with a company just because of a $50 gift card bribe despite the companies clear wrong-doing, then that's their business. I hate to sound self-righteous, but I'm smarter than that, and anyone who isn't can get themselves screwed. If nothing else, I can say I've tried. :p
@Frame_Dragger >>Its also not been reported that customers were lied to when buying the game either. Which is, once again, why i have a hard time believing the customer was not told why the product was open before the purchase. If i bought pc game that was already open....id ask if i wasnt told already. would you not? never said opened and unopened dont have an effect on value. never even got anywhere near that topic. i was simply responding to a previous comment that gs had broken the pc seal of authenticity (which doesn't exist). 360 games are the only games that have a seal. "Your own version of what happened seems to sharply diverge from what Gamestop admitted, the actions its taken, and the reason this story came to light at all" where exactly do see my version straying? my comment didnt have a version, other than the first comment above ">>"
@SocialAnXieTy you sound mighty agitated...have a beer...seriously (its all friendly) theres no seal of certification for pc games...just shrink wrap. which retailers can reproduce. there is also a difference between open box, and used. since the product was never used...its just an open box item. and the only difference between gs opening and square opening is the shipping costs back and forth. waste of money, time, and customers convenience. you pointed out not everyone got their coupon...i believe you, theres someone out there that didnt...but apparently a very, very small handful. have you found someone...because iv been asking since this happened for an example of one person. have yet to find anything. - - this goes out to everyone...im still missing the shady part of lieing to customers. employee - "your aware the coupon for onlive was removed?" customer - "no, i was not...well that changes everything, ima go to wal-mart" employee - "ok, have a great-tastic day!!" lol :) -or- customer - "thats cool i dont care about onlive" employee - "ok, that will be $blah" - not saying this is guaranteed what happened, but i have a hard time believing noone was telling the customers why the product was already opened. especially since iv yet to find anyone complaining about this stuff from first hand experience.
What bothers me more is what actually became of these coupons?? I am SURRRE Gamestop made every attempt to incinerate every single coupon. Go to Ebay and type in "deus ex onlive". What are the chances that any of those "belong" to gamestop employees?
@Frame_Dragger Argumental Fatality. Exactly what you said. Square WAS unfair with GStop, but GStop couldn't have opened the games. In fact, i agree with everything you said, i won't say the same thing twice.
Dont be fooled here. This was not done as a goodwill gesture. This was a pre-emptive move from GS to combat the lawsuit that is coming. The coupons were effectively worth $50 (cost of the game at OnLive) and by paying their customers $50 they have covered that cost and they now have a better chance against the lawsuit. Smart business move but company is still terrible.
@SocialAnXieTy don't get me wrong I think it was a stupid thing to do, but 1) I feel like they picked the lesser of two evils: People got what they payed for, the game, instead of walking away empty handed because they sent it back. 2) as completely screwed up as it is, the game and ALL ITS CONTENTS belong to the retailer, and they can do whatever they'd like with it, it shouldn't be that way but it is. If people threw it away(or even USED it) at home and then resold it on amazon or ebay as new by resealing it, they would be doing the same thing and no one could say anything about it, unfortunately. Its a completely messed up system but thats the way it works.
@SocialAnXieTy Your head vs a wall; not a fight you can win. I get you, I agree with you, but I would caution against trying to reason with the masses here. They aren't always the most sensible; defending rising prices of games, rising prices of online play, even going so far as to actually wishing companies charged for what is otherwise free because it gives them a sense of "better quality and value". A wiser man than myself once said "you can't fix stupid", and he wasn't lying. Best not to get too bothered by this.
So square enix apologized to gamestop and to the public saying they were in the wrong for including the coupon and gstp was well within its rights to remove the offending coupon and gstop is issuing a 50$ gftcard and buy2 coupon and people are still saying gstop is in the wrong when square admitted fault? wow...just wow....thats like if two people were being blamed for the same crime and one of the two spoke up with proof positive that he himself committed the offending act and the jury said no your ok we never liked the other guy anyway its all his fault we dont car what you say or do, and the other guy says well to make up for it i will give you 50 dollars and a free game. still not good enough......well geee gues i now understand consumer hypocrisy. thank you for that object lesson in why american consumerism is failing.
Im just glad gamestop is still open. Everything now is going digital and its ruining the industry. And the fact that piracy is growing faster by the day, I could see how they would do something like this.
This doesnt effect me so i dont care. I dont buy pc games and i buy my games new or in another place like amazon. If i want to buy something from gamestop it is because i want something quick and or cheap. I admit that was a very stupid thing gamestop did but if it doesnt affect you then there shouldnt be a problem. Gamestop is turning or has been a bad place but it doesnt stop me from buying there.
They aren't sorry they did it, they're sorry they got caught. They didn't feel like they needed to come clean or compensate anyone until they got caught doing what they did. It's pathetic, and I'm never buying anything from them again.
Gamestop f***ed up, they shoulda known better. They ain't a little corner store that might be able to get away with this kinda bull. Removing contents and selling it as new? They really need a kick in the a**.
Honestly, I don't even care at this point. If you think it's fine for a retailer to steal contents from a product and sell it to you at full price, then be my guest. I'm telling you now though, it always starts with something small. Something like, oh I don't know.. a coupon? Let these corporate schmucks brainwash your mind into the pea-brain of a sheep and lead you and other fellow-dimwitted consumers into a herd while they proceed to screw you to your knees for all I care.. it's not my problem anyhow, I know how to think with my own mind.
@WiteLite No, not everyone got their coupons. Maybe if they pre-ordered or bought it on the first day they did because GameStop didn't start taking them out until the day after, or maybe for whatever reason some stores didn't get the memo, as someone else claimed. But don't assume EVERYONE got their coupon just because you did, you self-righteous turd. And the difference between SE removing them and GS removing them is simple.. Square Enix made the game, GameStop didn't. Do I really need to repeat myself one more time? 'kay then, here goes.. NO RETAILER SHOULD EVER HAVE THE RIGHT TO BREAK THE SEAL OF CERTIFICATION, TAKE ANY CONTENTS FROM ANY PRODUCT, THEN RE-SEAL IT AND CLAIM THAT IT'S NEW. THE VALUE OF THE PRODUCT HAS BEEN LESSENED DUE TO THE RETAILERS INTERVENTION AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE SOLD AS A USED COPY AT BEST. SQUARE ENIX REMOVING THE COUPONS AND REPACKAGING IT IS ACCEPTABLE CONSIDERING THEY ARE THE OWNER OF THAT PROPERTY. GAMESTOP HAS NO RIGHT TO ALTER ITS CONTENTS EVEN IF IT'S ONLY A COUPON, AND IF THEY CHOOSE TO REMOVE ANY CONTENTS WHATSOEVER, IT IS NO LONGER A LEGITIMATELY NEW COPY AND THEREFORE SHOULDN'T BE CONSIDERED AS SUCH. Sorry for the caps lock, but some of you just don't get why this is bad. Maybe if it's in really big letters it'll get etched into your brain a little easier.
I think that's a pretty smart move on Gamestop's behalf, and not a bad compensation. Really, 50 bucks? Regardless, that's a new game there, or even a couple used games. It's really not a bad deal. I saw a poster below saying something about smart decisions and I agree with them. Although their move is not a popular decision with consumers, businesses have to make these types of choices. Gamestop could've just as easily not given something away to their customers. Instead to keep their consumer loyalty they offered a gift. Good situational handling if you ask me. However, I do find it ironic that two major companies have had to offer "customer appeasement" packages for mistakes they've made. Albeit, for two very disparate reasons.
I am so sick of corporate greed. As if the greedy bastards at Gamestop are gonna go out of business over this stupid voucher. The morons probably lost more money with the free stuff there gonna give out to make up for this crap. Stop supporting Gamestop. Find an independent game store to buy your games!
A used game coupon for an issue that involves the PC version of the game? How is that to the benefit of many of these gamers who receive this coupon, as they are prominently, if not only, PC gamers most likely? Dubious of you Gamestop.
I just came back from Gamestop and employees ended up giving me the giftcard and a coupon. Employees called it an "appeasement process." I bought the Augmented Edition and I wasn't sure if that edition also supposed to include Onlive coupon; I know regular version did, but mine didn't have a coupon. Maybe it wasn't suppose to? But then, why include a coupon in a regular version and not in the more expensive version? The CEO's email only addresses "Regular" edition and does not state something along the lines of "all PC versions." Because of that, employees, including the store manager, at Gamestop initially was hesitant to follow through with the "process." So there you have it. To those of you who got the Augmented Edition, but did not find a coupon inside the box, you, too, can get the gift card and a coupon. I won't beat a dead horse and say how much the executives screwed up on this one. Maybe they read the business ethics book backwards or something. I personally did not have anything against Gamestop as I enjoyed talking with employees and other fellow gamers at the shop about games. While I feel bad about other consumers beings sucked into this mess, I also feel bad for the developers of this game. I just finished watching the "Making Of" CD that came with the game and developers really worked hard to pump out a high quality game that fans can enjoy. But these executives or middlemen got involved and ruined the fun, or at least part of it.
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