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440 Comments

GameStop Forcibly Removing OnLive Coupons from Deus Ex PC Copies, Because They're GameStop [UPDATED]

A memo sent from on high tells GameStop employees to open copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and remove all OnLive coupons contained within.

UPDATE: Square-Enix, Deus Ex's publisher, replied to our request for comment with, "We have no comment." We're waiting to hear back from OnLive about the situation.

UPDATE x2: OnLive also declined to comment on the matter. GameStop, however, had a brief comment to add on the subject:

"We pulled the coupons because, like all retailers, we prefer not to promote our competitors and their competing offerings and services in our stores. Unfortunately, the coupon was packed without our prior knowledge."

Oh, great. That obviously settles everything. Thanks, GameStop!

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In case you hadn't had a recent reminder that the brains behind video game retailer GameStop and its policies are like the villains in a bad '80s comedy, let today's news be the refresher you need to reassert your desire to never, ever go to that place to buy games.

GameStop management (pictured) were unavailable for comment.

According to a picture obtained by GameSpy from a GameStop employee, those working at GameStop retail locations have been instructed by corporate management to open any and all copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and remove the OnLive coupons included with the disc for a free digital copy. Yes, GameStop is actually opening new copies of games, removing content provided to you by the publisher as a bonus for your purchase, and then selling that copy as new. New. As in fresh, or unopened, or unused. NEW.

The OnLive promotion was just announced yesterday, and apparently GameStop didn't take too kindly to the idea of coupons for a copy of the game being included from a competing service. OnLive, which deals in streaming-on-demand versions of games, is in direct competition with GameStop's Impulse service, which currently sells digital copies of PC titles and is in beta testing for on-demand streaming as well.

Ars Technica separately confirmed from a GameStop spokesperson that this policy is 100% accurate.

How do you do this and not expect people to be pissed?

Understandably, customers who purchased Human Revolution from GameStop are irate, both at having content they were provided by the publisher forcibly removed, and by GameStop selling a game that has been opened and tampered with as "new." While GameStop's corporate management likely won't care too terribly much about this outrage, being the soulless caricatures of humanity's horrendous insatiability and inhumanity toward their fellow man that they are, they might actually start caring if these sorts of abysmal practices actually begin to affect their bottom line.

As such, I'd just like to include a reminder that there are roughly a gajilliondy other retail outlets that sell video games. Some of which even aren't run by the industry's equivalent of greedy, thieving goblins.

Alex Navarro on Google+
440 Comments
Posted by Alex

UPDATE: Square-Enix, Deus Ex's publisher, replied to our request for comment with, "We have no comment." We're waiting to hear back from OnLive about the situation.

UPDATE x2: OnLive also declined to comment on the matter. GameStop, however, had a brief comment to add on the subject:

"We pulled the coupons because, like all retailers, we prefer not to promote our competitors and their competing offerings and services in our stores. Unfortunately, the coupon was packed without our prior knowledge."

Oh, great. That obviously settles everything. Thanks, GameStop!

--

In case you hadn't had a recent reminder that the brains behind video game retailer GameStop and its policies are like the villains in a bad '80s comedy, let today's news be the refresher you need to reassert your desire to never, ever go to that place to buy games.

GameStop management (pictured) were unavailable for comment.

According to a picture obtained by GameSpy from a GameStop employee, those working at GameStop retail locations have been instructed by corporate management to open any and all copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and remove the OnLive coupons included with the disc for a free digital copy. Yes, GameStop is actually opening new copies of games, removing content provided to you by the publisher as a bonus for your purchase, and then selling that copy as new. New. As in fresh, or unopened, or unused. NEW.

The OnLive promotion was just announced yesterday, and apparently GameStop didn't take too kindly to the idea of coupons for a copy of the game being included from a competing service. OnLive, which deals in streaming-on-demand versions of games, is in direct competition with GameStop's Impulse service, which currently sells digital copies of PC titles and is in beta testing for on-demand streaming as well.

Ars Technica separately confirmed from a GameStop spokesperson that this policy is 100% accurate.

How do you do this and not expect people to be pissed?

Understandably, customers who purchased Human Revolution from GameStop are irate, both at having content they were provided by the publisher forcibly removed, and by GameStop selling a game that has been opened and tampered with as "new." While GameStop's corporate management likely won't care too terribly much about this outrage, being the soulless caricatures of humanity's horrendous insatiability and inhumanity toward their fellow man that they are, they might actually start caring if these sorts of abysmal practices actually begin to affect their bottom line.

As such, I'd just like to include a reminder that there are roughly a gajilliondy other retail outlets that sell video games. Some of which even aren't run by the industry's equivalent of greedy, thieving goblins.

Posted by WelshCleats

How delightful of them.

Online
Posted by fishmicmuffin

This is why we can't have nice things. GameStop does so much stupid shit like this. Competition is healthy!

Edited by Cloudenvy

This seems dirty.

Edited by MayorFeedback

Well, it still requires Steam anyway, so the joke's on GameStop? Sort of?

Opening a game then selling it new, though, is par for the course for GameStop. Like that's already an okay thing for them to do somehow. Also, GameStop are bastards.

P.S.- The digital download is only $39.99 on Amazon right now.

Edited by Little_Socrates

Steam, you have won a sale of Deus Ex! (Also, where I'm going to school, there really aren't any other retail outlets other than the Target, and I guarantee they're not carrying El Shaddai. Of course, there's always Amazon.)

Posted by Kermity

Makes me sad that I've bought stuff from them in the past. my mistake
Posted by buzz_killington

Poor OnLive guys just can't seem to catch a break.
Also, review scores (apparently) do matter.

Posted by Vitor

Can Square as a publisher not do anything about this? Surely whatever co-marketing dollars they're getting from Online would be used to fight this. Seems like a huge breach of something at the very least...

Posted by DarthB

That has to be some kind of violation. That means I should get a discount since the game is opened and GameStop has a no refund if opened policy (at least they did the last time I bought something from them).

Posted by Thor_Molecules

Gamestop being respectable gentlemen, I see.

Posted by phrosnite

lol... We don't have GameStop here. Thank Andraste.

Posted by CastroCasper

I'm probably not going to buy this game, and if I did, I don't really care about OnLive, but there is just something about them opening up games, getting their greasy fingerprints all over it and selling it to me for full price, that just seems, icky. I mean, there is a slight endorphin rush I get from ripping off the plastic and smelling that new plastic smell. Now it's just gonna smell like cheap, manager cologne.

Posted by benjaebe

Fucking GameStop. Totally unacceptable. It's one thing to open games and still call them new (something I already have a problem with,) but to then remove things that came with the game? Come on now.

Posted by eroticfishcake

I don't know anything about OnLive or Impulse but I would assume this policy would apply to all regions? I'm just curious since I'm buying it off GAME anyway.

Posted by crow_robot

Is.....is this legal?

Posted by Shaanyboi

Fuck. That.
Posted by lockwoodx

Steam is my only retail outlet now.

Edited by tmj

@drhans said:

Well, it still requires Steam anyway, so the joke's on GameStop? Sort of?

Yeah but GS they can't do anything if a game requires Steamworks. OnLive, least IMO, is more of an option than a requirement so I guess that's why they are pissed. I think what they are doing is still a load of shit.

Posted by sirdesmond

Another reason to hate the oh-so-easily-hateable Gamestop.

Posted by jozzy

I would love a response from OnLive and the publisher on this issue, I find it hard to believe they will not take action against these practises.

Posted by Tredik

I'm not incredibly surprised by this. Hell, I won't be shocked if GME starts trying to strong-arm publishers into using their dreadful Impulse service, lest they get shunned from the remaining half a portable shelving unit in their B&Ms.

Posted by ChrisTaran

Can not understand why anyone shops there. Why would you support this company?

Posted by mosdl

@drhans said:

Well, it still requires Steam anyway, so the joke's on GameStop? Sort of?

Opening a game then selling it new, though, is par for the course for GameStop. Like that's already an okay thing for them to do somehow. Also, GameStop are bastards.

But Steam removed the OnLive coupons from their digital version and then sold it to us as new as well!

On a serious note, OnLive should jump on this and offer the free version to anyone who sends them a GameStop receipt for the game. And maybe even consider a lawsuit.

Posted by Sil3n7

If anyone needed one more reason not to shop there...

Posted by Cazamalos

reading this article i picture in my mind, a giant ogre trowing punches in the air trying to hit something he really doesn't know what it is

Posted by gogoyubari

Stuff like this makes me glad that I don't shop at Gamestop anymore.

Posted by WEGGLES

fucking gamestop!!!

(How do they remove it, don't tell me they open PC games too now?)

Posted by SteamPunkJin

Here's my GameStop horror story - they were running a deal of the day online for Rock Band 2 with The Beatles Rock Band thrown in for $99 - this was well before Rock Band 3 so I jumped on it. The next day I get this e-mail saying 'We flubbed it, it wasn't Rock Band 2, it was Rock Band 1". I call them up and tell them to stop the shipment and process a return immediately - they flat out refused and told me that I had to receive the package and cover the return shipping myself. Fuckers.

Posted by Slaker117

Ok, yeah, that's pretty shitty.

Posted by OtakuGamer

Fuck them, go to another retailer.

Posted by depecheload

Just in case anyone is wondering, this is 100% legal. It's the right of first sale, the same law that allows companies to rent products.

If the publisher wants to do anything about it, they could stop selling their games to Gamestop.

Posted by babblinmule

And that is why I buy all my physical copies of games from Amazon.

Posted by ManiacMaysin

ugh. disgusting.

Posted by Sammo21

yeah, its not like selling a HARD COPY in their store really matters. Whatever, these guys are fools. This is why I buy from Amazon.

Posted by Lunar_Aura

lost it @ beagle boys caption

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

Sounds like that should be 100% illegal. I mean, your probably not missing out on much, but I'm like, 99.9% that's not allowed with anti-competition laws or something.

Posted by Swoxx

I think it's funny that the name was blurred on the email but plainly left untouched, in caps, at the end.

Posted by Jeffk38uk

I would mock that we don't have as outlandish practices here in the UK, but sadly for the UK PC Steam market they just force publishers to not let us preorder on Steam. Fun times.

Posted by subyman

I don't accept new games that have been opened. I would be worried about one of their greasy employees writing down the serials.

Online
Edited by twillfast

Fuck you Josh! And oh, fuck you gamestop.

Edit: I suddenly realized why they're called gameSTOP.

Posted by JohnPaulVann

Gamestop will be bankrupt and gone within 10 years, everybody, once digital distribution is the only way to play. So, fuck them. 

Posted by iAmJohn

If I keep collecting reasons not to go to GameStop, I'm soon going to have negative number of reasons to go there.

Posted by B_Heart

I feel dirty after reading this. Just reminds me why I still don't set foot inside a gamestop.

Posted by Dezinus

Hahaha, what a bunch of dickbutts. They're only good for finding old PS2 games anyway.

Posted by RazielCuts

' being the soulless caricatures of humanity's horrendous insatiability and inhumanity toward their fellow man that they are' oh Alex, such word play :D

Posted by Ketchupp

Isn't this, uh, wrong?

Posted by GenghisJohn

Cant wait for digital releases to bankrupt these scumbags

Posted by KillyDarko

Why people still buy from GameStop never ceases to baffle me... it's like people actually LIKE being screwed over and over again : /

Posted by numberThirtyOne

" being the soulless caricatures of humanity's horrendous insatiability and inhumanity toward their fellow man that they are" 
 
Read this line and was like Oh, I guess Alex wrote this story?  Right on the first guess. :)