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.
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.
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.