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GameStop Offers Up a Sort of Apology for the Whole Deus Ex Thing

At the very least, it sounds like some customers will be getting free stuff out of the deal.

GameStop has not had a particularly brilliant week. Immediately following its forcible removal of OnLive bonus codes in copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution for the PC, the company suddenly found itself inundated with enraged (and rightful) hurlings of vitriol in the direction of the retailer's management and its policies regarding selling opened games as new--not to mention physically removing content, even if it is for a competing brand, from copies of games. After Square Enix, Deus Ex's publisher, inexplicably apologized for a problem that was only tangentially its fault, GameStop has finally come out and said something beyond a simple reaffirmation that it wasn't cool with a competitor's promotion being sold at its stores.

Sent in an email to GameStop customers today, CEO Paul Raines offered up the following half-apology and goodwill offering:

Dear GameStop customer,
Earlier this week, GameStop removed a competitor's coupon from standard edition PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a recent release by Square Enix. We were not aware that the product box would contain this competitor's offer. 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. And for this, we are truly sorry.

For your inconvenience, we would like to offer you a free $50 GameStop gift card and a Buy 2 Get 1 Free pre-owned purchase. We want to earn back your trust and confidence in the GameStop experience. Please bring in this email and your store receipt or order confirmation from GameStop.com and present it to a Game Advisor.

Sincerely,
Paul Raines
CEO, GameStop

While it's unarguably great news that anyone who purchased a copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution for the PC (and still has their receipt) will apparently get these free offers, Raines and GameStop PR's unwillingness to straight-up say "We should not have removed these coupons from the product in question" effectively implies that GameStop isn't really sorry that they did it in the first place. Some might chalk it up to legal language wrangling, in an effort to avoid admitting a more specific "our bad!" that could potentially turn into some kind of lawsuit down the road. Still, all Raines really admits to is that it was pretty jacked up that customers were brought into this mess between a retailer and a publisher, which is but a fraction of the issue at hand.

If you're one of the customers who picked up your PC copy of Human Revolution at GameStop, go forth informed, and get your free games on. Then I suggest doing as I will do, and never, ever purchase anything from this company again.

Alex Navarro on Google+
218 Comments
Posted by Alex

GameStop has not had a particularly brilliant week. Immediately following its forcible removal of OnLive bonus codes in copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution for the PC, the company suddenly found itself inundated with enraged (and rightful) hurlings of vitriol in the direction of the retailer's management and its policies regarding selling opened games as new--not to mention physically removing content, even if it is for a competing brand, from copies of games. After Square Enix, Deus Ex's publisher, inexplicably apologized for a problem that was only tangentially its fault, GameStop has finally come out and said something beyond a simple reaffirmation that it wasn't cool with a competitor's promotion being sold at its stores.

Sent in an email to GameStop customers today, CEO Paul Raines offered up the following half-apology and goodwill offering:

Dear GameStop customer,
Earlier this week, GameStop removed a competitor's coupon from standard edition PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a recent release by Square Enix. We were not aware that the product box would contain this competitor's offer. 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. And for this, we are truly sorry.

For your inconvenience, we would like to offer you a free $50 GameStop gift card and a Buy 2 Get 1 Free pre-owned purchase. We want to earn back your trust and confidence in the GameStop experience. Please bring in this email and your store receipt or order confirmation from GameStop.com and present it to a Game Advisor.

Sincerely,
Paul Raines
CEO, GameStop

While it's unarguably great news that anyone who purchased a copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution for the PC (and still has their receipt) will apparently get these free offers, Raines and GameStop PR's unwillingness to straight-up say "We should not have removed these coupons from the product in question" effectively implies that GameStop isn't really sorry that they did it in the first place. Some might chalk it up to legal language wrangling, in an effort to avoid admitting a more specific "our bad!" that could potentially turn into some kind of lawsuit down the road. Still, all Raines really admits to is that it was pretty jacked up that customers were brought into this mess between a retailer and a publisher, which is but a fraction of the issue at hand.

If you're one of the customers who picked up your PC copy of Human Revolution at GameStop, go forth informed, and get your free games on. Then I suggest doing as I will do, and never, ever purchase anything from this company again.

Staff
Edited by DocPorpoise

great. the old we screwed up but hey look at the shiny things we're giving you.

Posted by LiquidSwords

Free stuff makes all things better again

Posted by Dezinus

I'm no fan of Gamestop and this whole ordeal, but this is pretty cool of them.

Posted by Huey2k2

Free stuff doesn't make what they did any less sleazy... and possibly illegal.

Posted by Doctor3vi1

I guess this is a good move on gamestops part.    wait--wait, what did I just type?

Posted by HadesTimes

This is more of an apology that they were caught rather than admitting it was the wrong thing to do.

Posted by BeefyGrandmole

That's great but i couldn't buy a copy of deus ex in gamestop today because they were planning on sending the copies back and i'm in europe and don't even know if all that onlive gamestop stuff affected us here. Oh well i'll just pick it up on steam sometime.

Edited by MrBubbles

i got my email from them and i plan on using both of their offers even though my copy wasn't one of the ones they removed the coupon from i still don't forgive them for what they did to the people whose copies were opened and still sold full price.

Posted by DerekDanahy

I really like Alex's news articles.

Posted by heatDrive88

@DocPorpoise said:

great. the old we screwed up but hey look at the shiny things we're giving you.

To be fair, a $50 gift card is fairly substantial.

Posted by SmasheControllers

I love this free stuff, but... meh, fuck it.

Posted by EVHKwick

Thank you for using the Fry meme in a legitimate story. 100% serious.

Posted by themartyr

When I used to work at GAME in the UK, we were encouraged to open up new games and sell them already-opened. I always thought it to be a bit messed up.

Posted by B_Heart

Still hate the company for it's practices, any attempt to redeem themselves doesn't help, at least not to me.

Posted by Badhands

Although yes it is cool they are doing some sort of promotion to help smooth over the situation, they are only doing it to not look like the complete shits they are for doing it in the first place. 

Posted by artofwar420

Soooorry.

Posted by christ0phe

$50 is nothing to turn your nose at

Posted by killawogg

im thinkin about starting to only buy my games from Amazon, but i know the ppl at my gamestop and they are actually good ppl in my area so ive been pre ordering there, but ive told their boss that if they were canned for some stupid reason as in not enough pre orders or game informer scripts then i will cancel all of my preorders that day, and never do business with them again.

Posted by OldGuy

"Buy 2 Get 1 Free pre-owned..." Which still makes us hella grip as we buy those for $5 and sell them to you for $30...

Posted by DJJoeJoe

I wish I could get my 360 games from 'not' ebgames/gamestop, it's the only reason I go there these days as I get pc games from steam etc. Maybe I should look more into buying games from Amazon, only issues are those crazy Amazon credit they seem to give out is usually only for US peeps, not here in Canada from what I've gathered. That and not owning a CC means I have to use Paypal, and transferring money from my bank to Paypal takes literally 8 business days (aka the better part of 2 weeks or more...) so that's always a hassle for myself but honestly it keeps me from impulse buying which I guess is a good thing. 

Posted by artofwar420

Here's my short anecdote; no other stores had it at the time and I really wanted to play it:

  • Goes to Gamestop (first mistake)
  • Asks for Uncharted 2
  • Gets an OPENED box which employee inserts blu-ray disc into
  • Pays $60
  • Fuck that noise
Posted by ProfessorEss
@Alex said:

Raines and GameStop PR's unwillingness to straight-up say "We should not have removed these coupons from the product in question" effectively implies that GameStop isn't really sorry that they did it in the first place. Some might chalk it up to legal language wrangling, in an effort to avoid admitting a more specific "our bad!" that could potentially turn into some kind of lawsuit down the road. Still, all Raines really admits to is that it was pretty jacked up that customers were brought into this mess between a retailer and a publisher, which is but a fraction of the issue at hand.

If you're one of the customers who picked up your PC copy of Human Revolution at GameStop, go forth informed, and get your free games on. Then I suggest doing as I will do, and never, ever purchase anything from this company again.

Maybe I haven't followed this game closely enough but is there anything out there that would enlighten us as to whether Gamestop was deliberately deceived by Square or not? 
 
I'm all for villainizing but honestly, I don't understand what makes Gamestop such an impressive villain. 
Posted by iAmJohn

@Dezinus said:

I'm no fan of Gamestop and this whole ordeal, but this is pretty standard operating procedure for when a store fucks up. But hey, at least they're acknowledging that they pissed in consumers' faces for once.

Fixed.

Posted by Doctorchimp

"But yes we are going to open up games and piss on them if we want and sell them to you NEW"
 
-Gamespot.
 
Really what a bunch of fuckers.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

You know, I usually disapprove of GameStop, but at this they've done right. Actually, I'd say that a $50 gift card is way better than free Deus Ex on OnLive. 

Posted by CaLe

OnLive isn't even a competitor of their service.

Posted by Dragonblade

As an average, fairly reasonable consumer of PC gaming products, I personally believe Gamestop treats their all of their valued consumers with respect and offers genuine loyalty and trust... 
 
..on weed.

Posted by Doctorchimp
@artofwar420 said:

Here's my short anecdote; no other stores had it at the time and I really wanted to play it:

  • Goes to Gamestop (first mistake)
  • Asks for Uncharted 2
  • Gets an OPENED box which employee inserts blu-ray disc into
  • Pays $60
  • Fuck that noise
I remember when I went in like 2006 or 07 and I wanted to buy Oblivion for the 360.
 
Guy asked me what I wanted 
 
"Do you have any new copies of Oblivion?"
 
"Yes, but we have a used one for 50 dollars" 
 
"Nah, that's alright."
 
"You sure, there's a return policy-"
 
"I just want it brand new"
 
"Okay I understand"
 
He hands over a case with a manual and takes out a sleeve and hands it to me... doesn't even put the disk in the case, just a green box and a green disk sleeve.
 
The case didn't even have box art on it or the map. 
 
"Is this brand new?" 
 
"Yes we take the disks out for security reasons"
 
"I'll just go to Walmart 5 doors down"
 
"is there a problem with it being unsealed? It's already ringed up on the register"
 
I just walked out. I went to walmart and bought Oblivion in about 2 minutes.
Posted by Marcsman

Sounds like a deal to me
Posted by wefwefasdf

Still doesn't change my opinion of them. I would have preferred if they gave you the coupon instead of the giftcard.

Posted by Doctorchimp
@CaLe said:

OnLive isn't even a competitor of their service.

Gamestop is going to launch a streaming service soon.
 
Because they know that instances like this are making sure that people get digital downloads once that becomes an option and phases out Used games on the console.
Posted by hbkdx12
@ProfessorEss: Does it even matter if Square enix was trying to slip the coupon under Gamestop's noses? Once gamestop found out about the coupon the proper thing to do would have been to pull the game from the shelves and figure things out with the publisher. Why that clearly wasn't the first step taken is beyond me.
Posted by Brodehouse

I don't like Gamestop for (among other things) opening packages and selling them as new.

I don't necessarily blame them for the OnLive fiasco, because they were technically in the right, considering Square Enix effed up. You can talk all day about 'not a conpetitor' but Square Enix changed the SKU without the retailer's notice or consent. Gamestop doesn't need a reason beyond that, regardless of how unpopular it makes them with Internet smart-mouths.

That said, I would've handled the situation by immediately taking HR off the shelf and got on Square Enix's case. That would have avoided further instances of opening games and selling them as new (which I've already stated I'm against). This apology and peace-offering could've been avoided.

Edited by CraigAA1028

Having worked at Gamestop for over two years, I'm not surprised. That company really sucks the big fat one. Don't work there guys. It's not the dream job everyone thinks it is. Don't believe me? Try explaining to a middle aged woman that a "Nintendo 360" isn't a thing.

Edited by MeatSim

I am not gonna start shopping at GameStop but they are giving you some good compensation along with that apology.

Posted by avidwriter

So I guess if I went into today and maybe they had a copy left, bought it then turned around and asked for this $50 card I'd get denied? haha

Posted by artofwar420

@Doctorchimp: I would have done that if the game wasn't sold out everywhere. Since that moment I have not stepped into a Gamestop.

Posted by DocPorpoise

@heatDrive88: it would have to be substantial too distract from the fact that they said sorry getting caught not sorry for opening up a product removing something closing it up and selling it as new. buy a game from them open the packing at the store then try to return it. i bet they'll say "we can take as trade in cause you opened it". don't get me wrong i'm glad they had to shell out, what is a good deal but it doesn't mean they won't do shit like this again.

Posted by KoolAid

@DerekDanahy said:

I really like Alex's news articles.

I really hate Alex's new articles.

I wish he could just report the news and then link to his blog if we want a rant to go along with it.

Posted by Veektarius

It's interesting to me that this site has an explicitly anti-gamestop stance.  Some might say that's bad for a potentially lucrative business relationship.  is this common among other more editorial gaming sites?

Posted by Summoboomo
@KoolAid said:

@DerekDanahy said:

I really like Alex's news articles.

I really hate Alex's new articles.

I wish he could just report the news and then link to his blog if we want a rant to go along with it.

Eh. Straight news is boring.
 
Alex brings the snark and points out the ridiculousness of dumb news stories. It's refreshing.
Posted by spazmaster666

To be honest, Square Enix's actions in my opinion where pretty shitty as well. I mean Square Enix basically put codes for a direct competitor to GameStop into a product that is sold at GameStop stores without first informing them. I mean honestly, did Square Enix really think that GameStop wouldn't notice and just let something like this pass? Sure what GameStop did was unethical but it was basically Square Enix that provoked this entire incident. Plenty of blame to be had by both parties IMO.

Posted by bybeach

Not sure what to make of this news article. For those saying this statement by Gamestop, seemingly short of a explicit apology is just business, with perhaps a fear of being sued, I do agree. Nor is it that unique, I think. But it is an offer of reconciliation, with substance. In other words accept it, ignore it, or take some kind of futher action legal wise. The act of Shopping there, well That should stay a personal choice, and that is how I will hint my unease about something.

Posted by bkbroiler

The "We were not aware these coupons" sentences immediately pisses me off. You can't just straight up apologize? Fuck you, Gamestop. Also, fuck Gamestop and Gamespot for having interchangeable, dyslexia-confusing names.

Posted by datarez

@KoolAid said:

@DerekDanahy said:

I really like Alex's news articles.

I really hate Alex's new articles.

I wish he could just report the news and then link to his blog if we want a rant to go along with it.

We had that before, it was really quite boring. I really enjoy Alex's fuck it all takes on the news.

Posted by NoelVeiga
@Summoboomo said:
@KoolAid said:

@DerekDanahy said:

I really like Alex's news articles.

I really hate Alex's new articles.

I wish he could just report the news and then link to his blog if we want a rant to go along with it.

Eh. Straight news is boring. Alex brings the snark and points out the ridiculousness of dumb news stories. It's refreshing.
Count me in on the haters side for this style of reporting. I'd like to at least know the facts before he dumps the opinion in there. Prefacing (hell, even titling) with his personal feelings on the issue and then letting us know what actually happened is kind of pushy. I'd like to figure out what *I* think before I take somebody else's opinion at face value.
Posted by Donos

This doesn't address the problem they're opening packages and selling them as unopened. They can do whatever they want to their products, but they can't lie to customers.

Posted by Evercaptor

GameStop aren't really that bad, and it's people's jobs you're affecting when you tell people to refuse to patronise their store. As a public figure, it's pretty irresponsible to so openly attack a group like that and it subsequently makes it harder for you(pick your journalist replacement label) guys to criticise pubs like Fox News with any legitimacy. Other than that, I think GS is trying to make good on a poor situation. At least the game didn't rely on OnLive like most games lean on steam. Here's hoping they can get it right in future.

Posted by FinalDasa

@DocPorpoise: oooo shiny! I like shiny.