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Article: GameStop stealing boxed Deus Ex extras from customers

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  • Article: GameStop stealing boxed Deus Ex extras from customers

    In a GameSpy exclusive it has been revealed that GameStop has instructed staff to open all boxes of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and remove the bundled OnLive codes prior to sale, valued at USD $49.99. This OnLive code is essentially a free digital copy of the game, letting customers add the title to an OnLive account.

    Announced in 2009 and launched in 2010, OnLive is a cloud computing games service, where the game is stored and rendered on remote servers, then synchronised and streamed to your screen at home. Square Enix yesterday announced the promotion where these OnLive codes for Deus Ex: Human Revolution would be bundled with retail copies.

    GameSpy soon began to receive reports from readers that boxed copies of Human Revolution had already been opened and the OnLive codes were missing. An anonymous GameStop employee then relayed a statement sent from his Field Operations Manager to stores asking that the coupons be removed and discarded from all copies. The messages reads in full:

    "Today has been a big day for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The reviews are coming in on Deus Ex and we are seeing a lot of 8s, 9s and even a couple perfect 10s. There are just a few things you need to know for this title.

    "1) Please immediately remove and discard the On Live coupon from all Regular PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Our desire is to not have this coupon go to any customers after this announcement.

    "2) This is a Mature title, please make sure to sell this only to customers who are 17 or older.

    Thank you for your hard work in driving this title and keep it up."

    The Field Operations Manager in question declined to comment and immediately directed GameSpy to GameStop's media relations department. GameStop's Beth Sharum in an email reply said "Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons."

    The likely reason for this knee jerk reaction is GameStop's recent acquisition of a direct competitor to OnLive; another streaming tech company named Spawn Labs, as well as digital distribution platform Impulse. The retail giant had positioned itself to launch a hybrid service that allows customers to purchase and download their games, or stream them on demand. Impulse launched in July and its game streaming service is now in beta testing. The interesting irony is that DXHR is a Steamworks game, which could also be considered a direct competitor to Impulse.

    GameSpy's resident attorney, Eric Neigher, chimed in to explain that "A lot depends on what kinds of contracts OnLive had with Square, and in turn that Square had with GameStop. If removing this coupon from the PC boxes violated the terms of that contract, obviously GameStop is liable to be sued. If not, there's still an issue as to their responsibility to give purchasers what they expect to be paying for, including, perhaps, marketing materials." Potential legal ramifications aside, the greatest damage appears to have already been done with social network platforms and forums set ablaze with comments from an outraged gaming community.

    Update: GameStop spokesman, Matt Hodges, said there has been a change of business policy after talking with Square Enix. GameStop will not only cease the sale of all opened copies of DXHR, but will not sell any physical copies at all until Square Enix ships a version without the OnLive coupon.

    Exclusive: GameStop Pulled, Discarded Free OnLive Deus Ex: Human Revolution Coupons [GameSpy]

    You can view the article in its original format here:
    Last edited by rec; 25-08-11, 09:27 AM.
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