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GameStop Pulls PC Version of Deus Ex: HR Off Shelves

By - Source: Kotaku | B 77 comments

At first, GameStop was breaking into retail versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution to remove OnLive code vouchers. Now it's pulled the PC game completely from its shelf.

Tuesday saw the launch of the highly-anticipated third installment of the Deus Ex series, Deus Ex: Human Revolution (DXHR). The game arrived for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC, but the latter non-console version also came packed with a voucher for free access to the game on OnLive (aka Full Pass). Essentially PC gamers were able to waltz into any retailer, purchase a copy of DXHR on PC, and get a streaming version free thanks to a deal made between Square Enix and OnLive. Naturally GameStop wasn't thrilled with the idea.

Why? Because it's gearing up to launch its own competing game streaming service that includes Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC games. That said, the games retailer felt it had the right to tell its staff to pull the boxed PC games off its shelves, break into the packaging, and remove the OnLive code vouchers. GameStop even released a company-wide message stating that "our desire is to not have this coupon go to any customers after this announcement."

Did GameStop deny its actions? Absolutely not.

"Regarding the Deus Ex: Human Revolution OnLive Codes: We don't make a habit of promoting competitive services without a formal partnership," GameStop said on its Facebook page. "Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull these coupons. While the new products may be opened, we fully guarantee the condition of the discs to be new. If you find this to not be the case, please contact the store where the game was purchased and they will further assist."

After the gaming community began to thrash GameStop for its blatant theft of a service both Square Enix and OnLive included with the purchase, the retailer decided to simply yank it completely from its shelves, leaving the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version untouched.

"The company instructs employees to remove any retail copies of the PC version of the game to the back room of the store pending recall at a later date," Kotaku reports based on an anonymous source but confirmed by GameStop employees. "Note that the recall is being performed in agreement with Square Enix, indicating the two companies have been in communication regarding the situation."

Gamespy said that it consulted with its resident legal expert to see if removing the coupons was actually legal, and was told that it depends on the legal agreements GameStop has with Square Enix. It also depends on the contact between OnLive and Square Enix.

"Obviously, when one corporation tries to submarine another, and goes about it in a more or less shady way, it looks bad," Los Angeles-based attorney Eric Neigher told GameSpy. "But, from a legal perspective, 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."

But if Square Enix is willingly taking back its copies of DXHR from GameStop, then all may be peachy-keen between the two. Still, the removal of the coupons looks like theft, and doesn't help the retailer's already sketchy-looking business practices as it is.

Currently we're waiting on a comment from OnLive.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    zuke , August 25, 2011 10:52 PM
    Wow, there's always rumors of GameStop's unethical practices, but this seems pretty undeniable. Very scummy.
  • 21 Hide
    mrmike_49 , August 25, 2011 10:59 PM
    Fraud, pure and simple, on GamesStop's part
  • 19 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , August 25, 2011 10:58 PM
    this is blatant theft by GameStop against their customers; robbing them of something they paid for and expected to get.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    zuke , August 25, 2011 10:52 PM
    Wow, there's always rumors of GameStop's unethical practices, but this seems pretty undeniable. Very scummy.
  • 18 Hide
    lunyone , August 25, 2011 10:57 PM
    I won't be buying from Gamestop anytime soon or even ever!! This is just wrong! Even their "can't return opened packages" crap that they used to pull was one thing, but this is just crap!
  • 19 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , August 25, 2011 10:58 PM
    this is blatant theft by GameStop against their customers; robbing them of something they paid for and expected to get.
  • 21 Hide
    mrmike_49 , August 25, 2011 10:59 PM
    Fraud, pure and simple, on GamesStop's part
  • -2 Hide
    internetlad , August 25, 2011 10:59 PM
    well, at least they were honest about it.
  • 19 Hide
    cburke82 , August 25, 2011 11:06 PM
    If i was one of the people who purchased the game and did not receive the coupon I would be asking for a full refund or a $50 credit based on me not getting what was supposed to get. They woud have to give you at least a refund as they would not be able to prove that you opened the box because they opened it first lol.
  • 3 Hide
    Hellbound , August 25, 2011 11:08 PM
    Surprisingly enough, Square Enix is backing this.

    http://release.square-enix.com/na/2011/08/24_01.html

    “As part of DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION's boxed offering on PC, Square Enix included a third party coupon. GameStop was not made aware of this inclusion and Square Enix respects the right of GameStop to have final say over the contents of products it sells and to adjust them where they see fit in accordance with their policies.

    Square Enix invites gamers who want to purchase the PC version of DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION without additional coupons to buy the game at any one of over 4000 GameStop stores in North America or purchase a digital download copy online from www.gamestop.com.”
  • -5 Hide
    oneshott , August 25, 2011 11:09 PM
    IndignantSkepticthis is blatant theft by GameStop against their customers; robbing them of something they paid for and expected to get.


    Not really because they give you PLENTY of warning.
  • 5 Hide
    sieged , August 25, 2011 11:09 PM

    IndignantSkeptic :

    this is blatant theft by GameStop against their customers; robbing them of something they paid for and expected to get.






    would you complain if best buy started removing the trial versions of Norton from their HP pcs before sale too?

    Best Buy can remove all of their Bloatware and it would make 90% of us happy.



  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2011 11:20 PM
    "While the new products may be opened, we fully guarantee the condition of the discs to be new."

    Funny how if I tried to RETURN something at Gamestop with the exact same bullshit promise they wouldn't accept it...
  • 6 Hide
    cobra5000 , August 25, 2011 11:30 PM
    Just one more reason not to shop at Gamestop.
  • 12 Hide
    bearracuda , August 25, 2011 11:30 PM
    siegedBest Buy can remove all of their Bloatware and it would make 90% of us happy.


    Seconded.

    HellboundSurprisingly enough, Square Enix is backing this.


    That's not surprising. Square Enix is the nice guy of the gaming industry. And they can afford to be. They've had years of profit on several highly reviewed fantasy RPG series' and they publish in-house. This is the company that is STILL offering Final Fantasy XIV free (free as in with no monthly subscription), and will continue to not until Square Enix decides the game is up to snuff, but until THE CUSTOMERS tell them that it's up to snuff. I'd be surprised if they reacted badly to anything... somebody could blow a hole in the side of their building and they'd be like "Hey, we can build that new wing now."
  • 2 Hide
    mister g , August 25, 2011 11:46 PM
    This was one of the last purchases my little bro planned to buy at Gamestop (he pre-ordered it) and got the Onlive code the first day. However since Gamestop doesn't like to advertise competing products I wonder how they feel about games that require you to activate it on Steam or are made by Valve (come to think of it I haven't seen Portal 2 or L4D2 in a while on the store shelf).
  • 1 Hide
    orionite , August 25, 2011 11:52 PM
    As a customer, you have every right to be upset, imho. And as much as I dislike gamestop, it really remains to be seen who effed up here. As the article said, there are contracts in place between GS Square Enix Onlive, and whatever they contain will determine, who is going to tuck in their tail.
    On a related note though, isn't that what a lot of OnLive opponents have been demanding: Onlive game full pass with a retail copy? Granted the first point of purchase is the retail store, but would that not be a model that EVERYONE can get behind? Some people get shiny boxes and can play on their little basement Cray, and others can play the game on a streaming service if it's more convenient to them.
  • -9 Hide
    Trialsking , August 26, 2011 12:06 AM
    Who the phuc buys PC games from GameStop anyway?!?!?!? Steam, D2D, GoG, hell even Origin are available with better deals. GameStop is console only. And please stop the "I need the actualy DVD" crap. Its 2011, thats like saying I need my analogue TV, I love lead based paints, we need child labor. Its called progress, get on the digital band wagon, sooner rather than later the DVD will be gone and you with your relic DVD's are a dinosaur and you just don't realize it.
  • 2 Hide
    drktyger , August 26, 2011 12:10 AM
    sorry guys, you dont offer free products of a competitor through a company that already promotes and sells your products. you wouldnt put coupons for free walmart paper towels in paper towels sold at target. thats business 101. i know gamestop can be shady, but they are in the right on this one.
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , August 26, 2011 12:28 AM
    Steaming game service BAH - Waste of wood to make that cuppon in the first place =P
  • 6 Hide
    Jprobes , August 26, 2011 12:36 AM
    drktygersorry guys, you dont offer free products of a competitor through a company that already promotes and sells your products. you wouldnt put coupons for free walmart paper towels in paper towels sold at target. thats business 101. i know gamestop can be shady, but they are in the right on this one.


    I'm sorry but your analogy is wrong. Gamestop does not produce games, they sell them.

    If you were to buy Bounty paper towels (from target) that came with a coupon for free paper towels by mailing away or going to a website, and then (target) took that out because they don't want you getting free paper towels, regardless of where you are going to get them.
  • 7 Hide
    bobolibob , August 26, 2011 12:41 AM
    You also wouldn't buy a roll of paper towels that had already been opened. Even if the store "guaranteed the condition of the towels to be new".
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