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GameStop Pulls PC Version of Deus Ex: HR Off Shelves

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.

  • zuke
    Wow, there's always rumors of GameStop's unethical practices, but this seems pretty undeniable. Very scummy.
    Reply
  • lunyone
    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!
    Reply
  • IndignantSkeptic
    this is blatant theft by GameStop against their customers; robbing them of something they paid for and expected to get.
    Reply
  • mrmike_49
    Fraud, pure and simple, on GamesStop's part
    Reply
  • internetlad
    well, at least they were honest about it.
    Reply
  • internetlad
    IndignantSkepticthis 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?
    Reply
  • cburke82
    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.
    Reply
  • Hellbound
    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.”
    Reply
  • oneshott
    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.
    Reply
  • sieged
    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.



    Reply