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GameStop Caught Removing OnLive Codes From Boxed Copies Of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Matt Gardner
Cloud gaming, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, GameStop, OnLive, Sneaky tricks

GameStop Caught Removing OnLive Codes From Boxed Copies Of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

We spoke to OnLive at Gamescom last week (interview forthcoming) and one of the initiatives they said they were rolling out was including OnLive codes to games in with boxed copies, with Deus Ex: Human Revolution being one of the biggest titles to support such a move. However, news has recently broken that major retailer GameStop have in fact been tampering with sealed, new copies of the game and forcefully removing these codes before distribution.

An email was intercepted from Josh Ivanoff, one of GameStop's Field Operations Managers that stated the following: 'Please immediately remove and discard the On Live [sic] coupon from all regular PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Our desire is to not have this coupon go to any customers after this announcement.'

GameStop Caught Removing OnLive Codes From Boxed Copies Of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

GameSpy first reported the story, and a GameStop rep has confirmed to the website that, according to them, 'Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons'.

GameStop are already making forays into the digital market, having acquired the Impulse platform earlier in April this year, along with streaming tech company Spawn Labs. It's clear the company sees OnLive as a direct competitior, but with OnLive's own streaming service offering the game online for $49.99, and with the free boxed codes no doubt engineered to promote awareness, there's some serious research to be done here. Do GameStop have the right to open these copies and remove competitive material, only to then repackage as new? What of the legality of the situation? Reports are coming in of buyers who have an OnLive coupon and those who don't, so there's already disparity in terms of products sold at the same price.

Mind you, this clusterfuck is spreading even more publicity for what is an absolutely cracking game.

We've contacted both GameStop and OnLive for further comment.

Add a comment3 comments
ste333  Aug. 24, 2011 at 19:51

Quite literally astonishing.

I think this is a huge can of worms to have opened. Beyond the obvious bad publicity for Gamestop, surely intentionally removing part of a product (whether marketed as free or not by the publisher is irrelevant) and then selling as new is an enormous error and possibly even actionable.

I think Gamestop have left themselves open to serious repercussions here.

Also, I wonder what the odds are on 'discarded' coupons for DE:HR turning up on auction sites over the next few days?

Not only are PC gamers being deprived of content by this retailer's actions, it could be argued that SquareENIX could be damaged as well. If these codes are re-sold, then people planning to purchase the retail game may be able to play it (albeit through a cloud gaming system) at a fraction of the price. Result = lost sales for SquareENIX.

I think that if I were Josh Ivanoff (or whichever idiot told him to issue this communication), I would buy myself a tin hat and hide in the very deep hole I'd just dug myself.

ODB_69  Aug. 24, 2011 at 20:08

What about UK seeing as how that's a US letter?

johnmans82  Aug. 24, 2011 at 20:36

UK boxed copy does not come with Onlive codes

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