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GameStop pulls Deus Ex PC from retail over OnLive code

Wednesday, 24th August 2011 18:34 GMT By Staff

Gamestop has taken the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution off store shelves following the removal of bundled OnLive download codes.

An alleged corporate email posted on Giantbomb calls for staff to remove the game from shelves and store stock in the back room ahead of shipment back to Square Enix.

Employees are asked to honour all returns presented with a receipt.

Earlier today, GameSpy cited an anonymous employee of the retailer, who revealed an instruction note handed out to stores asked the employees to remove the OnLive codes from all PC versions of the game.

This report was confirmed by GameStop representative Beth Sharum, who said: “Square Enix packed the competitor’s coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons.”

Square Enix responds
Square Enix has issued a conciliatory statement in the wake of Gamestop’s decision to cease offering Human Revolution for sale.

“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.”

Gamestop is yet to reply.

Legal ramifications
Speaking to Industry Gamers, games industry analyst and qualified attorney Mark Methenitis said the retailer “probably” had grounds to remove the codes.

“It’s probably legal. GameStop isn’t removing any essential element of the product. It’s like taking the Nintendo Power promo out of a Nintendo game,” he said.

“The only issue would be if the box advertised the promo and GameStop did nothing to change that, there might be a deceptive trade practice or false advertising kind of claim. But from the consumer angle, there’s not much.”

“It’s probably legal. GameStop isn’t removing any essential element of the product.”

Initial reports suggest the game’s packaging isn’t labelled, as the codes came as a surprise to many purchasers.

Methenitis also said there’s little chance Gamestop is in dubious legal territory by opening the boxes before sale.

“The act of opening the box didn’t necessarily mean the product went from new to used. And GameStop also isn’t using the disks, so I don’t think they’re crossing the line to become used games,” he said.

While consumers have little legal traction in this case, Square Enix is a whole other story.

“GameStop and Square may have had a marketing agreement prohibiting this kind of promotion, in which case GameStop may be completely justified. If not, OnLive or Square may have a claim against GameStop for tortious interference or something else based on the activity,” Methenitis explained.

No shared saves
Those opting to purchase a copy of Deus Ex via OnLive will pay the same as retail, around $49.99, so having an extra copy lying around if you use the service would have been a nice thing to have.

Unfortunately, Joystiq reports there’s no cloud-save feature, meaning the two copies can’t be used with the same save file.

OnLive CEO Steve Perlman said mods used in the stand-alone retail version could cause issues, but the company is interested in pursuing more promotions, and may build save compatibility into future titles.

“You can think of this as cloud game meets physical media 1.0. This first version doesn’t have cross-pollination between your local PC and the cloud,” he said. “That’ll probably be like 2.0.”

Thanks, 1UP.

Original article by Stephany Nunneley with updates by Brenna Hillier.

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28 Comments

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  1. pukem0n

    lol, they will sell them seperately for 20$ or so. wanna bet?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. CaptKillsteal

    Wow… that’s pretty lame.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Stephany Nunneley

    What I am curious over is if they are still selling these for the same price of “new” since they have been opened. If so, that is utter bullshit. They do it already with console games, and this is a shady practice. And, again, utter bullshit.

    It’s like a friend of mine via Twitter said: “It would be like Kroger Grocers selling me a box of cereal with a WalMart coupon inside it. Would they dig it out?”

    #3 3 years ago
  4. endgame

    ownd! :))

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Gizkata

    Are they allowed to actually do this?

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Gekidami

    Yes, whilst i can understand why they would do this, cutting open the plastic film then reaching into the box really isnt the best of solutions.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Kabby

    Pathetic.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. revsouly

    Gamers you MUST speak with your money. Simply don’t buy it from Gamestop.

    I know it may be hard in some markets where it’s hard to find a Pc game retailer but that’s the only way Gamestop will take notice or Square Enix for that matter

    Gamers we should not accept this

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Ireland Michael

    I for one won’t be buying anything from them again.

    I could tolerate them before. Sometimes you got a good deal. Recently over here though, they’ve jacked up the prices of three and four year old games to practically full prices, then putting them into the “3 for 2″ selection, to try and delude people into believing they were getting some sort of great deal on the games.

    This? This is just the final kick in the teeth.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Aimless

    The funny thing is the game still advertises a competitor’s platform on account of it being a Steamworks title.

    Better just sell the empty box, GameStop.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. badboy_122

    we’re gonna hear lawsuits .. soon

    #11 3 years ago
  12. strikkebil

    shitstorm ahead

    #12 3 years ago
  13. OwningXylophone

    I wonder what Sqaure think about this? At the end of the day Gamestop are removing part of the content the publisher decided to include. I can’t see that going down well unless there was an agreement in place beforehand for GS to sell copies that didn’t have the code included.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Freek

    While we’re using metaphors:

    It’s allot like a dinosaur buying a space heater to fend off the ice age.

    Sorry Mr Brick and Mortar, there’s a contract out on you and Digital is planning to collect. Dead or alive.

    Digital: “you’re like a virus infecting the games industrie and I’m the cure….”

    If a Gamestop sells games but nobody is around to buy them, does it make a sound?

    #14 3 years ago
  15. YoungZer0

    Isn’t this … i don’t know, kind of illegal?

    #15 3 years ago
  16. hitnrun

    Got mine yesterday, it did have the code in it. Yes, it was at Gamestop, much to my shame. If I had known there would be a preorder bonus from other places, I would have gone to Best Buy or Amazon. Buying from Gamestop makes me feel dirty inside.

    It’s not like they actually, you know, sell this game anyway. I went to one GS and they were sold out – of preorders. The thing behind the counter was still blathering as I left the store.

    The guy at the second GS’s explanation was illuminating: “Let’s see…oh good, we’re getting three copies and I have two reserved, so you’re good.” Three copies. Of what might be the second biggest PC release this year.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. deadstoned

    I’ll never buy from them.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. jacobvandy

    @15 I think you could argue that tampering with the product and then selling it as if it were brand new is problematic as far as deceiving the customer, but there’s nothing really stopping any retailer from altering the products they sell. They buy it from the distributor, so they own it, they could technically do anything they want to it before selling it back to you for a profit.

    The only way they could get in trouble is if they don’t disclose that; unfortunately I think they’ve covered their asses by making an official statement to the press about this. If the free OnLive code was advertised in-store or on their website, on the back of the box, etc. and it’s not included, that would be a problem for them. Like everyone else says, you need to vote with your wallet to show them these practices are unacceptable.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Fin

    Surely this is straight up theft? Essentially it’s no different to robbing the Steam code from PS3 Portal 2, or a digital copy code from a BluRay/DVD.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Ireland Michael

    @19 If Portal 2 had been released now instead of a few months ago, they probably would have done the same thing.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Brenna Hillier

    I’ve updated this article with new information.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Phoenixblight

    @20

    WHich makes me wonder what will happen with Skyrim since it uses Steam works. Remove the disk? =-P

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Ireland Michael

    Well hey, it’s not not anyone actually buys PC games *off the shelves* anymore, right? =P

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Phoenixblight

    Well depends for me Amazon has some deals like 20$ credit for buying a game from them but usually its through whatever DD gives it to me for a bargain.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Brenna Hillier

    Updated again!

    #25 3 years ago
  26. SplatteredHouse

    All is lost, if the PUBLISHER the entity responsible for releasing the game is made to feel subservient to a middle-man.
    I CAN’T BELIEVE what I just read. Even kow-towing as far as to sheepishly recommend the filthy chain to its fans.

    Horrible. For any mud I could hurl in the direction of Square-Enix, any frustration at their going nowhere, corporate ass-kisser apologists was nowhere seen amongst the repertoire, until today.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. SplatteredHouse

    #27 3 years ago
  28. HeavyD-Love

    I discovered Gamestop was a ripoff probably 10 years ago……people still buy there>?

    #28 3 years ago