GameStop Pulls OnLive ‘Deus Ex: Human Revolution’ Coupons from Retail Copies [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 8:53 pm,

Deus Ex OnLive Coupons

With the growth of digital distribution, there has been something of a split in the gaming industry: those that like to keep their media firmly and securely in their hands – while the rest keep it securely on their hard drives.

The choice of physical media or digital has become especially complicated for the PC market – and is one of the pinnacle decisions of any game choice, especially with games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution causing a stir.

That’s why, instead of having gamers worry about which format to choose, publisher Square Enix and cloud gaming company OnLive decided to team up and offer both. For gamers that purchased the physical copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, they would also receive a copy of the game from OnLive for free. As a retail offer of $49.99, it’s not one that most PC gamers could pass up.

Yet that’s not quite the happy ending that it should have been: it turns out that retail mogul GameStop wasn’t as interested in the promo, and began to physically remove the OnLive codes from the retail copies – and reseal them as if nothing happened. After receiving several confirmations from anonymous employees, it seems that it was in fact GameStop management urging the OnLive codes to be removed.

In response to the accusations, a GameStop representative stated that the company did in fact order the removal of the OnLive coupons – but that no further comments could be made until research had been done. OnLive has yet to make a comment (along with Square Enix) – yet, as it stands, they both will have some strong words to say.

[Update 1 : GameStop was found to be removing all PC copies of the game]

[Update 2: Square Enix responds.]

Deus Ex Human Revolution Review - Melee Attacks

Whether or not GameStop knew about the OnLive code scandal or not, how they handled the matter is dumbfounding. If there was an issue with communication (i.e. they didn’t know the codes would be in packaging) then the smarter choice would have been to remove the game from the shelves until it was sorted out. Now they run the risk of hitting countless different types of lawsuits and fines – as well as losing the already tenuous trust of their consumers.

Thankfully this won’t affect Human Revolution, with its stunning reviews and grandiose explanation of man and how we perceive our humanity. Sad that GameStop didn’t play the game before pulling this.

Source: GameSpy

Follow Will on his Facebook and Twitter@ Ayreesfoxx.

TAGS: Deus Ex Human Revolution, Eidos Montreal, OnLive, PC, PS3, Square Enix

  • Alex Sebenski

    As an OnLive fan Im outraged. Im not sure of the legal implications but this sounds illegal. Someone’s gonna pay.
    This was a great awareness campaign for OnLive. I can see why GameStop would want to put a stop to it.

  • BlueHue

    Clearly a petty attempt to stop awareness being raised in the service that has now backfired completely and given them more recognition than they would have made in the first place.

  • Crisius

    For those wondering, I used to work for a Gamestop in Texas, we were allowed to “checkout” brand new games that came in, for up to a week at a time. These being games that were still sealed in plastic. Then when we were done with them, we would just have to reseal them in plastic, (every Gamestop has a machine for this). And the game would be resold as new.

  • DaJaven82

    I don’t see any problem with what Gamestop chose to do here other than wait to say anything. I’m with them here as their facebook post said that they do not promote competitive ads or offers without an agreement. I put the blame on Square Enix and OnLive for apparently not cluing Gamestop in beforehand. So I would’ve had those coupons or whatever pulled too. Now I do think the moment Gamestop got word of this they should’ve put out messages to the customers about it

    • ffocus06

      I unfortunately do not agree with that. You can’t open up a brand new “sealed” copy of a game and then sell it for full retail price. Now if they were selling them as used then that’s fine but clearly the only reason they were doing this was to have more people come in and buy the game. Personally I love Gamestop for their used items but the one thing I hate is buying a new game that has been opened already and paying full retail for it. It’s just like when they selling the game of the year editions of Borderlands at a discounted price. All the copies were opened and the contents were in different packages. I don’t know if that copy of the game was a new or used copy. Of course it was only twenty bucks so it was a great deal.

      I think they might and should get in trouble for this one. Like it said in the article if they knew it had them or had a suspicion of extra content then they should have pulled them not removed something the game came with.

      Last thing, DaJaven82, they don’t promote competitive ads or offers? Doesn’t that mean from other retail stores or retail papers offering things for a lower price than they have? The OnLive coupon is just like other games coming with coupons for free DLC items or maps or even things that Microsoft gives out for free. Like I said before this an attempt by Gamestop to try and make more money. It’s a shame what people will do for an extra buck.

      • JT

        I would like to point out that if gamestop did not take the new games out of the cases for display purposes, the games would all be behind glass like at other retailers.

        I’ve worked in retail for 4 years now and i’ve come to know that consumers who come in not knowing what they’re looking for generaly like to pick up and examine their options. Having games behind glass would be a hinderance in this case, with only the two or three people working at a gamestop (the average amout of workers i see when ever i go to look around) having to constantly unlock glass cases for customers would place unnecessary work and waste consumers time.

        — You’re in line behind five other customers and each one wants 2-5 games. The employee would have to walk around the store with each customer individualy with a fistful of keys unlocking each case and locking them back up afterwards. This would probably take between ten and twenty minutes per customer, meaning that you would be in line for at least an hour possibly two.–

        All that said removing a new game from the case does not infact make it used (contrary to popular belief). If you truely just want a sealed copy either be patient and wait for them to get more copies or order one online.


        Conserning the issue at hand though. SquareEnix should have asked their retal partners if it was alright to pack these coupons. I can see where most retailers wouldn’t have a problem knowing that OnLive doesn’t pose a threat to their overall business.

        But gamestop isn’t most retailers, they sell video games and only video games. OnLive poses a direct and possibly potent threat to the company because it offers exactly what they do but only digital.

        • ffocus06

          I understand that, trust me, I worked at Wal-Mart in the electronics dept. and at Best Buy in the media section. I understand what it is like but that still doesn’t give them the right to open a game and then sell it for the regular price. How do you know that game is the original game and never been played before. One of my good friends use to work at a Gamestop and he told me that they could get games before they even came out and basically rent games from the store that were new and those games would then be sold as new. This isn’t going to stop me from purchasing games at Gamestop but they definitely to change their practices.

      • DaJaven82

        I did include that Gamestop’s facebook says they don’t promote competitor stuff without an agreement. And really I, myself, don’t have a big deal with them opening the box. You may not be the first to open the box but you’ll be the first to play your copy of the game. Of course they want to make more money theirselves. They are, afterall, a business first an foremost. They are in it to make money. I still say that Square Enix is at fault for trying to sneak this coupon by with Gamestop. Why should Gamestop promote another company’s download service when they have their own?

  • brandon

    I can respect GameStop’s not wanting competition in their store, but I believe they knew that Square was placing the Onlive codes in the PC retail boxes. This was published in the news months before the game was released. GameStop should have made arrangements with Square to send retail boxes that did not include the Onlive codes. GameStop ordering it’s staff to open the boxes and remove the codes to me is unethical. They’re removing contents that are included in the box that, if the customer purchases, is entitled to have. You wouldn’t be happy if Mc Donald’s took out your kid’s toy from a Happy Meal just because the same toy is being placed in Wendy’s kids meals, would you? You paid for it, you’re entitled to it. And as if that isn’t enough, GameStop finally realized the heat it’s getting from compromising the boxes so they’ve taken them all down now. I can’t wait to see what happens to their stock when the market opens.

    • DaJaven82

      I still do not see the big deal. Ya know if its that big a deal all Square Enix and/or OnLive need ta do is start a section of a site for people who bought the game at Gamestop and did not get their coupon. Show some kind of proof to them and then they can directly give you the code themselves. Then its problem solved.

    • Crisius

      This will just push people to a more digital market.