Yesterday was a rough day for PC gamers struggling with their humanity, and augmentations, at a local GameStop.
With the morning’s breaking news that GameStop management had ordered employees to open retail versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and remove the bonus OnLive code that would grant purchasers an additional copy of the game, things didn’t look good for the mega retailer.
Things got worse as management came back and said to remove all PC copies of Human Revolution from the shelves. With the report explaining that the OnLive codes were in direct competition with GameStop’s own digital media service, Spawn Labs, all of the unopened copies of the game were to be sent back Square Enix.
It wasn’t until today that Square Enix finally made a statement on the situation… and surprisingly the publisher took some heat off GameStop’s back.
“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.”
While it’s somewhat a surprise (albeit a good one) that Square Enix is shouldering some of the burden, that doesn’t mean that GameStop is in the clear. Yesterday, while the scandalous news spread, past and present employees began to speak up over the company’s policies – including the ability to “borrow” games before release for an undisclosed amount of time, pricing for refurbishing new and pre-owned titles, and so on.
It’s been a long-standing argument that GameStop is simply too big for its own good, and the recent incident may be the proof. If their reaction is to thwart potential business competition before it even exists (remember that we still don’t know what Spawn Labs will actually be), then something may very well have to change.
Let us know what you’re thinking – do you shop at GameStop? Is the recent news enough to get you to think twice about making purchases at the retailer?
Follow Will on his Facebook and Twitter@ Ayreesfoxx.