Updated Thu, Aug 25, 2011 by Martuk
The story contains an alleged leaked email from GameStop Field Operations Manager Josh Ivanoff, which instructs employees to open all new regular PC copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and dispose of a free promo coupon for the game with online competitor OnLive gaming service.
Ars Technica contacted Ivanoff for comment, but he refused to comment, referring the site to the public relations team. GameStop Spokesperson Beth Sharum confirmed the practice and gave the below statement to Ars Technica.
Square Enix packed the competitor’s coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull these coupons.
GameStop’s interest in expanding into the digital market is clear, but is it right for them to remove content from the game box? Despite the fact that a new game should be a sealed game, something that has eluded GameStop for quite some time, the retailer may have potentially left themselves opened to some sort of legal retaliation. After all, that little promotion likely cost OnLive a bit only to have their promotional goods yanked by GameStop. And depending on the agreement with Square, OnLive could have a legitimate complaint against GameStop
Do you think GameStop has the right to remove anything from an unopened game box? If you purchased one of the remaining Star Wars: The Old Republic Collector’s Edition for $150+, would you be upset to find even the slightest thing missing? Tell us what you think below and we’ll update you if anything further develops.
Source: Ars Technica
Thanks to our Forum Mistress Shayalyn for the tip.
Update: Giant Bomb is reporting that a new leaked memo from GameStop indicates that the retailer is pulling all PC copies of the game and returning them to the vendor. The memo posted by Giant Bomb states that the OnLive coupons are a competitive service to an online streaming service being developed by GameStop's Spawn Labs.
Square Enix also issued an official statement regarding the recent events.
LOS ANGELES (August 24, 2011) — Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX™ interactive entertainment products in the Americas issued the following statement today to customers who have bought the PC version of DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION™ from GameStop stores in North America:
“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.”