Hoodwinked by Square Enix, GameStop retaliates
Square Enix provided their retail customers free OnLive copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with each PC copy. GameStop is taking matters into their own hands, opening each new PC copy and removing the codes themselves. The codes are to be thrown away, not held /returned to Square Enix or OnLive.
Square Enix probably had the best intentions providing their retail customers free OnLive copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with each PC copy. It seems like a nice way to promote the new cloud-based gaming service, at no charge to consumers. One thing though, best intentions don't mean anything when it comes to business.
We wrote an article last week about how GameStop has officially begun beta testing its own streaming service being developed by Spawn Labs. Now, it appears that Square Enix forgot to mention the fact that they were including those free codes. Since OnLive is a future competitor of GameStop, in this space, GameStop is taking matters into their own hands. Sure they could have been smart and returned all the copies to Square Enix, making Square Enix the bad guys for this mistake. Instead, GameStop is perfectly comfortable opening each new PC copy and removing the codes themselves.
In an official notice, GameStop has directed all employees to “remove and discard the On Live coupon from all Regular PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution”. From a business perspective, Square Enix made the mistake by not working this out before launch. Also, it should be noted if you bought a collector’s edition or day one copy, you should not have been affected. Otherwise, be warned as GameStop is pulling these codes and reselling opened copies as 'new'. Now everyone looks like the bad guy and gamers are the ones who suffer. Oh and OnLive is of course suffering. Their codes will most likely fill local GameStop dumpsters before day’s end.
We contacted an employee of a local GameStop. He said he was given the directive, but was not told why. He also mentioned that the codes are to be thrown away, not held/returned to Square Enix or OnLive. Just to put the cost of this into perspective, users can also purchase Deus Ex: Human Revolution from OnLive for $49.99. Ouch…