Update: Gamestop is now giving those who purchase the game a $50 Gift Card and a Buy 2 Get 1 Free coupon on used games. No word on giving the OnLive coupon to those who did not get it. Instead PC Gamers get to spend money in Gamestop instead and a used game coupon which PC gamers can’t use.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is now in stores, but that is not without some controversial; you could say it may start a revolution. While I truly doubt that it will start a revolution, one could always hope. Square Enix has partnered with OnLive for a launch promotion on all PC retail copies of the game. Inside each box would be a code for an OnLive version of the game. Gamestop has taken it upon itself to open up each new and sealed copy and remove the OnLive promotion from the box. Not only that, but they would seal it back up and sell it as new without informing any of their customers.
Gamestop is running its own digital distribution service known as Impulse, which is currently being beta tested. The coupon from OnLive would be a competitor’s coupon being sold with each copy at Gamestop and they did not want that to happen. The smart decision would have been to pull the product from the shelves at the beginning of the day. Gamestop finally did so at the end of the day, but before that they were selling already opened games as new, which isn’t anything new for Gamestop.
Gamestop claims they had no prior knowledge to the promotion that Square Enix had in the box, and in fact Square Enix did not release the Press Release regarding the promotion until yesterday, but we do not know at this time if Square truly did not inform Gamestop ahead of time or if they thought it wouldn’t have been a problem. What would happen if the code was already printed on the manual? Would Gamestop rip pages out of it? How far would they have gone?
The revolution as I stated above should come from the fact that Gamestop took it upon itself to open the new games and resell them. Though in my opinion, and the opinion of just about every one else, this was a complete blunder. Refuse to sell the game, but do not open up games and remove items from the package. The line has been crossed and I wish Square would call Gamestop on it.