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The Deus Ex GameStop Saga

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Apologies for being off the news desk, but this Madden thing has taken up most of the week but tomorrow I get to actually talk about Madden which I am itching to do. Tonight’s podcast should be fun.

Anyway, yesterday, as you may have heard, it was reported that GameStop went all Watergate Break In on Deus Ex: Human Revolution on the PC, by cracking open the cases of several copies of the game and swiping out the On Live coupon that was tucked inside.

This directive came from on high as reported by Ars Technica. Ben even posted the memo from http://onlivespot.blogspot.com (pictured).

After this went down and the negative press started to to seep into GameStop HQ, it was decided to simply remove all “regular PC copies” of Deus Ex Human Revolution from shelves because On Live is a “competing service”. In other words — Square didn’t tell GameStop it had included the coupon, GameStop hated the idea of selling a game that promoted a service that is a direct competitor so it simply cracked open the game without telling its customers and sold it as new.

It’s always the cover up that gets you.

If GameStop had simply come out and made it clear to shoppers that it was removing that coupon, this is a non story.

Now they look like twits.

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

14 thoughts to “The Deus Ex GameStop Saga”

  1. I totally agree. Sure it was a dick move by GS anyway, but had they been up front about it there wouldn’t be quite the hate. Of course not beyond the real hate that we generally see for GS. The real correct move is what they’re doing now which is not selling the PC version until Square provides copies without the coupon. It’s totally a lose-lose situation for everybody no matter what they did.

  2. I stopped shopping at gamestop a long time ago. I got tired of dealing with all the stupid things they do, and this justified my decision even more. To think that they think they have the right to open a game packaging because they don’t like all the promos is about as ridiculous as anything they’ve done. They aren’t the gods of gaming, and they aren’t even the best place to buy games anymore. If they don’t want to sell the title, that’s one thing, but to think they can tamper with contents, especially with their return policy, just makes me want to spit! Spit I say! If the coupon was attached to the back page of the manual, would they just remove it? Tear out the back page? How much power do they really think they hold? Ugh.

  3. I used to work at EBX and it was common store policy for employees to open new games, take them home and play them, and then bring them back when we were done. We would re-shrinkwrap the boxes and sell the games as new. If the customer ever complained about the modified wrapping we just explained that it was a floor display copy… as if that somehow made it okay.

    At this point I always assume the worst when it comes to stores like Gamestop, and avoid buying anything from them whenever possible.

  4. It’s been widely known that Gamestop opens its games and fucks around with the contents all the time for years. This isn’t surprising; if you wanted an unopened copy of a game… well, you’re more likely to get one buying a used copy off eBay than a new copy off Gamestop.

    Don’t shop at Gamestop. The message has been plenty clear for many years that they are assholes and idiots from pretty much every angle. I don’t understand how they can continue to prey off people when they already know better. Is this some kind of Stockholm syndrome variant?

  5. You think “Gamestop is a bunch of assholes” is no longer anecdotal?

    There is one a few miles from my house with considerate employees that genuinely make me want to support them. But then, I don’t need to tell you about the other two stores nearer where I live.

  6. Wonder if Eidos or Square Enix can bring out the Lawyers on this one, slap GS with fat, juicy fine or something. Bearing my (severly) limited knowledge on retail law in mind, I seem to recall that once a product is bought by the retailer they can do what they want except damage it?

    Whatever the case may be, I’d like to see something along the lines of Square pulling the titles from GS, and then blacklisting GS for any future sales; or better yet, offer On Live coupons to any GS customers after the fact.

    Naive I know, but I like seeing companies getting bitch-slapped back into their place.

    EDIT: And none of this will matter when the world switches entirely dl.

  7. Ah well, have to search for my corporate fisticuffs elswhere.

    Wonder if Activision and EA are still circling each other in the carpark.

  8. Tempest in a teacup.

    This is getting blown waaay out of proportion.

    But that’s what the internet does I guess.

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