GameStop Pulls Deus Ex: Human Revolution for PC from Stores

UPDATE: Square Enix has acquiesced to GameStop, issuing an official statement apologizing for the inclusion of a third-party coupon without informing the retailer about it prior to the game's retail release. The news comes from an updated report on Giant Bomb. Square Enix issued the following statement:

"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"

Of course Square Enix can't take the blame for opened copies of the game being sold to consumers as new products at GameStop today. That may not seem like a big deal to some, but it still sucks that GameStop basically stole a $50 value from consumers over a service they haven't even officially launched yet..

Original Story: The wheels at GameStop's corporate headquarters must be spinning at breakneck speeds as the world's largest games retailer has gone from opening Pc copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution to remove OnLive coupons to pulling the game off store shelves. The retailer confirmed that it is taking the PC version of the game off store shelves so that they can be recalled. All of this is because, it claims, Square Enix included a coupon from a competitor inside Deus Ex: Human Revolution and didn't tell them about it.

The latest comes from a memo obtained by Giant Bomb that instructs store employees with the following directive:

"At this time please pull all Regular Editions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution (640171) and place them in your back room. these will be recalled at a later date.

As GameStop is developing a streaming service in our Spawn Labs Cloud Gaming Division, the coupon that was included is for a competitive service. We are returning all PC regular edition to the vendor in agreement with Square Enix.

Any unfilled reserves of the Regular PC Edition should be taken care of with the inventory set aside in your backroom.

Please honor any returns with a receipt."

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  1. 0
    Kajex says:

    Certainly. In that sense, they are covering a market that Steam cannot cover- namely, providing physical copies instead of offering digital ones that connect directly to Steam. And you think Steam is going to mail-order your collector's edition trinkets?

    Besides, if I'm not mistaken, there WAS a period of time where GS pulled Steam merchandise.

  2. 0
    KuroKorin says:

    *sigh* There is a reason Gamestop is down 72 cents today, Jeremy, and it is because they just provided a bad image to their consumers and to their shareholders.

    You corporate apologists need to realize that having a good relationship with your consumers always trumps protecting your own interests. What is the point of tampering with a box to remove a competitor's service if it hurts your company's image? I would have raised my eyebrow if they just removed it from shelves, but this was a step too far.

    If Gamestop, or EA is going to take these drastic steps to "protect their investments", I don't want to do business with them. I see their recent actions as shady and underhanded. I'll continue doing business with Steam, who gives me good deals and fantastic service.

    At the end of the day, I really don't care if Squenix was in the wrong or not.


  3. 0
    Krono says:

    See, the thing is that the fault on Square Enix's side could easily be a simple oversight. A last minute addition that didn't get communicated to Gamestop. Heck, it could quite possibly have been technically included on the list as "and a coupon(TBD)". So their actions don't have the same tone of malice that Gamestop tampering with a product to remove value from it in defense of themselves, while selling it full price and hoping that Square Enix, or consumers didn't notice, has.


  4. 0
    sqlrob says:

    Fraudulently? BS.

    If they did the thing correctly from the start, pulling it entirely, I wouldn't have had that much of an issue with it. I would've thought it stupid, but then not worried about it at all. Now, they remove stuff from new games meaning I won't buy anything new from them again.

    And "advertise competitors" excuse is baloney. Wal-mart and Amazon sell DVDs with codes to competing services. Gamestop sells Nintendo games with Nintendo Power trial subscriptions in them.

  5. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    Yes, because evil people are never, ever successful.  At anything.  The upper echelons of business are full to the brim with the cream of humanity's ethical crop.  Your logic is stunning.

  6. 0
    Grif says:

    On top of that, Gamestop is the world's largest gaming retailer. They must be doing something right. If they were really as evil as people make them out to be, they would have gone out of business after they merged with EB Games.

  7. 0
    Zen says:

    If they pulled that code and put in one of their own IN the case, wouldn't that be no different than what Square-Enix did by placing the code without any prior consent or even notification?  

    Plus why would Gamestop have to put out more money because they are stopping something that was done in a secretive manner?

    Side note: Knight, I can't find you email.  Hit me up

  8. 0
    eston says:

    Part of the big debate in regards to used game sales is that Publishers spend millions of dollars promoting their games with in-store advertisements and displays, only to have GameStop employees steer customers towards the used copies of the very games being promoted, so the freakout over including a "competitor's" coupon (I use that term loosely, because as mentioned above GameStop's online streaming service isn't even available yet) seems a bit silly.

    But if I understand correctly, the coupon is only good for a digital version of the same game people are buying a physical copy of, so it's not like GameStop would have lost sales of Deus Ex over this. It's all built on the assumption that people might decide they like OnLive and thus use it in the future instead of GameStop's up-and-coming streaming service. I can't help but wonder if all the bad PR is really worth the sales they "might" have lost.

    Either way, whoever came up with the idea of simply removing the coupons is an idiot, because think about it: as a gamer, would you rather go to GameStop and buy just the Deus Ex physical copy, or go to any other retailer and get the same physical copy + an additional digital copy of the game? Trying to avoid promoting some other service removes value from the product being offered, and would have lost them a lot more sales than simply leaving it alone.

    Or, here's a novel idea: instead of removing value from the product, why not switch the OnLive coupon for a GameStop coupon of similar value?

  9. 0
    eston says:

    I think that if they had just returned the games in the first place they probably could have spun the story to make Square Enix look like the bad guys, even. Instead they did something shady and got busted.

  10. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Honestly, this is the move I think they should have made to begin with. It would have been more quiet than ripping open the games and removing content.

    Any headlines that would have happened would have read "Gamestop returns Deus Ex games for defect" or "Gamestop doesn't have Deus Ex on day one" Both would have been far better than what they actually got.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  11. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Why is it a catch 22 when onlive and star dock or whatever gamewhine owns are almost in 2 separate niches, it makes little sense to start crap up over it when youer image is already tarnished.

  12. 0
    Zen says:

    It's a Catch-22 in regards to what "wrong" Gamestop has done. If they ignored it & let it go, they are promoting a company that wants to put them out of business on their own dime using games Gamestop paid for, if they pull the games outright & return them then they lose out on much of the first few days sales that most games really go on plus gamers would then go to other stores or online services anyways, and then there is the option to remove the extra unauthorized content & allow the games to be sold so Gamestop would still benefit from the games they purchased, people would still get the games they preordered, but Gamestop would have a backlash about it from some consumers about it.  

    Checked a few more places including OnLives Twitter account (@OnLive) and found a tweet from the 23rd after the sales started acting like it was a surprise that their code was in the box.  No previous mention was made about it even thought it would have been a big promotional boost to point out that the retail copy would come with a free version of the one for their service.  

    "OnLive OnLive, Inc.
    Look what we found in the PC retail box of Deus Ex: Human Revolution! A FREE @OnLive COPY!!! #DXHR @eidosmontreal"

  13. 0
    Zen says:

    How is it cheating a customer by taking something that pulls people away from your store that was placed there fraudulently…and I add the company that did it has even fessed up to doing this without prior permission or even just telling Gamestop that they were including it in the first place so they could work out an agreement or request a copy without the code?  I've seen comments online from people that tried the code and decided they liked this and want to stop going to their Gamestop/whatever store they bought from before.  A person as a consumer has the right to make that choice, but Gamestop shouldnt have to give out free passes to a company that competes with them and makes a habit of stating their business is no longer necessary just because Square-Enix pulled a fast one on them.  

    Square-Enix could have simply been forward about it and told Gamestop or just included a registration code where the consumer could have registered on Square-Enix's site and got the code that way.  Wal-Mart will not promote, and should not have to promote, Target/K-Mart/Etc as they are competition so neither should Gamestop.  

    I do think Gamestop handled this in a way that could have gone better, but I also think people are jumping on this like a shark to blood just to push their view that "Gamestop is evil and destroying the industry" in one way or another instead of looking and seeing that BOTH sides did something iffy or just plain wrong.  

    I just watched Destructoids episode for today and was annoyed at the brash reaction that everyone should return every copy because of this but never once questioned why the code was in the game without permission to begin with.  Getting angry and calling Gamestop the worst business ever for trying to protect it's interests, posting articles that are titled "Gamestop the worst, removes OnLive codes from Deus EX PC" is already showing a biased towards the topic and sadly I am seeing more and more sites doing this.  Even after Square-Enix admited their action, people still want to keep the vile pumping. Even this article states that it "stole a $50 value from consumers" when no one was informed they would even be getting this, its not listed on the box, and once again I don't think Gamestop should be forced to promote another company by way of games Gamestop bought under agreement and good faith with Square-Enix but were simply not being told that Square had another deal in the works.

    Sorry for the rant, but these types of things are driving me nuts when a knee jerk biased reaction seems to be the way people react to things now. Back to smiles and friendship with you all now. 😀

  14. 0
    Austin from Oregon says:

    Well that's much better than cheating customers out of the coupons. Seems to me like a move of integrity to completely turn away profits from Square on principal.

  15. 0
    airford says:

    It is bad, but reasonable in a business sense. OnLive is giving a free game with the purchase of Deus Ex, which isn't the same as STEAM's system of remembering which games you have(which sounds similar). The difference is in the wording, OnLive is "giving away free" as supposed to STEAM "playing without the disk".

    If Deus Ex required OnLive to run it would be a different story. Kinda like BF3.

    This isn't GameStop wanting OnLive to fail, or really about protecting GameStop's digital distribution service. The problem is Square and Onlive didn't tell GameStop about it, which gives GameStop the right to send back the product without any other reasoning.

    The PR GameStop gets is fair for its actions(bad but short). The best reason I come up for GS is that it doesn't get a cut of the deal. WalMart wouldn't sell Target or BestBuy card without getting some of the money(al a Itunes and Microsoft Points).

    All that said I don't like GS much, paying new prices on used games and bad trading prices keep me on other service often.

  16. 0
    GrimCW says:

    still sounds like bad buisness to me.

    they are still selling STEAM after all, as well as will be selling BF3, which requires Origin.

    so the only one they're concerned with is the already failing Onlive, as if its going to hurt them anymore than they already were?

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