GameStop Issues Apology for OnLive Coupon Fiasco

While GameStop was bold in removing OnLive coupons from PC retail copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, it found some humility today as it realized that yesterday's situation put them in a bad light with customers. Many customers felt that, by taking a coupon that was worth around $50 out of those boxes, the company was ripping them off.

Today GameStop CEO Paul Raines issued an apology via email to customers and offered an olive branch to smooth things over.

"Dear GameStop customer,

Earlier this week, GameStop removed a competitor's coupon from standard edition PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a recent release by Square Enix. We were not aware that the product box would contain this competitor's offer. We regret the events surrounding this title release and that our customers were put in the middle of this issue between GameStop and Square Enix, the publisher of this game. And for this, we are truly sorry.

For your inconvenience, we would like to offer you a free $50 GameStop gift card and a Buy 2 Get 1 Free pre-owned purchase. We want to earn back your trust and confidence in the GameStop experience. Please bring in this email and your store receipt or order confirmation from and present it to a Game Advisor.

Paul Raines
CEO, GameStop


Hopefully GameStop has learned a lesson about public perception..

Source: Joystiq

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  1. Yammo says:

    SE was in fault for not informing GS.

    GS was in fault for modifying a product and passing it on AS NEW to the customer.

    I don't need for it to be "illegal" to stop using GS and I feel it is very very doubtful I'll ever touch anything from GS.

  2. Sabrel says:

    The problem w/that theory is that they own the physical materials, but not the software. The software is licensed, the same for GameStop as it would be for a final end user. Hacking the game up like that and then reselling would be a clear and blatant violation of the standard license agreement for modern games.

    Beyond that, the buyers discovering that would likely cause an even louder outcry than this did. GameStop is not a monopoly in the modern age. Even disregarding the multiple channels for digital distribution, other retailers carry a selection of PC games, often (as others have noted) a much better one than GameStop. If GameStop wants to muck w/their inventory and drive customers to other companies, so be it.

    Consumer reaction to this, and the idea that Square/GameStop business relations may change as a result, are all instances of the free market working correctly. W/all of the examples of monopoly power stifling free competition in this day and age, I find it refreshing when things work the way they are supposed to. I do not see any reason to add cumbersome legal factors to this.

  3. Neeneko says:

    While I can see the 'it is their property, they can do as they please with it' argument, stuff like this sets a worrying precedent.   In this case it was only a coupon, but under this logic what is to stop them from making other alterations?

    Let us take an extreme (and currently not feasible) example of, say, removing a few levels. Say they have their own in-house level designers and they think it would be in their best interests to remove some of that secret and easter egg content and replace it with thier own, maybe even easter egg advertisements.   They own the copy of the game so they can alter it before resale (actually, they can not legally do this as companies that 'cleaned up' DVDs were found to be in copyright infringement,.. but GameStop has the legal muscle to possibly do better), and since easter eggs are not advertised content they could make the same 'people did not know about it, thus it is not fraud to sell the altered version' argument.

    Stuff like this could also spawn the same kinds of controls other manufacturers have on retail.  Many brands have strict requirements on retail outlets regarding things like price and display.. I am guessing Square did not, but they might want to in the future since they could argue that a downstream retailer hurt their image (since customers tend to like surprise bonus stuff, so they stood to reap some good PR from this).

  4. axiomatic says:

    This is a rather obvious second option to gutting the game that is done by a company called GamesPlus near my house.

    They digitally scan the covers of the games and put the scanned front/back of the game on the shelf for customers to read the box.

    Gamestop needs to learn this lesson. Color scanners/printers are like cheap, ya know?

  5. Grif says:

    Again, this thread is old, and you have just proven why you are retarded, so I'm going to stop trying now. Must be nice to have money to throw away just to make a point.

  6. Erik says:

    I never said the coupon wasn't worthless.  But that is beside the point.  The point is that the customers were supposed to receive it.  Gamestop unilaterally deciding that the customers aren't going to get the (worthless) coupon is absolute bullshit.  So I can tell you that if I would have been in this situation with this game and Gamestop tries to come at me with a $50 gift card to smooth things over I would become even more pissed.  I would DEMAND that I be allowed to trade in my $50 gift card for the (worthless) coupon that they likely have stacks of.

    Then I would throw the coupon away.  It is worthless after all.

  7. Grif says:

    I got my copy of Deus Ex on the PS3. So, yeah. Neither. Considering the PC versions ran with Steamworks, the OnLive coupon was essentially useless, anyway. You have a physical AND a digital copy, so a laggy streamed version is pointless. It's little more than an advertisement.

  8. Erik says:

    My argument is that it is bullshit, legal or  not, that they can gut a product and sell it as the full product.  I can't see how that has no merit. 

    So again I have to say that either you enjoy getting screwed or you are the screwer.

  9. Grif says:

    Nothing, really. Other than that Gamestop isn't as evil as you want to believe. But unless Gamestop took the coupon out AFTER the customer purchased the game, your argument has no merit.

  10. Erik says:

    The coupon. They removed from the box that SE intended the customer to have.

    You know instruction books aren’t advertised either. What is to stop them from removing those and selling them back to the customer for a premium?

  11. Grif says:

    "Thieving" would imply that they stole something. If you know how someone can steal from one's self, please teach me, because that would be a neat trick.

  12. Erik says:

    And when the customer hears of Gamestops "right" to steal from them the customer is within their rights to return the game, along with the two prequels, and tell them to shove their $50 up their thieving asses.

  13. Erik says:

    Again, the point that it is a better deal is moot. If someone wants the crappier deal that is their prerogative. Gamestop doesn’t get to make that voice for people.

  14. Grif says:

    Firstly, you'd have to be an idiot to think a coupon good for the game you just bought is a better deal than getting two different, and also incredibly good games.

    Mathematically speaking:

    3 different games > 2 of the same.

    Even taking out the "different" and "same" modifiers:

    3 > 2

    Either which way, the Impulse deal was better.

    Also, since Gamestop didn't have to, but they did it anyway, they added a $50 gift card and a B2G1 coupon. Now, to make it so they don't have to come out of pocket, let's assume the holder chooses 2 $25 games, and thus gets another $25 game for free.

    So let's do the math again. And we can even throw in the PC version of Deus Ex.

    3 games + 1 game  = 4.

    4 different games > 2 of the same

    Again, removing the modifiers.

    4 > 2

    I have just mathematically proven that regardless of which way you look at it, Gamestop had the better deal.

    I understand that consumer perception is important, but opinion can never disprove a fact.

  15. Erik says:

    It isn't your right to decide what is a better deal.  If someone wants the crappy deal then that is THEIR choice.  Not Gamestop, and not you.

  16. Erik says:

    You were the one who brought up the suing idea.  I'm saying that if it is that is a necessary step in sending the product back to SE and NOT selling it then I say sue them.

  17. Grif says:

    They were trying to NOT sue Square. But this thread is old, and arguing with you is pointless, so I'm stopping here.

  18. Erik says:

    Then they should have sued Square.  But the fact remains that if they had a problem with the product, they should have just NOT sold it in the first place.

  19. Grif says:

    Well, they may have made that choice if it wasn't already too late. They didn't find out about the coupons until after the fact. Square ninja'd the coupons in. Again, if Square was up front about the coupons, they could have made a deal like they did with Valve when they came out with Portal 2, or request coupon-free packages. But when the publisher ADMITS and APOLOGIZES for screwing up, you don't blame the retailer for trying to fix it on their own without involving the publisher. Sure, pulling the coupons wasn't the smart thing to do in the public's eyes, but they could have simply sued Square, instead of pulling the coupons.

  20. Erik says:

    Again, if Gamestop had a problem with the product then just don't carry it.  It is as easy as that.


  21. Grif says:

    You prove my point right there. Square Enix themselves admitted they screwed up and still you want to blame Gamestop for everything. Way to see the forest for the trees.

  22. Erik says:

    If Gamestop had an issue with selling the product then they shouldn’t have sold all. It is gamestops fault that they didnt want to sell the product as is. Not SE.

    But it is funny that you say people weren’t screwed when they didn’t get what SE intended.

    Funnier still when you deny underhanded tactics while they are being so blatantly revealed.

  23. Grif says:

    I'm going to say this one more time, and one more time only. Gamestop isn't "screwing" anyone. If Square hadn't screwed the pooch in the first place, none of this wouldn't have happened. It's Square Enix's fault, not Gamestop's. Even you have to realize that forcing Gamestop to keep the coupons and advertise for a direct competitor without their knowledge is wrong. As said multiple times before, it's a violation of federal antitrust laws. If you want to have a hate-boner, then at least have the common decency to blame the right company. There was no deception on Gamestop's side. They were merely trying to protect their own investment without having to sue.

    But you don't care. Anyone who works for or represents a large corporation is evil in your eyes. They're all out to screw everyone out of their money with the most underhanded tactics. You'll obviously never see anyone who makes more money than you or me as a legitimate business.

  24. Erik says:

    From everything I read from you, you do honestly believe that customers should take it up the ass don't you?  Wow, you are either some sort of sado-masochistic-gimp-monkey or some Fortune 500 CEO.  I can't think of any other reason you so constantly think people should be screwed.

    But it is pretty hilarious that you honestly don't see any problem with the deception on behalf of Gamestop.  How they can just decide to sell you a different product than any other retailer would sell and WITHOUT telling you. 

    "The consumer is NOT entitled to get what they expect."

    This is where you are wrong wrong wrong.  And if this happens what needs to happen, as in this case where people raised hell, the consumer needs to locate their fucking testicles and call out the company in question.

    Or they can, you know, take it up the ass with a drooling smile on their face while a discless case crammed full of feces is shoved into their hands and their wallets pilfered like you so seem to enjoy.


  25. Grif says:

    Well, tough noogies, because again, it is Gamestop property, and it alone as a retailer gets to decide what gets sold to you. If they want to sell you just a disc and throw away the packaging, they can do that. They wouldn't, but they can. If Wal-mart, Target, Best Buy, and every other indie game store wanted to take out the coupons in protest of Square Enix's failure to disclose the contents, they are within their rights. The consumer is NOT entitled to get what they expect. They get what is sold to them. Unless, of course, advertising or contractual obligations apply, and in this case, neither does.

  26. Erik says:

    You see, no. When I buy a product new I expect to get everything intended and packaged by the manufacturer. I don’t think a retailer should get to redefine that.

  27. Grif says:

    Legally speaking, they could take out the coupon and still "pass it off" as the new, full product, because everything advertised on the box is still there. The coupon wasn't on the box, so therefore has no bearing on the "full" product.

  28. Yammo says:

    Why do you keep equivocating "Monopolistic practices" with "Monopoly"?

    Don't you understand the difference?

  29. faefrost says:

    Sorry I'm not a well researched games blogger. I am a businessman. I just work in the industry that moves software and hardware product from producer to retailer on a daily basis. I apparently lack the background needed to understand these complexities.

    Yes SquareEnix screwed up. Yes they should have fully informed GS as to what was in the box. (assuming that they neglected to include the coupon in their product description documentation to the retailer, and it wasn't simply that the GS product manager in charge of the Squenix account failed to properly read said description (an almost daily occurrence in this industry)). And quite frankly if GS had done it correctly, they could have not only gotten those coupons out, they could have gotten Square to pay them to take the coupons out and the product would still be considered new. (Square would have contracted and authorized GS to act as agents of the manufacturer in order to correct the product deficiency and paid them to do it.)

    However, If whichever clueless marketing clone at GS who gave the order, had actually thought or knew what he was doing, he would have kicked it up the chain and not down. Square would have said oops. Requested that GS not only pull the coupon, but replace it with a GS marketing coupon of some sort (and probably footed the bill for the GS promo), and both sides would have simply said that a shipment of the product went out with the wrong coupon and replacements have been sent to the stores. No one would have blinked.

    Instead they opened and altered boxed resale product, sold it on to the customer as new, all in order to use their storefront retail establishments as a barrier against the entry of a competitor in their streaming business model. This is the sort of activity that makes the company legal department want to start killing people. Their own people! It was in a word BONEHEADED. It opened GS up to legal exposure for absolutely no reason.

  30. Grif says:

    I never claimed to be a lawyer, but as a journalist, I do strive to do my research.

    And since I don't like long arguments, I'll keep this rebuttal brief: If Square Enix had been up front about the coupon, Gamestop wouldn't be "bending over backwards" to fix Square's screw-up, would they?

    As stated below, Square admitted themselves that they screwed the pooch. And no matter how you try to spin the whole "ownership" thing, forcing Gamestop to keep an advertisement for a direct competitor is still in violation of federal antitrust law.

    As to your claim of "monopolistic practices"… what? Gamestop isn't a monopoly. It cannot, and will not ever be. They aren't trying to "bludgeon" anyone. It simply decided to enforce their right to not have to advertise for a competitor.

    Square Enix failed to fulfill their obligation of informing Gamestop, and every other retailer, about the coupon. It is the obligation of the publisher to inform the retailer of the contents of their product. Again, if Square was up front about the whole thing, none of this ever would have happened, so I fail to see how Gamestop did anything wrong, either legally, ethically, or morally.



  31. faefrost says:


    Wow! OK I'll play. Yeah, I'm not a lawyer. But I do have several decades of actual live experience at the higher corporate levels in the tech hardware and software distribution and retail channels. (And no I do not mean I am or was a Best Buy blue shirt tyvm.) So I have a fairly strong working understanding of what you can and cannot do with product at the retail level. Your analogy of Gamestop buying and therefore owning the product is not entirely correct. There is a difference in the law between purchasing something and purchasing something for resale (ie product inventory). Unless it is your branded product you cannot alter what is in the box and still sell it as new. Gamestop has long skirted the rules of this by specifically not altering the contents of the boxes in any way, and also by never doing this with un-returneable PC games. They broke both of these policies in this case. This is why a large number of their managers refused the order to remove the coupons, and why the corporate drone who gave the order to pull them is now filing for un-employment (at least according to some of my sources in GS management). Gamestop certainly does not have to advertise for OnLive, but a coupon or ad in a sealed retail product is really getting outside the bounds unless Gamestop specifically contracted with the publisher for exactly what would be in that box. And even then the only legitimate recourse would have been to return the defective product or to come with some contracted arrangement with the publisher whereby GS could specifically act as the publishers agency in repairing the deficiency. Yeah, it's a lot of subtle nuance, but trust me as a retailer you do not alter what is in a branded clearly identified retail box without express written permission from the manufacturer… EVER.

    regarding 2 and 3) Sigh! Yeah right thank gods I am not a lawyer. Uh huh. (Based on your signature link I'm going to guess that you aren't either). Once again Gamestop cannot alter what is inside the packaging. They certainly cannot do so using their storefront retail shops in protection of their streaming service. No more than Comcast can choose to filter out any AT&T ads from their TV service simply because Comcast also offers home phone service. You live in Atlanta. Have you ever noticed that the Sunday Journal Constitution always has advertising and coupons for Kroger? Even when you buy it at Publix? Do you understand why this is? Gamestop was using one established business arm to bludgeon a competitor of another business arm. Is it monopolistic behavior? In the end that would be for a court to decide. But it has enough of a smell to it to garner a sniff from more than one state or federal agency. (Once again I am not a lawyer. I am a business professional with a fairly well rounded understanding of what is and isn't acceptable business practices. )

    How far Gamestop has bent over backwards to apologize for this and make amends should be telling us something about how big a screw up it really was, or what the potential level of exposure they believed they faced was. That at least was the proper action on their part. Companies can and will make mistakes and do stupid things on spur of the moment decisions. How a company responds to that is what is really telling. In this case it looks like Gamestop very quickly did correct the error and do the right thing, and if my sources are to be believed actually hold those lacking in common sense responsible for the mistake. It looks like the coupon removal was not a matter of actual corporate policy, rather it was a panic or erroneous move on the part of a marketing product manager at some level and was quickly corrected within a few days.

  32. Grif says:

    "But at any rate, the problem is, what's stopping Gamestop from doing this again? They sell SE/LE games with all kinds of cool stuff in them: strategy guides, behind-the-scenes DVDs, soundtracks, lithographs, etc. What's stopping them from taking these out and making you buy them in store?"

    Simple. Gamestop isn't as evil as everyone's making them out to be. Also, everything that a Limited/Collector's/Signature edition is clearly advertised on the box. Gamestop was under no obligation to keep the coupon because A) There were not informed about the coupon, which is Square Enix's obligation to do so, and B) The coupon was not advertised on the box, either.

    You know those little inserts with those Square Enix things you can register the game online and score points on their website? They can take those out, too. Same thing with what Nintendo does with their games, giving a code to register the game and earn coins.

    On top of that, again, the coupon was for a direct competitor. As stated below, if Gamestop was forced to keep advertising for a direct competitor, that would be a violation of federal antitrust law.


  33. Neeneko says:

    Wait, did you just say that it was not evil or immoral because they did it to preserve their business?  So ethics change according to if you are making money off of it or not?

  34. Mr.Tastix says:

    The communities reaction was completely knee-jerk. Nothing GameStop done was wrong, it wasn't "evil" or "immoral". Sure, they opened your unsealed package but they done it to preserve their business, it was in their best interests as a corporate enterprise to stop you from leaving for a competitor.

    You didn't get the feeling of a sealed package, nor did you get an OnLive coupon, but you know what you got? The game you paid for. Most people didn't buy the game for the coupon inside (I bet most shoppers didn't even know a coupon was going to be present), they brought it for the game. The only people who actually wanted the coupon more than the game are most likely just people who hate GameStop.

    It's a pity, GameStop should've sticked to their guns. They had two choices. Do nothing or remove the coupons. The latter was the lesser of two evils by far.

  35. Vake Xeacons says:

    I know it's like buying two copies of the same game. Just like buying a copy of a movie with a Starz coupon in it. 

    But at any rate, the problem is, what's stopping Gamestop from doing this again? They sell SE/LE games with all kinds of cool stuff in them: strategy guides, behind-the-scenes DVDs, soundtracks, lithographs, etc. What's stopping them from taking these out and making you buy them in store? 

    I mean, what scares you the most when a burglar breaks into your house and takes $50? That he took $50, or that he broke into your house in the first place, and there's nothing stopping him from doing it again?

  36. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Its not really worth 50$ more like 5$ coupon that gets you a 50$(if bought directly) game on onlives service ,which is nothing more than a copy of the game you bought.


    Still this is BS from the start, if steam tossed in a steam copy of a game that did not rely on stream for its DRM,ect would the shit have hit the fan? I doubt it…..

  37. Grif says:

    1) Yes. Yes, they can. Because all sorts of class action lawsuits have already been filed against Gamestop for doing this with their other games, not just Deus Ex. And all of these lawsuits have failed. If for no other reason than New =/= Sealed. But if you want another reason, then here it is:

    Gamestop is a retailer. Gamestop buys the games from the publisher, then resells to the public for profit. I certainly hope nobody is going to argue against this fact. Anything Gamestop sells is the property of Gamestop until it is sold, meaning they can do whatever they wish to the cases. They could just throw away the cases and only sell you the disc, if it so pleased them. If Gamestop wants to get rid of a competitor's advertisement that's in the case of the product that's their legal property, they can do that.

    2) You have an odd perception of how law works. I certainly hope to the gods that you aren't a lawyer. Gamestop wasn't "going after" any competitor. They were just trying not to advertise for a competitor of one of of their subsidiaries, and by extension Gamestop themselves.

    On the other hand, forcing Gamestop to keep the coupons and thus, forcing them to advertise for a direct competitor is a violation of federal antitrust law. So if you look at it, either Gamestop removes the coupons, or Squeenix would be in some deep legal doodoo. I think Gamestop was simply trying to not be the douchebags, but the trolls with the hate-boners for the big corporations had to get involved.

    3) Again, and nothing personal, but your knowledge of law sucks. Gamestop holds no monopoly, as there are plenty of other video game retailers out there, both franchised, corporate, and independent. So no monopoly applies. Gamestop owns Spawn Labs and Impulse, meaning they operate under the Gamestop brand, same as Kongregate when they bought them a while back. Now, to answer your question, it's completely different from the PS3 Portal 2 and Steam thing because advertisement for the Steam coupon was right there on the box, Valve was up-front about the coupon, instead of trying to ninja it in like Square Enix did.

    So yeah, keeping these points in mind, and sorry to bust your bubble, but Gamestop did nothing legally, ethically, or morally wrong here. It was entirely the fault of Square Enix, not Gamestop.

    Again, keeping this in mind, along with several statements below how none of this would have happened if Square Enix was forthcoming with everything, can you still say Gamestop is in the wrong? Or are you just another troll with the aforementioned hate-boner for Gamestop, simply because they're a large corporation?

  38. faefrost says:

    There are a few things in this that work against Gamestop. while I understand to some limited degree that they might not desire to distribute coupons or offerings for competitors, I have to question their execution of decisions regarding it.

    1. Opening the boxes to remove the coupon. Sorry dudes. It does not matter if Square screwed up and didn't tell you about the coupon. You can't then open the product, reseal it and sell it to the consumer as NEW. This is consumer fraud. States will prosecute for this. This more than anything else is why they suddenly got all apologetic. Gamestops only legal recourse would have been to return the defective product to the manufacturer once the flaw was discovered. Anything else was wrong and fraudulent and it understandably bit them in th ass. 

    2. Monopolistic practices. While no business can truly be faulted for not seeking to enrich their competition, nor can they use their exclusive weight in one market to crush a competitor in another. These are monopolistic practices and will bring the federal attorneys down on your head. They used the power of their retail storefronts to shield their fledgling and in development unreleased streaming service by going after another streaming service not cool. and it is further bolstered by the third concern…

    3. Questionable definitions of "competitor". Gamestop chose to use their monopoly strength to block the marketing materials from a "competitor" of their unreleased/non existent new business (which does not operate under their name, if it was in fact actually operating). OK great no problem. So what exactly makes OnLive a competitor that must be stomped on in this manner… but Steam/Valve not? Because this coupon in question apparently gave the user a coupon for a free streaming version of the game that they had just bought. How is that different from the PS3 version of Portal 2, which came packed with a Steam coupon for a free PC Steam version of the same game? What is the point of differentiation? What is the nature of the prejudice? Or is it truly as it appears to be, Gamestop simply exercising its monopoly power when facing a weaker fledgling opponent who cannot fight back, but having no actual leverage with the stronger established and successful competitor? Ooo that's gonna lead to some interesting legal questions isn't it?

  39. Erik says:

    They are within their rights to open the case.  As long as they don't try to pass it off as the full, new product.

  40. Sabrel says:

    I personally cannot understand how this discussion keeps falling into "GameStop was right/wrong, Square's fault/not, fair/unfair." Fairness and fault really don't enter into this equation. My take on this is as follows:

    1) GameStop WAS perfectly within their legal rights to do what they did, at least based on our knowledge of events.  They bought the game boxes and were allowed to do what they wanted w/them until they sold. I mean, isn't the right of an owner to do what they will with their property one of the things GP folks are always screaming in SUPPORT of? GameStop never advertised there was a coupon and the box never did either. People got what the seller said they were getting. They did not get what SQUARE said they were getting, but they weren't buying from Square. 

    2) Square and GameStop have legal agreements that we have no clue as to the contents of. Here is where one or both sides may have run afoul. This isn't really the consumers' problem. One or bith sides will take action to remedy the issue, either in court and/or by modifying future business relations. 

    3) The fact that GameStop did nothing illegal or (potentially, I won't argue this one either way) morally wrong should have no bearing on consumer reaction. Just as they were perfectly in their rights to do what they did, customers are perfectly in their rights to punish them (and bad word of mouth is a perfectly valid consumer punishment tool) for the choices they made. That is how a free-market system works. It doesn't matter if you did nothing "wrong". If enough consumers don't like it, it can affect your bottom line. 

    Quite frankly, the system worked here. That is why I am so surprised to see so many of the people who are always in defense of the free market from the business side screaming that the customers are being "unfair" here. Right and wrong is a matter for laws and rules. The market is about want and don't want. Right and wrong can affect people's judgment of the former, but it is just one of many factors in the choice.  In this case, enough consumers found out about what GameStop did and said "don't want" to get their attention.

    Right, wrong, we're the ones with the cash and blogs. End of story. 

  41. Mendror says:

    Gamestop has no right to remove the coupons and say its "Promoting the competition" when they are still selling steam games.

  42. Zen says:

    I love how everyone tries to fall back on the "they still sell Steam/Windows Live/whatever games!" argument which misses the point of their problem with Square-Enix and the codes entirely.

    Gamestop would have had no issue selling the games, with the code intact, if they had been informed before hand and it was included in their purchase agreement.  Maybe in a cheaper per-game cost or something in exchange for the marketing it would accrue, but to just do it for free for a competitor…show me a company that does that and I will show you an empty store in a few years.

    Gamestop sells the games that include Steam because their company and Valve were open about it from the beginning and it was worked out between them. Heck here's the link on their site showing clearly that the PS3 copy comes with a free Steam digital download HERE. Companies are willing to do many things as long as a deal can be met.

     Now if this changes in the future because one or both sides don't want to deal, then we have a whole other issue on our hands and will have to deal with that when it comes.


  43. Grif says:

    Except Nintendo has Reggie Fils-Aime, who apparently can no longer make sound business decisions for the company. "Very closely watch the UK sales", my ass.

    Dammit, Reggie! Let me give your company my money!

  44. Andrew Eisen says:

    "…I guess when you're getting mountains of money, you don't want to rock the boat too much."

    Heh, they're rather like Nintendo in that way.


    Andrew Eisen

  45. Grif says:

    On this I agree. On the other hand, there is no disputing that Gamestop IS the world's largest entertainment retailer, so they must be doing something right.

    I highly doubt it's gutting games for representation, but I guess when you're getting mountains of money, you don't want to rock the boat too much.

  46. Andrew Eisen says:

    "Because in business, what's good for the goose isn't always necessarily good for the gander."

    Indeedy do, but I still don't see how it would a good idea for any store to gut it's games and affix case-marring price stickers to the fronts because there are plenty of equally effective alternatives that address loss prevention and representation and don't put off a portion of your customers.


    Andrew Eisen

  47. Grif says:

    I think this is a matter of location, Andrew. The Target where I go keeps all their games in security cabinets, similar to Wal-Mart.

    And the Gamestop near where I live guts a single copy, as per Gamestop representation policy, and keeps the rest sealed. They only sell their gutted copy if it's their absolute last copy. And they've completely stopped gutting PC games. They just keep them in the back until someone asks for one.

    Alas, many stores are run differently. Because in business, what's good for the goose isn't always necessarily good for the gander.

  48. Andrew Eisen says:

    There are also equally effective alternatives to "representation" then gutting the games.

    I guess your Best Buy and Targets are different from mine.  In Walmart, they're locked in a case so if you want to look at the back of the box, you need a sales associate to unlock it.  A pain in the butt, but that's why I don't browse games at Walmart.

    Both Best Buy and Target (at least in my area) have the games out on the shelves.  In Best Buy, they're in individual, transparent cases that need to be removed at the register or they'll set off the alarm when you try to walk out the door.  In Target, one copy is out on the floor in a case similar to Best Buy's and is additionally tethered to the shelf.  I prefer Best Buy.  I can browse the games and simply take the one I want up to the register.  It's a fine (though not flawless) loss prevention system that doesn't inconvenience me.

    Toys 'R Us (last time I was there) guts one copy of each game and puts it out on the sales floor.  You can browse the games all you want and when you find one you like, you take the ticket in front of the game up to the counter and the sales associate retrieves it from wherever they happen to be stored.

    As far as GameStop goes, in my experience, if you want a sealed copy, you better get there in the first week or so of release.  Otherwise, yeah, all of them are going to be gutted.  Letting the customers get their filthy paws on the instruction booklet is a horrible idea that I simply can't abide but (and again, this could just be the difference between our locations) I've never seen the instruction manuals in the gutted cases anyway.  They're kept with the discs. 


    Andrew Eisen

  49. hellfire7885 says:

    Agreed there. If Gamestop started using other prevention methods, then people would complain they can't look at the manuals or complain about all the ugly plastic security boxes

  50. Grif says:

    That's also the problem, Andrew. Not everyone is the same as you and me. Not everyone knows about the game they're buying. It's not about loss prevention, it's about representation. When Gamestop guts games, they put the case out on the wall so people A) know the game is in stock, and B) can look at the case, and the instructions, if they like. Which is a service that you can't get at Wal-Mart, Target, or Best Buy. Not looking at the book, at least.

    If you don't want a gutted copy, then don't buy it. Easy as that. You make it sound like Gamestop guts every single copy of every game they sell, which is simply not true.



  51. Andrew Eisen says:

    There are equally effective alternatives to loss prevention then gutting the games.  Far as I know, that's number 1 on the major GameStop criticisms list, the topper of the major things that keeps customers like me out of its stores.  You'd think it would have stopped doing that at some point.

    Of course, you'd think the same thing about DRM.


    Andrew Eisen

  52. Grif says:

    A: Gamestop WAS well within their rights. Consumers have no right to tell retailers how to sell their products, even less right to force Gamestop to advertise for a competitor, either direct or indirect.

    B: The coupon was useless in and of itself. You already bought a copy of Deus Ex. What would you need with an OnLive version? There wasn't any real value there. It's not like a buy one, get one free coupon, like with a burger. You're literally getting the exact same thing twice. So taking out the coupon didn't take away any value whatosever.

    "Hey, here's a coupon for the thing you just bought. What a value!"

    C: If you really wanted a digital version, Gamestop had the better deal, anyway. If you pre-ordered the Impulse version, you get the original Deus Ex, and Deus Ex: Invisible War GOTY for free. So instead of getting the same thing twice, you got two free games instead of just one. And two DIFFERENT games at that.

    D: As stated below, if Square Enix had been up front with the coupon, then this whole thing never would have happened, and we wouldn't have the entire troll community justifying their hate-boners for Gamestop just because it's cool to hate on the large corporations.

    E: Don't kid yourself. Anyone who claims that Gamestop just lost their business never intended to buy at Gamestop, anyway. They're just trolling, again, to justify their aforementioned hate-boner.

  53. KuroKorin says:

    For the love of god, I keep hearing that Gamestop was "well within their rights", and maybe that is true. It is their product they are selling. I honestly don't care. We, as consumers, are well within our rights to be offended when a company short changes us this way. This is why 

    Consumers felt shortchanged because their purchase was tampered with, and Gamestop wasn't honest with their actions. Its as simple as that. People are gonna go elsewhere if they have a bad image of Gamestop. Those of you who don't comprehend that have no business sense. 

    That being said, I do commend them on the coupons. I generally do like Gamestop as a company. I wouldn't have as many games on my shelf without them. But corporate's action really annoys the hell out of me.

  54. Grif says:

    That's funny. The same could be said for Square Enix. If they had been up front about the coupon in the first place, this shitstorm never would have happened. Yet for some reason, it's all Gamestop's fault for pulling an unadvertised coupon from the game.

    The only way Gamestop could possibly be at fault is if the coupon was advertised on the box, like "Free $50 value inside!" or "Free Digital Copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution!".

    Alas, it didn't. So the blame lies squarely with, well… Square.

  55. Nebelleron says:

    Well, to be honest, if I picked up a box of a game and then found out that it comes with a coupon for a free second digital copy, I would be pretty damn psyched! It doesn't matter if I didn't know it was in there in the first place, or that it was for a competing service, the betrayal of having it taken out silently would be quite palpable.

    The bottom line is: Just be up front about what you are doing. If gamestop had said "We are fishing these out of the boxes because it is a competing service" then at least the customers would have been informed and there wouldn't have been such a backlash. And even then, it would just be whining, and not a complete breach of trust.

  56. Grif says:

    That's not an apology. That's conforming to what an individual thinks how the world's largest entertainment retailer should be run.

    I see nothing  that Gamestop did wrong. Even Square Enix admitted they screwed up by not telling Gamestop that a competitor's coupon was in the case.

    Seriously, such a knee-jerk reaction to something that wasn't even Gamestop's fault? Now they have to come out of pocket for Squeenix's dick move.

  57. katiekat says:

    grif your speaking to a death group game stop is evil that is all they want to here it doesn’t mater if game stop was in the right to do it or not. i cant tell you how menny people have menchind how wall mart does not take out i-tones codes for movies from the D VD’s. over looking the fact that movie makers don’t try and ninja the coupons in there and that as far as i know wall mart does not have a dijatel movie down lode site.

    you cant forget the wizards 3rd Rules “Passion rules reason, For better or for worse.” most people hate game stop for any number of reasons and so they blame them even when they did nothing rong.
    + it is cool to hate game stop now so that doesn’t hert

  58. Grif says:

    You just said it yourself. In THEIR possession. It's Gamestop's property until you buy it, they can take out what they please, ESPECIALLY if it's a competitor's coupon. If Square had been up front about the coupons to start with, none of this ever would have happened. It's funny how people can just up and blame Gamestop for every little problem. You want to blame the failing economy, violent crimes, and abortion on them, too?

    This is Square's fault. Not Gamestop's. Gamestop was well within their right to open up game cases. Especially considering that the coupon could damage the well-being of one of their subsidiaries. Are you seriously suggesting that Wendy's should start sneaking coupons for Big Macs into Burger King bags? Because that's how it comes off to me.


  59. sqlrob says:

    How the hell is opening something that is in their possession not Gamestop's fault? It's not like the coupon fell out.

    If they went right ahead and sent them back, THAT'S not Gamestop's fault. That's not what they did until they caught flak. If they did that from the beginning, I would've shrugged and went on. Now, they'll take stuff out at a whim. I'm not going to take their word on what is and isn't in the package.

    If you are a retail store, I expect to get what the producer sent to you from you when I hand over my money. Nothing more, nothing less. They've demonstrated that they won't do that. The only way I can see them demonstrating that they won't take anything is if they leave it sealed. If they don't want to do that, well, I guess I won't give them my money.


  60. Grif says:

    Agreed. It's sad that entitled people who haven't even bought the game want to complain that they want two games instead of the one they're allegedly "about to pay" for.

  61. Kajex says:

    Hopefully GameStop has learned a lesson about public perception..

    Yeah- it can be horribly one-sided.

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