GameStop doesn't want you using another online gaming service, there's a surprise, but admitting to "sabotaging" retail copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution? Yep, the company was caught in the act after GameStop employees passed along an official company memo revealing the directive.
"Please immediately remove and discard the On Live coupon from all Regular PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution," reads the August 23 memo by a field operations manager. "Our desire is to not have this coupon go to any customers after this announcement."
The OnLive coupon apparently allows users to play DE:HR for free via OnLive's streaming games service (a $50 value, since that's what OnLive's selling DE:HR for straight up). From OnLive's vantage, the idea's obviously to lure gamers over, in hopes they'll stick around and perhaps consider OnLive a primary source for future purchases. Clearly a conflict of interest with GameStop's brick-and-mortar as well as its digital delivery services and future 2012 game-streaming plans, then.
To its credit, GameStop admitted last night that it was indeed snatching the OnLive voucher from PC copies of the game before selling them on to customers. "Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons," a GameStop spokesperson told GameSpy.
And in an official statement, GameStop said: "We pulled the coupons because, like all retailers, we prefer not to promote our competitors and their competing offerings and services in our stores. Unfortunately, the coupon was packed without our prior knowledge."
GameStop's now apparently pulled the physical PC version of DE:HR off shelves entirely (the downloadable version is still available, but the retail version is MIA). Why? Probably to swap out for new copies without the OnLive coupon.
Square Enix must be pretty torqued off, right? Not so much, actually. In fact their reaction's almost contrite.
"As part of Deus Ex: Human Revolution's boxed offering on PC, Square Enix included a third party coupon," wrote Square Enix in a statement. "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."