US GameStop Removing OnLive Codes From Deus Ex

US games retail giant, GameStop, are discarding the OnLive codes given away with new PC retail copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The codes come on cards inside the game boxes, which must be opened in order to remove and destroy (or keep?) the complimentary OnLive copy of the game.

In a statement made to Ars Technica, a spokesperson for the company has stated that “Square Enix packed the competitor’s coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull these coupons”. So it seems that GameStop expects retailers to clear pack-in literature with them before they get shelf space and if the publishers fail to comply, well, GameStop will just rip open your product, throw away part of it and then sell it without warning the customer. Nice.


Remember, this is the same company that apparently allows their staff to take home brand new games, play them and then bring them back into the store and sell them to unsuspecting customers as new.

Obviously, with GameStop making their own push into digital content distribution next year, they see OnLive as a threat to their business plans. But those cards are part of Square Enix’s pack-in literature. Isn’t this akin to Toys R Us opening boxes to remove free batteries so they can try to sell you some of their own brand at the checkout?

Square Enix doesn’t have any financial stake in OnLive, as far as we’re aware, but they might have an interest in the platform’s success in the future as a healthy platform means more avenues to sell their products.

This seems like a big retailer using its influence in one field to destroy the chances of a competitor in another field that it hasn’t even started competing with yet. I can’t quite get my head around how many levels of wrong that is.

Source: Ars Technica



  1. Shopto are doing the same with FIFA and selling it a few quid cheaper.

    • What? I’ve ordered FIFA 12 from shopto, can you explain what you mean? I couldn’t care less if they remove an OnLive code as I have no interest in it but if they’re removing something else I want to know.

      • Not saying your lying, but do you have anything to back this up.
        Really hope this doesn’t become common practice.

      • Oops was meant to reply @LycanGav.

    • ShopTo not doing this, not sure where you heard this?

    • no they aren’t, there’s 3 different versions, thought the cover would’ve given that away?

    • yeah, the more expensive FIFA 12 at ShopTo is because it’s the special edition with the Ultimate team packs in it. The standard one is a couple of quid cheaper.

      Although, last time I used ShopTo I got a credit card bill for £4,500 so I’ll be buying FIFA on launch day, hopefully for a crazy cheap price in a supermarket, like last year ;)

      • Bugger! Did you get £4500 worth of games? Or were they using your info to buy a car for drug running in the middle east?

      • ShopTo got hacked a while back, card details stolen. They are now fully PCI compliant and accept Paypal so nothing to worry about any more.

      • I think Paypal is something to worry about… Got charged 3000€ within the first week of registration. Had a strong password that wasn’t used anywhere else. As soon as I had that sorted out I deleted the account and never came back.

      • Annoyingly they don’t take Paypal on big items though, I had to use my better half’s bank account when I bought a 360 a little while ago from there because my bank isn’t compatible with their payment security system.

        On second thoughts, that isn’t such a bad thing.

  2. WTF????

  3. I wouldnt be surprised if this WAS all down to “well this makes people play onlive, no money for us in the future QQ”

    But surely 5 minutes of bad press is tenfold worse than just letting them ship the codes? This could cost them the right to sell Square Enix games…

  4. Well thats just fucking unfair. If the dev puts something in the product (whether it be in the packaging or game itself) then the purchaser is entitled to have it. They probably thought they could get away with this with an unassuming gamer. I’m not buying off their UK site now then.

    • exactly! what’s it got do with gamestop what the publishers include!

      It’s pretty much indiret theft.

      imagine if hmv took out the DVD of you’re DVD and blu ray combo

  5. This is a disgrace, pure and simple. Shouldn’t be allowed to do it.

  6. This is an outrage!!

  7. That’s really shady business, and unacceptable. It doesn’t matter if they are a competitor, if they have a problem with it they shouldn’t stock the game, full stop. They don’t have a right to open a game and remove something like that. Not cool. Especially if you have the game preordered, it’s your copy.

    • They have every right until they try to sell it as new. I reckon they should simply get around it by removing it and then selling the “new” games at trade-in prices with a few pound knocked off.

      • But they are selling as new, not to mention due to their own store policy they don’t sell used PC games, so they can’t do that by their own rules. They either sell it as it is or not at all.

      • If they were clever they’d kill the rule and sell them as trade-in games with a few games off. No problem with the staff telling people what they’ve done. Especially if they word it in a positive way (if there is one). Oh, save money! :-)

        Still, they’re in a tricky situation and may well suffer the wrath of Square Enix, as mentioned above.

  8. Mental, if I bought a game new and it wasn’t even sealed they’d be told where to stick it. Shame on the poor sods that won’t even notice, or care, that the game’s already been opened.

    • lots of games don’t come sealed – the ps3 versions of PES have not (at least in the last few years) been sealed

  9. When I bought f1 2010 from game they give me a new disc and manual in an old box. When I mentioned it they didnt understand what I was annoyed about. I doubt they would buy a box of new cakes in an old box.

  10. And I wanna order the uncharted deluxe edition thingy for £110 from them…but they take the money straight away!

    For such a big operation they seem abit shady! and we all think game can be iffy lol

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