If you purchased a physical, retail, PC version of Square Enix‘s Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you should have received a free pass to play the game over OnLive. For those not familiar with the service, OnLive is the cloud-based gaming service that launched just over a year ago.
This news is actually appalling, so ready the torches and pitchforks before you read this story. GameSpy was sent visual confirmation of a letter from GameStop‘s corporate offices that corroborate the whole thing. The gaming news site had been contacted by readers who were sold opened PC copies of Deus Ex: Human Revoltion with the supposed OnLive coupon missing entirely. Then they were sent this picture:
The contact information has been blurred out to protect the GameStop employee that printed out the email from the corporate offices, took a photo and tipped it out to GameSpy. The first instruction on the email indicates that employees need to remove the OnLive coupon code from the Deus Ex retail boxes. Here’s the text for that bit in full:
“Please immediately remove and discard the On Live [sic] coupon from all Regular PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Our desire is to not have this coupon go to any customers after this announcement.”
GameSpy got a hold of PR Rep Beth Sharum from GameStop in regards to the decision to pull the codes. She would not provide a detailed response, but did offer this line of reasoning:
“Square Enix packed the competitor’s coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons…”
GameStop is currently testing their own streaming game service, but has not exited the beta phase of the program.
Consumers are, justifiably, upset. They purchased the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution from GameStop expecting to get whatever goods came in the sealed version of the game. GameStop has lessened them that part of the sale.
As GameSpy points out for perspective, OnLive is currently selling access to Deus Ex: Human Revolution for $50. Will GameStop buy access for all of the gamers they slighted? Probably not.
This would be a good time for OnLive to get heroic.