As reported, the PC retail packaged version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution comes with a free digital copy for OnLive in the form of a coupon.
It looks like this isn't to GameStop's liking. GameStop sent out an e-mail to their employees in which stands that they have to DISCARD the OnLive coupon from the PC copies of the game.
I wouldn't be surprised if the GameStop management gave this whole thing a hilarious name like Operation: Voucher Freedom.
Here's a picture of the e-mail from GameStop Field Manager JOSH IVANOFF. He is unwilling to comment about the letter and hides behind the GameStop PR department. His response says it all.
GameStop PR representative Beth Sharum did confirm the fact, that GameStop intentionally removed the OnLive coupons.
"Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our Deus Ex: Human Revolution product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons," Sharum said.
Here's a picture of some of the comments on a Joystiq article about the OnLive coupon.
As a reaction to the OnLive debacle, GameStop has already pulled the games from its shelves pending recall, and offers customers who purchased the standard edition PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and had their OnLive redemption code removed, a $50 gift card.
OnLive has a strict no comment policy on this subject matter.
Meanwhile Square Enix, the game's publisher, plays it cool with the recall of the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. But, I don't think they are amused with the fact that GameStop was opening, taking out content and then re-selling their game as new.
GameStop is known for playing dirty tricks and since they have a strategy of streaming PC and console games to gamers, it isn't surprising that they indulge in such dirty tactics. GameStop has already begun beta tests of their games streaming tech, which is the result of the Spawn Labs acquisition.
Well, I hope GameStop employees like a shitload of grunt work. According to an interview with OnLive CEO Steve Perlman, Deus Ex is only the first game that is going to have the free codes in the box. Soon, expect a lot more games have the codes, and not just on PC either. As plans are to have these codes in the box with the Xbox and Playstation versions of the games too, by 2012. So GameStop employees are about to get shafted with a lot of grunt work gutting every copy of half the games that are sold on the shelves, if the company is that determined to get rid of these free digital copy coupon cards.
Considering the fact that GameStop was opening, taking out content and then re-selling the game as new, I don't know what was going through the minds of the GameStop management. Do they really see OnLive as that big of a threat, to go in such panic mode? Did really someone in GameStop management think people wouldn't notice this dirty practice?
GameStop must see OnLive as a great threat to their digital strategy that they pull such low punches. I guess GameStop really does not like the idea of competition.