Game retailer GameStop is handing out $50 gift cards as an apology to gamers that bought copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution after the company pulled coupons for free versions of the game on cloud gaming service OnLive from the physical PC game copies.
GameStop officials confirmed to VentureBeat that Square Enix, the publisher behind Deus Ex: Human Revolution, pre-packaged the coupon without informing GameStop — prompting the company to pull the coupons out of the game packages. The brick-and-mortar game retailer instructed its employees to open copies of the game and remove the code. Gamers who purchase a PC version of the game were originally treated to a free copy of the game on OnLive, which runs games on powerful remote servers.
OnLive runs games on powerful remote servers and streams the games like a YouTube video to a web browser. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one of the first few high-profile titles to launch simultaneously on OnLive and PC and gaming consoles like the Xbox 360.
GameStop still relies on sales of physical copies of games and a large part of its revenue comes from buying and selling used physical copies of games. The company is facing stiff competition from digital distribution services like Steam and streaming services like Gaikai and OnLive.
GameStop really stepped in it with the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. After discovering that the game was packed with a coupon for a free copy from cloud gaming service OnLive, the company made the remarkably boneheaded decision to open all the boxes, pull the coupon and sell them without it. "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," it says. Please bring in this email and your store receipt or order confirmation from GameStop.com and present it to a Game Advisor."
This week in video game controversy, Gamestop has come under fire for tampering with new copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution in order to remove a coupon for OnLive’s streaming service.