GameStop tells Gamespy.com that they have been removing the codes for free copies of the OnLive PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution from the new PC copies of the game they sell at their stores and selling the game, without the free bonus, as new.
The free Onlive copies were part of a deal that Square Enix and Onlive announced earlier this month, but GameStop officials tell Gamespy that they pulled and discarded the coupons because OnLive is a competitor.
Here's what the world's largest video game retailer had to say for themselves on their official Facebook page:
Regarding the Deus Ex: Human Revolution OnLive Codes: We don't make a habit of promoting competitive services without a formal partnership. Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull these coupons. While the new products may be opened, we fully guarantee the condition of the discs to be new. If you find this to not be the case, please contact the store where the game was purchased and they will further assis
Losing out on the OnLive coupon may not seem like a big deal when you've already purchased and paid for one copy of the game, but consider the precedent this particular instance is setting. Also consider that, without the coupon, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is $49.99 download at OnLive.
GameStop employees are opening new products and removing an element intended by the developers to be included in the purchasing price. Depending on the motivation behind this action, this could indicate a move in a negative direction for GameStop and other retailers, allowing them to remove other coupons and promotions from games in the future. At worst, it could lead to the removal of optional hardware from bundles so that the retailer can sell the components individually.
When considering possible motivations for removing the coupon, Gamespy reminded readers that GameStop obtained rights to it's own online gaming community, Impulse, which is also selling downloads of Deus Ex for $49.99.
If you've picked up a copy of DEHR from Gamestop, perhaps you could let us know if your OnLive copy had been removed.
Reached this afternoon, an OnLive spokesperson declined to comment for the story. GameStop hasn't responded to questions from us about whether they tell customers that the copies no longer contain the coupon, or what they are doing with the coupons once they are removed.