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GameStop Opening Deus Ex Boxes, Removing Free Game Coupon 343

DisKurzion writes "A leaked GameStop memo indicates that employees are to open the regular PC release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and discard the included OnLive coupon. From the article: 'GameStop spokesperson Beth Sharum confirmed the practice, telling Ars that "Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull these coupons.'"
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GameStop Opening Deus Ex Boxes, Removing Free Game Coupon

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  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:51PM (#37197296) Journal

    I suppose it depends on whether the coupon is advertised anywhere. If it's advertised as being included with the game - and especially if there's a marking on the game box itself saying "coupon inside" - then there are all kinds of trading standards laws that would be getting broken in the UK. I've no idea whether there are US equivalents.

    If the coupon isn't advertised anywhere, then it may be murkier.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:55PM (#37197360)

    I don't know what the reasoning is, but they do it. They reseal them when they sell them. So it is nothing different for this one. If you demand factory sealed games, Gamestop was never a place you shopped.

    Also to note Onlive isn't a distribution method. Onlive is a service where they run the games on their servers and stream you the video. The idea being you don't need to have a good computer to run the game. In reality it sucks badly since you only get a low bitrate 720p steam, meaning it does not look like you get with a high end system, more like with a low end one, and there's interface lag because of the network round trip.

    In terms of digital distribution, Gamestop actually is in that business, they purchased Impulse some time ago so they now sell games online as well as in stores.

  • by BaronHethorSamedi ( 970820 ) <> on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:59PM (#37197432)
    True story. I went to Gamestop once to pick up Dragon Age: Origins. I'd seen the DLC advertised with a new copy, and that sounded like a good deal. The clerk offered me a used copy for slightly below the $60 asking price. I specified I wanted a new copy for the DLC, so he took the box out from behind the counter, I paid for it and left.

    I got the game home, opened it, and there was no code for DLC included. Then I noticed the game had been unsealed and re-wrapped. I took it back to the store, presented the receipt and said, "Hey, you sold me a used game at full retail." The guy tried to backpedal, saying it was a new copy that had been opened for display purposes, and maybe someone had stolen the DLC code. It was late, so at that point I offered to take the used copy he'd previously offered if he gave me the right price for it. He then said that was the only copy they had (though he'd previously tried to sell me on a used copy before presenting me with the "new" one). He hastily provided me with a full refund.

    Then I went to a competitor's store nearby, where I found a new (i.e. sealed) copy for $40, DLC included. I have not set foot inside a GameStop since. My definition of a "new game" is one that's gone from the factory to my hands without the contents of the box seeing daylight. GameStop, it seems, has other ideas.
  • by Hahnsoo ( 976162 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @06:05PM (#37197526)
    The Wired article on this does a more balanced job at handling the legal ramifications: []

    Basically, Gamestop may be in the right, legally, if Square-Enix has a pre-existing contract with them with a non-compete clause. As the article states: “Existing contracts between GameStop and Square may have barred this kind of promotion, and so GameStop may actually be justified in their action if Square is in breach of some promotion/marketing agreement”

    But they can also be in legal trouble over this, as the article also points out, for a number of different reasons.

    Nowhere on the packaging does it say "Free OnLive coupon", apparently. I haven't looked at the packaging myself.
  • Re:First! (Score:4, Informative)

    by JustSomeProgrammer ( 1881750 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @06:47PM (#37198078)
    This is PC copies of the game.
  • Re:Tampering (Score:4, Informative)

    by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @08:11PM (#37199382)

    You do realise that the reason why these rules exist is because products you mention are PERISHABLES? As in they can become fatal when opened in wrong environment, and are sealed to increase their due date.
    Medicines are also often controlled substances.

    You can be absolutely certain that any product that doesn't fall in that category (or similar category where opening product may cause significant harm to the product itself) can, and often will be opened by retailer if there is a suspicion of something being wrong with package. They absolutely have this right, both legally and contractually with their supplier. You have to be utterly ignorant of how retail works (and why it works the way it does) to claim otherwise.

    And no, removing coupons that were put against retailers' desire, and possibly agreements does not fall into this category. And even if they remove the coupons, the game itself is completely unused, and therefore new.

    The only thing they may be doing wrong is false advertisement if package includes mention of the coupon, and retailer doesn't specifically mention the lack of this coupon before sale is made.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.