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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 @05:43PM (#37197170) Journal

    So... let me get this right.

    If you're competing against a fast-growing distribution method that has the potential to completely under-cut your own business model, the best way to do that is to... engage in behaviour that will really piss a good portion of your customers off?

    It's not actually the removal of the coupons that bugs me - it's the opening of the game boxes. I know that some retailers do this a lot - fortunately, it's rarer here in the UK than it is in the US. But I really don't like it - I've certainly bought "new" DS games in the past in the US that had saves already on the cartridge (presumably a staff member's).

    It's not as if they're just competing against download distribution. I've never bought a game from Amazon or that had been opened before it arrived (well, aside from the time our local post-office staff decided that stealing was fun, but that's another story) - and those are almost always cheaper. Seriously, do these bricks and mortar retailers even want to stay in business?

    Actually, IANAL, but is there a legal issue here? If there's a reasonable expectation that every copy of the game includes this coupon and Gamestop are removing it, are they committing fraud or theft or something? Either from the consumer or from Square-Enix? I mean, surely Square-Enix must have a civil case here - and it's almost at the kind of level where it starts to sound criminal (if it happened in the UK at least).

  • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:59PM (#37197434) Homepage Journal
    They need a sales tax license, and they need to have the product for "resale" to avoid paying sales tax themselves upon purchase. This sort of tampering may place them under requirement to pay sales tax on the product, rather than reselling it as a new product--they're not authorized to alter it and resell it....
  • by Xian97 ( 714198 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @06:09PM (#37197578)
    I quit shopping at Gamestop because they opened many of their boxes. Since they are selling new games along with used for consoles, how do you know which you will end up with? Case in point, I purchased a Nintendo DS game for my daughter. Christmas Day when she opened it up and put it in her DS there were saved games on it already - it had obviously been used. When I bought it, I mentioned that the box was not sealed, and they claimed that they had to do that else they would get shoplifted. I replied that other stores have less employees in the store but don't have their games opened and behind the counter.

    Another time in a different Gamestop my son bought the PS2 game Devil May Cry, again the package was open and the had the discs behind the counter. A few days later while playing it asks him to insert Disc 2, which was not in the box. We went back to the store and they still had the 2nd disc.

    In both cases they made good, but after those experiences they lost me as a customer, and I had been shopping there nearly every week since they were Babbages. It sounds like they have still haven't learned not to open packages.

    In this case it's even worse - don't they have to break the security seal to get the coupon? In the old days they could just re-shrink wrap it, these days most games come with a security seal as well.
  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @06:23PM (#37197780) Homepage Journal

    Yes, you can. You didn't agree to shit, Gamestop did. You are under no obligation at all to abide by the EULA, especially since I'll bet that EULA has a clause about non-transferrable property that kicks in upon opening of the software packaging.

    Gamestop is then violating the EULA, their problem, not yours.

    As it is, this is product tampering, and bait and switch, not to mention anti-competitive practice.

  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @08:35PM (#37199674) Homepage Journal

    Actually, EA argued that one against me in court, stating that opening the box did indeed constitute agreement to what was contained therein. Very miserably shot down, and the main reason they settled against my class-action suit.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham