If the best judge of
success is how worried your competitors are, then cloud-gaming platform OnLive
may have just had its potential validated by GameStop. Unfortunately for the
platform – and for players, and fans of best consumer practices – the
validation comes in the form of a directive to GameStop employees to open every
box for Square Enix's Deus Ex: Human Revolution and remove the coupon for a
free OnLive copy of the game. When consumers noticed the ruse, the store then
pulled all physical copies of the game from its shelves.
Following reports of
GameStop customers finding their copies of the game were missing the coupon for
free OnLive access to the game (which OnLive usually charges $49.99 for), an
email was leaked to an OnLive fan forum by a confirmed employee of GameStop.
The email orders employees to “immediately remove and discard the On Live [sic]
coupon from all Regular editions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.” In an email to GameSpy, GameSpot PR representative Beth Sharum confirmed the
move, saying that “Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR
product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons.”
GameStop has plans to provide its own cloud-gaming service, making OnLive a competitor
– one that just happens to already have such a platform in place. “GameStop's
policy is that we do not promote competitive services without a formal
partnership,” the company's Matt Hodges told CNN. At time of writing, CNN has now reported that GameStop is pulling all physical copies of Human
Revolution from its shelves until Square Enix provides it with copies lacking
an OnLive coupon.
As GameStop itself noted
in the initial email, Human Revolution is enjoying a very positive reception
(we put it right up there with the original in our 10/10 review) and looks to become one of the year's standout titles for
critics and players alike. Here's hoping this altercation doesn't stop the
title seeing the sales to vindicate that reception for Square Enix.
Aug 24, 2011