OnLive is a cloud-based gaming service that lets you play high-end games on a modestly specced PC, tablet or standalone console. It works, and it’s pretty neat. It’s not available here in South Africa, nor will it likely ever be – so I can’t say I care for it much. Gamestop, the US-headquarted games retailer has its own downloadable games service, Impulse. Though it’s more of a direct competitor to Valve’s Steam, the company considers OnLive as a threat to its very way of life.
Which is why it’s opened up all of the retail PC copies of Deus Ex and stolen the free OnLive voucher Square included as a bonus to customers, before resealing them and selling them as new.
Announced by Square as a launch purchase bonus, all PC copies were to include the coupon, valued at $49.99. "Please immediately remove and discard the On Live [sic] coupon from all regular PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Our desire is to not have this coupon go to any customers after this announcement," says a leaked internal Gamestop memo. When pressed, a Gamestop spokesperson confirmed â€œWe pulled the coupons because, like all retailers, we prefer not to promote our competitors and their competing offerings and services in our stores. Unfortunately, the coupon was packed without our prior knowledge."
Gamestop. Ultra-greedy thieving corporation, or just trying to protect their own interests? I’m leaning towards the former. While in all likelihood all they’ve done is saved customers from throwing away the OnLive voucher themselves, opening up games and then reselling them as new is not acceptable. It’s something many of our local retailers are guilty of; opening the games and keeping the discs in folders. When you pay full retail price for what you’d imagine to be a new game, you get an oft-scratched disc that some student employee’s gotten his smudgy fingerprints all over. I don;t buy from those places.
For the record, Gamestop has since pulled all PC copies of Deus Ex Human Revolution from their shelves, pending a recall.
Last Updated: August 25, 2011