GameStop Refuses to Sell Deus Ex: Human Revolution

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GameStopHere at FI, we weren't particularly excited when it was announced that PC copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, released yesterday, would include a token to play the game on the OnLive streaming system. We were so disinterested, we didn't pass on the news. Today, things got more interesting. A leaked memo (and upset customers) indicated that retailer GameStop was opening new copies of the game and removing the OnLive token. Initially, GameStop posted an explanation on Facebook, but that statement was later removed, and GameStop is now refusing to sell copies of the game (with the exception of pre-order customers), and will be returning the copies to Square Enix.

It's not surprising that GameStop is upset that an OnLive coupon was packaged in a game it sold in GameStop retail stores. GameStop wants to launch competing streaming services. There are arguments that GameStop may have created legal problems by pulling the OnLive coupons. FI isn't in a position to say with any certainty (as we don't know the agreements in place between Square Enix, OnLive and GameStop), but the fact that GameStop quickly changed its position and stopped selling the game suggests they may have a problem.

FI is particularly amused that GameStop, a company that maintains its pawn-style business is a "benefit" to publishers and developers, gets so snippy when it perceives a competing channel snatching profits away from its most profitable business. This seems to be yet another indication of the Balkanization of game distribution. EA is pulling games from Steam in favor of its own Origin service. GameStop is refusing to sell a Square Enix game. From now on, FI refuses to be distributed in Cuneiform on either clay or stone tablets. Nyah!

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on August 24, 2011 8:37 PM.

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