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GameStop reportedly pulls PC Deus Ex in OnLive row

Voucher for free streaming copy said to be promoting competitor

GameStop stores in the US have reportedly been telling staff to remove PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution from shelves in preparation to return the stock to Square-Enix, in a continuation of an issue with vouchers for a free OnLive copy of the game included in the box.

The problem first arose yesterday, when staff were told to open PC boxes and remove a token enabling free access to the game on the streaming service, before putting boxes back on sale. Both GameStop and Square-Enix have agreed that the situation was a genuine miscommunication between the two groups, seemingly concluding the situation in an amicable fashion.

"We pulled the coupons because, like all retailers, we prefer not to promote our competitors and their competing offerings and services in our stores," said a GameStop spokesperson about the initial controversy. "Unfortunately, the coupon was packed without our prior knowledge."

GameStop followed that statement with an announcement on its website which reassured customers that the games inside the opened boxes were indeed brand new, and could be exchanged if damaged. However, shortly afterwards, Giant Bomb reported having received an internal GameStop memo, leaked by an employee, which ordered the return of all DXHR PC stock to the publisher, directly citing GameStop's forthcoming streaming service as the cause of the issue.

"At this time please pull all Regular PC editions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and place them in your backroom. These will be recalled at a later date," read the note. "As GameStop is developing a streaming service in our Spawn Labs Cloud Computing Division, the coupon that was included is for a competing service. We are returning all copies of the PC regular edition to the vendor in agreement with Square Enix.

"Any unfulfilled reserves of the Regular PC Edition should be taken care of with the inventory set aside in your backroom. Please honor any returns with a receipt."

The decision seems to have been made in conjunction with Square-Enix, which issued a supporting statement last night.

"As part of Deus Ex: Human Revolution's boxed offering on PC, Square Enix included a third-party coupon," the publisher said. "GameStop was not made aware of this inclusion and Square Enix respects the right of GameStop to have final say over the contents of products it sells and to adjust them where they see fit in accordance with their policies.

"Square-Enix invites gamers who want to purchase the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution without additional coupons to buy the game at any one of over 4,000 GameStop stores in North America or purchase a digital download copy online from www.gamestop.com."

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Dan Pearson

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