So! In their infinite genius, some higher-up(s) at Gamestop had deduced that in order to not promote a service that competes againstWhen Square Enix launched Deus Ex: Human Revolution earlier this week, the publisher proclaimed that all purchasers of the PC retail version of the game would receive a free OnLive digital copy of the game as well. However, Square Enix's plans appear to have been partially thwarted, as GameSpy reports that specialty retailer GameStop has been removing the OnLive coupons from its copies of the game before selling them to customers.
A GameStop representative confirmed the news for GameSpy, saying, "Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our [Deus Ex: Human Revolution] product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons."
OnLive is a game rental and purchase service that allows PC gamers with an Internet connection to stream titles for play on "nearly any" PC or Mac or on TVs equipped with an OnLive game system and controller. The company is also prepping iPad and Android tablet versions of its service.
While OnLive and GameStop can be said to compete at the moment, their markets are likely to overlap more in the future. Earlier this year, GameStop acquired the streaming game company Spawn Labs, and it plans to launch an open beta of its own streaming service later this year.
[UPDATE]: A Square Enix representative told GameSpot "We have no comment" on the matter. An OnLive representative similarly had no comment.
GameStop also provided additional comment on its Facebook page, saying, "Regarding the Deus Ex: Human Revolution OnLive codes: We don't make a habit of promoting competitive services without a formal partnership. Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull these coupons. While the new products may be opened, we fully guarantee the condition of the discs to be new. If you find this to not be the case, please contact the store where the game was purchased and they will further assist."
[UPDATE 2]: GameStop has reportedly changed its position on the PC version of Deus Ex. A company representative told CNN today that it has stopped selling physical copies of the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution until it receives a new version from Square Enix without the OnLive coupon included. However, GameStop continues to offer the downloadable version of the PC game, which includes no such OnLive bonus.
I wonder, when they get sued, are Gamestop's attorneys going to complain that Square isn't being gracious enough for recieving all that OnLive publicity?