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GameStop Removal of OnLive Deus Ex Codes 'Probably Legal,' says Attorney

James Brightman (IndustryGamers): GameStop surprised many of us today by confirming that the company is deliberately telling employees to open boxes of Square Enix's Deus Ex: Human Revolution in order to remove voucher codes for a free digital version via OnLive. GameStop has often been accused of opening games (allowing employees to check them out) and then selling them as new, but this is the first time we can think of where the retailer is essentially acknowledging that it's opening copies (ALL copies) of a title. And is it even legal for them to remove a voucher code from another company, even if it's from a competitor?

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donniebaseball2302d ago

I don't care if it's legal. GameStop is terrible. Taking stuff out of a game and then selling as new? WTF

dangert122302d ago

How is this legal do they own the box and manual too? O_o Its theft don't care the publisher packaged It for the person buying It from the store not for the people working In the store they would have got there seperate batch or can buy the games at a discounted price...they need to find away to stop these stores taking peoples games out the box when its brand new you don't see this with dvd's and bluray movies

deadpoole2302d ago

Gamestop will never get my business.

gamingdroid2302d ago

To a consumer yes, in the eyes of the law it is not necessarily. GameStop can resell it any way they want as long as they don't falsely advertise it.

Since there was no marking it is likely legal. Seems reasonable to me as SE is the one that failed to print it on the box.

That said, I'm wondering about this:

"The act of opening the box didn't necessarily mean the product went from new to used."

What constitutes used in the eye of the law?

Saladfax2302d ago

It pretty much depends upon what agreement they have with the publisher. If the distribution contract states that they can add or remove anything that doesn't compromise the intellectual property, then legality probably isn't in question.

It's still pretty goddamn unethical.

callahan092301d ago

"The act of opening the box didn't necessarily mean the product went from new to used."

Well I take strong exception to this policy and it is just one of the reasons why I don't shop at GameStop: If they can open the box and call it NEW, but the customer cannot, then there is a double-standard in their policy. Something about that just seems wrong to me. If I buy a game and bring it back to them 10 minutes later, opened with the shrink-wrap removed, but otherwise in tact and in untouched condition in the box, they will still tell me that I can't get a refund on an opened game, but I can trade it in as pre-owned if I'd like. If I can't open the game and "sell it" to THEM as NEW (read: return it), then why are they allowed to pull that stunt on me?

Cablephish2301d ago (Edited 2301d ago )

Petty Theft fits the bill.

@callahan09

If the customer says it's not new, it's not new.
The customer is always right. ;)

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2301d ago
SantistaUSA2302d ago

If it bothers them so much they should just NOT sell the game! To me it is only ok if they tell the customer, "hey we decided to take the free voucher from this game, because it bother us" then the customer can make the decision!
I never buy new from them! And who's ok with paying full price for any product that you are getting as an open box? No one!!!

gamingdroid2302d ago (Edited 2302d ago )

What interest me is that nobody considers the right of the company?

Why do companies have to be forced to sell a competitors service?

That obviously doesn't make any sense and this is not really any different than if those vouchers was removed at the factory except you don't get a factory shrink wrap copy, but we all know GameStop is shady in that grey area.

I don't like it, but it is GameStops right as long as there is no false advertising involved.

jetlian2301d ago

is a competitors service if your buying the game from GS? Its part of the game. I guess they could take my alan wake DLC too because it takes away my need for more MS points.

gamingdroid2301d ago

OnLive competes with GameStop's digital gaming platform. GameStop is allowed to choose whatever products they want to sell, however way they want as long as the transaction is clear between seller and buyer.

***I guess they could take my alan wake DLC too because it takes away my need for more MS points.***

I don't like it, but yes, it is their right as much as it is your right not to purchase it from GameStop. It is a choice for both of you!

radphil2301d ago (Edited 2301d ago )

"I don't like it, but yes, it is their right as much as it is your right not to purchase it from GameStop. It is a choice for both of you!"

In a way I'm glad to see someone actually clarified this out on this site instead of the anti-hate going on. From a business standpoint it makes sense. However from a consumer standpoint...it's pretty crooked.

jetlian2301d ago

I could buy somewhere else. still you didn't negate what I said. Your still buying a copy from GS!! Onlive isn't making money from a free sale to GS!!

Also doesn't portal 2 come with ps3 and pc version? Maybe you shouldn't get pc version then

gamingdroid2301d ago (Edited 2301d ago )

***is a competitors service if your buying the game from GS?***

Let me spell it out for you:

If Gamestops sells a copy with a free copy of the game OnLive, they would be promoting OnLive indirectly by getting them more customers.

OnLive service competes with their own service. It doesn't make sense why a business would do that.

***I could buy somewhere else. still you didn't negate what I said.***

I couldn't make it more clear.

***Your still buying a copy from GS!! Onlive isn't making money from a free sale to GS!!***

No, but they would be making money from GS customer now being also an OnLive customer.

***Also doesn't portal 2 come with ps3 and pc version? Maybe you shouldn't get pc version then ***

Ironically, I own Portal 2 for PS3 and still haven't been able to redeem it on PC due to the PSN hacking incident and haven't been home since, but that is another story.

If I AGREED to NOT RECEIVING Portal 2 on PC when I bought the PS3 version, then I don't see an issue with that. It is up to you to make an informed choice, not the store.

It's the same old argument, if I paid more for the same product in one store and somebody paid less in another store, it is hardly "fair" is it, but you agreed to it.

jetlian2301d ago (Edited 2301d ago )

no having to pay more at one store isn't the same!. Nowhere have I heard GS promote they took out the onlive code They did it in secret and someone blew the whistle.

And if it wasn't a secret why didn't GS just not sell the game they could have done that too. But then they would have lost THEIR SALE.

Still they sell portal 2 with steam. Your situation isn't the norm. and your code didn't work so whos to say they changed it?

You even had the nerve to say your code didn't work which means you tried it. So you seem pretty stupid anyway. I guess you bend over and grab your ankles all the time.

If my code didn't work someones giving me another

gamingdroid2301d ago (Edited 2301d ago )

***sorry dude
no having to pay more at one store isn't the same!. Nowhere have I heard GS promote they took out the onlive code They did it in secret and someone blew the whistle.***

It's your responsibility to find out what you are buying unless the store falsely advertises. It applies to all stuff you buy.

Ever heard of exclusive items for specific store? Obviously the stores that don't have that exclusivity isn't going to advertise that they DO NOT have it!

If they are nice, they will put a sign up in the store, but they are not required to do so.

That is common sense.

***And if it wasn't a secret why didn't GS just not sell the game they could have done that too. But then they would have lost THEIR SALE.***

The reason is irrelevant. GS have a right to sell whatever they want as long as it isn't against the law including mis-advertisement. It's naive to believe otherwise.

***Still they sell portal 2 with steam. Your situation isn't the norm. and your code didn't work so whos to say they changed it?***

What? The code didn't work because the entire PSN was down, but I'm sure it will work when I get a chance to try it now that the network is running.

I just have to get home first where all my stuff is.

***You even had the nerve to say your code didn't work which means you tried it.***

Reading comprehension is the first step to having a discussion. I didn't say the code didn't work, I said the network was down, which doesn't mean I even had a chance to try the code. Big difference.

***So you seem pretty stupid anyway.***

Yes, when unable to provide a counter-argument with proper reasoning resort to attacking and mis-direction. Makes your argument that much more convincing.

However, I'm sure our discussion so far shows who is what!

***I guess you bend over and grab your ankles all the time.***

ok.... very relevant!

***If my code didn't work someones giving me another ***

Yes, because giving me a NEW code would solve my problem of having network problems!

jetlian2301d ago (Edited 2301d ago )

has been up for 2 months now! The whole stupid part was you telling me

" If I AGREED to NOT RECEIVING Portal 2 on PC when I bought the PS3 version, then I don't see an issue with that" But just before that you claimed you tried to redeem the code! So you didn't agree to not receiving the pc version! you simply excepted it it wasn't working. And that is pretty stupid if you ask me

This isn't something GS asked for or not It came with the game period!

"Ironically, I own Portal 2 for PS3 and still haven't been able to redeem it on PC due to the PSN hacking incident and haven't been home since, but that is another story.

Now I see a still haven't been able to redeem! hmmm if you didn't try how could STILL HAVEN'T BEEN and ABLE be a factor? thats because your lying.

And no matter how many time you tried the steam issue goes unanswered

gamingdroid2301d ago

Dude, reading comprehension!!! Seriously!

In some twisted way you interpreted it all wrong.

Let me clarify for you:

***Network
has been up for 2 months now! The whole stupid part was you telling me ***

I haven't been home since May and that is why I haven't had a chance to redeem it yet. What is so hard about understanding that?

***This isn't something GS asked for or not It came with the game period! ***

The fact, I don't have Portal 2 on PC has nothing to do with GameStop at all. I bought it at amazon.com. I don't do business with GS.

That said, if GS removed the code as long as the game packaging didn't say it included the PC version and GS didn't say it either, it is legally fine.

If seller didn't say they are including something, then clearly you aren't expected to have it! Common sense.

***Now I see a still haven't been able to redeem! hmmm if you didn't try how could STILL HAVEN'T BEEN and ABLE be a factor? thats because your lying.***

Again reading comprehension, I said I haven't been able to redeem it since I haven't been home. How am I ABLE TO REDEEM IT WHEN I don't have the game, the console or the code in my possession where I am at now? I wasn't able to redeem the game WHEN I WAS HOME due to PSN outage.

***And no matter how many time you tried the steam issue goes unanswered***

I already answered that, I said if Gamestop sold a copy without the Portal 2 code it is fine. It is GS choice to sell and for you to accept it as long as no deceptive advertisement went on. There is no law saying a seller have to sell the exact same item their competitor!

Discussing with you is like dealing with a schizonprhenic person that seemingly inject stuff that isn't there. I urge you to re-read SLOWLY what has been said with a clear and open mind then proceed to THINK about it.

Bottom line:

a) Retailers are allowed to sell whatever item they see fit even if the remove items from the packaging as long as there is no deceptive advertisement (that includes the packaging).

b) I tried to redeem the Portal 2 for PC, but couldn't due to the PSN outage and have not been home to try it again after PSN service was restored

c) Your entire argument is ridiculous and have not provided a counter-argument beyond "you are stupid", which is very intelligent response by the way.

Reading comprehension and writing clearly is important to having a useful communication. You should try that some time.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 2301d ago
WhiteLightning2302d ago

Probably.....

For a Attorney the word "probably" shouldn't even come out of their mouths.

It's etheir legal or illeagal

Wouldn't like him to be my Attorney

gamingdroid2302d ago

Well, the thing with the law is that it isn't black and white. It is determined by a jury or a the judge (and in some cases multiple judges and multiple times during appeals).

It is all in how the judge(s) decides to interpret the law and justify it.

awi59512302d ago

I stopped going to gamestop 10 years ago they were always crooks.

koehler832302d ago

They own every copy on their shelves until they sell it. I don't see how it would be illegal.

Of course, turning around and selling those copies as new is, if nothing else, really greasy. But what else is new? It's GameStop.

dangert122302d ago

There selling It new Is the game and It's contents In new condition with Its contents missing?

romancer2301d ago

Do they "own" every copy of a game until they sell it? Or are games there on a consignment basis? Not sure what the business contract terms are in cases like this.

I understand from a later news story that Gamestop is now returning its copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution -- that is, those with a coupon they found objectionable but did not publicly say they found it to be so objectionable it had to be (surreptitiously) removed.

Neo Nugget2302d ago

The grocery store I work for rips off competitor ads off the front page of the sunday paper then sells them afterwards.

Though I guess it isn't the same since the OnLive codes aren't slapped on the cover of Deus Ex...

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