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Gamestop Gives OnLive Oodles of Free PR
By Yanking Coupon for Free Game From Retail Boxes
by Karl Bode 04:36PM Friday Aug 26 2011
OnLive has seen some decent success this year with their broadband-powered game service. The new service competes with traditional game consoles and brick and mortar game retailers by streaming games into the home using what's essentially a $100 dumb terminal. All the real processing is done via server on the other end of the connection, which is a relationship heavily constrained by broadband speeds, usage caps, distance...and now brick and mortar retailers.

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In what was a rather simple promotion, OnLive had included coupons for free OnLive versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution in physical game cases, something Gamestop decided they'd stop by telling employees to open the boxes and pull out the coupons.

"We pulled the coupons because, like all retailers, we prefer not to promote our competitors and their competing offerings and services in our stores," the company said in a statement to the press. "Unfortunately, the coupon was packed without our prior knowledge." Why exactly Gamestop should have input on what gets included in the box isn't exactly clear, and was quickly and amusingly ridiculed by those who follow the industry. Gamestop's streaming service isn't even available yet.

After the press noticed what Gamestop was doing and gamers got annoyed, Gamstop first figured they'd somehow defuse the situation by simply pulling all copies of the game from store shelves. They've since tried to make amends with customers by giving them $50 gift cards, insisting the offer is an attempt to "earn back (consumer) trust and confidence in the GameStop experience."

In the end, all Gamestop's actions simply made the company look ridiculous, while providing OnLive with oodles of national PR well beyond what they would have seen with the promotion alone.

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topics flat nest 

TCub
Premium
join:2008-09-03
Olmsted Falls, OH
kudos:4

LOL

I hadn't even thought of that - and after I had read one of those articles I checked out OnLine.. signed up - and now I plan on using it on the regular.

Whoops Gamestop!
--

gorehound

join:2009-06-19
Portland, ME

Re: LOL

Gamestop = FAIL
as usual
firedrakes

join:2009-01-29
Arcadia, FL
Reviews:
·Embarq Now Centu..
gamestop.

first we con you out of money for a trade in.
second we open products and take stuff out of it and say its new. excluding we will not give you money back. only are store credit.
third well sell you extra crap you dont need for a profit.
last but not less we also take souls for credit. but no refunds.

danclan

join:2005-11-01
Midlothian, VA

Why did they open the OEM package to begin with

is the better question since it was shrink wrapped by them to be sold "as is".

Their habit of opening the product before selling it to the customer is what needs to be stopped.

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

Re: Why did they open the OEM package to begin with

said by danclan:

is the better question since it was shrink wrapped by them to be sold "as is".

Their habit of opening the product before selling it to the customer is what needs to be stopped.

I understand from a reliable source that this practice of opening shrink-wrapped games before selling is common practice ... not very ethical there, Gamestop.

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

Re: Why did they open the OEM package to begin with

said by newview:

said by danclan:

is the better question since it was shrink wrapped by them to be sold "as is".

Their habit of opening the product before selling it to the customer is what needs to be stopped.

I understand from a reliable source that this practice of opening shrink-wrapped games before selling is common practice ... not very ethical there, Gamestop.

Not arguing, but I genuinely can't see an issue with this. It's just a game. What am I missing here?

And FYI, I've never been sold a new game that hasn't been shrink wrapped, is this a known issue with Gamestop?

andyb
Premium
join:2003-05-29
SW Ontario
kudos:1

Re: Why did they open the OEM package to begin with

said by Matt3:

said by newview:

said by danclan:

is the better question since it was shrink wrapped by them to be sold "as is".

Their habit of opening the product before selling it to the customer is what needs to be stopped.

I understand from a reliable source that this practice of opening shrink-wrapped games before selling is common practice ... not very ethical there, Gamestop.

Not arguing, but I genuinely can't see an issue with this. It's just a game. What am I missing here?

And FYI, I've never been sold a new game that hasn't been shrink wrapped, is this a known issue with Gamestop?

Lots of things are wrong.Coupons from ati and nvidea come in game boxes(for various promo's here and there
) the games keys are inside and lets say you take it home the key doesnt work (already inuse).Well thats to bad no refund since,,,You took the shrink wrap off!!!

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

Re: Why did they open the OEM package to begin with

said by andyb:

Lots of things are wrong.Coupons from ati and nvidea come in game boxes(for various promo's here and there
) the games keys are inside and lets say you take it home the key doesnt work (already inuse).Well thats to bad no refund since,,,You took the shrink wrap off!!!

So Gamestop is stealing ATI and nVidia coupons? They are activating keys so their customers cannot?

XoX

join:2003-08-19
Qc, Canada

Re: Why did they open the OEM package to begin with

said by Matt3:

said by andyb:

Lots of things are wrong.Coupons from ati and nvidea come in game boxes(for various promo's here and there
) the games keys are inside and lets say you take it home the key doesnt work (already inuse).Well thats to bad no refund since,,,You took the shrink wrap off!!!

So Gamestop is stealing ATI and nVidia coupons? They are activating keys so their customers cannot?

They could just out be trowing the stuff out but that does matter. They have no fucking reason to open the box...

And yes they could... Not all employee but some of them would gladly run trough the box and pick up key to unlock a free item for that game.

By the way, it not just key that are included with game but some game from big publisher come with some item for collector. These box cost some time a lot more than a regular one and the people buying these are doing it for the included item.

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
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TRACO SS-18DS Deluxe SuperSealer Shrink Wrap Machine
said by Matt3:

And FYI, I've never been sold a new game that hasn't been shrink wrapped, is this a known issue with Gamestop?

Of GameStop and Shrink Wrap

Google "shrink wrap machine"
»www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=e···&bih=738

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

Re: Why did they open the OEM package to begin with

said by newview:

said by Matt3:

And FYI, I've never been sold a new game that hasn't been shrink wrapped, is this a known issue with Gamestop?

Of GameStop and Shrink Wrap

Google "shrink wrap machine"
»www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=e···&bih=738

That doesn't have anything to do with my original question of whether Gamestop is actively UN-shrinkwrapping new games.

XoX

join:2003-08-19
Qc, Canada

Re: Why did they open the OEM package to begin with

said by Matt3:

said by newview:

said by Matt3:

And FYI, I've never been sold a new game that hasn't been shrink wrapped, is this a known issue with Gamestop?

Of GameStop and Shrink Wrap

Google "shrink wrap machine"
»www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=e···&bih=738

That doesn't have anything to do with my original question of whether Gamestop is actively UN-shrinkwrapping new games.

Did a quick search trough google and yes it seem they have an history of removing the original shrink wrap of game.

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
In a previous life I worked at blockbuster and we would use a machine just like that to seal up used movies for sale. There was a major difference between the shrink wrap that we used, and the plastic that new movies, CDs, games, etc come with. It would be hard NOT to tell the difference.

XoX

join:2003-08-19
Qc, Canada
They have being sealed so that the customer get what the publisher wanted the customer to get. Not for another business to decide what should or should not be included in the box.

I do not see why they have a need to open the box....
TheRogueX

join:2003-03-26
Springfield, MO
Reviews:
·Mediacom
Most of their display copies of games are opened and the discs are removed to prevent theft. If there are CD keys inside, they remove them as well. Collector's Editions have all of their stuff removed so that it can't be stolen, or are otherwise kept unopened behind the sales counter.

If you purchase a new game and they have more than one copy of it, you'll get a never-opened copy from behind the counter. They only give you the opened copy if it's the last copy they have. Then, they usually give you a special 30 day return guarantee for it, so that you can return it for a replacement if it is defective.

This was really the first time I'd heard of GameStop doing something sinister like this.

BF69 fan

@charter.com

heh

how about giving them their onlive codes instead of credit to your shitty store.
pnolte

join:1999-10-21
Chino, CA

Re: heh

maybe those same employees are taking those codes and selling them on Ebay or keeping them for themselves.
TheRogueX

join:2003-03-26
Springfield, MO
Reviews:
·Mediacom
Because OnLive sucks? And a $50 gift certificate to their store is infinitely more useful to me?

The OnLive certificate gets me Deus Ex via the OnLive Service. I already bought the game for my PC, and it USES STEAM (meaning I can play it on any PC via my Steam account), so why would I want anther useless copy? Instead I have a $50 gift card that can be used on any game.. including new games that are coming out soon (Skyrim, etc).

Better deal, IMHO.

PGHammer

join:2003-06-09
Accokeek, MD

Re: heh

Maybe you already have an OnLive device (which does not use Steam or an OS that supports Steam, by the way).

However, I'm no fan of GameStop for other reasons - notably, their higher prices than other retailers (not only Best Buy, but even MicroCenter) on not just console games, but especially PC games (their horrible selection of PC games gives me even less incentive to give them any business).

This incident just gives me even more incentive to stay away - not that I even needed more incentive.

ctceo
Premium
join:2001-04-26
South Bend, IN
Reviews:
·Virgin Mobile Br..

Holy...

That's gonna hurt. Now I dunno what type of legal gears OnLive is considering, but I'd definitively consider suing the shit out of whatever EB/GameStop corporate idiot made that decision.

This reminds me of when I bought Sacred for the PC, and the first patch they released nerfed the game, at least the game that was advertised to me. Only difference is it was the publishing company who pushed for the patch that destroyed the game for me and MANY others.

I know if I went to ANY store to buy something with the expectation that I'd be getting something inside only to find out that the store removed what I really wanted, I'd be livid.
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chastech84

join:2011-07-16
Winfield, IL

Just Sad

I found it disappointing that Gamestop blamed the game distributor and is taking the game off of the shelves completely until they get games without the coupon... And since the distributor wants shelf space they are going to do it.

mod_wastrel
iamwhatiam

join:2008-03-28
kudos:1

Hmmm...

doesn't sound all that much different from cable TV providers who cap their Internet service and pull other shenanigans in the name of protecting their TV service revenues--same mentality.

gball
Master Yoda
Premium
join:2000-11-28
South Bend, IN

lost my business

Shady to say the least..There are plenty of places I can buy my games.

CptGemini
Inside your computer
Premium
join:2004-11-29
Corpus Christi, TX
kudos:6

Re: lost my business

said by gball:

Shady to say the least..There are plenty of places I can buy my games.

yea like steam for example. not to mention bestbuy, newegg and tigerdirect

AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

Re: lost my business

or OnLive

Gaff
Just like the gypsy woman said

join:1999-09-05
North TX, US
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

Ridiculous

I made a post yesterday about how much stupid this made GameStop look: »www.gaffonline.com/2011/08/games···you.html

Honestly I wonder how they decide to do things over there. Draw ideas out of a hat perhaps, or ask a magic 8-ball.
--
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»www.gaffonline.com
Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast

GameStop is Awful

As for the previous poster, yes, this is common practice at GameStop (It was called Software Etc. then, I think, but the same company) for employees to get to test games before they come out for the general public, then they reseal these and sell them as new.

Back when the GameCube was new, I purchased Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 there for it. My disk stopped working after 30 minutes of playing, removed it and found chocolate on the disk.

When I took it back there, they accused me of putting the chocolate on there, and tried denying the return (This was when they still offered a 48 hour return period for any game). I reminded them I knew about their opening policy, haven't been back since.

I haven't bought a game in 2+ years anyway, but even if I started again, I'd never go back to that hole.

dks7

join:2004-05-31
Omak, WA

And

They wonder why we just prefer piracy.
demir
Premium
join:2010-07-15
usa

Glad I never shop at gamestop

And I never will
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

what?!?

People didn't know they don't have to pay $4 a gallon of gas to drive to a brick and mortar store to buy a physical piece of optical media? Who would've thunkith...

Though to the credit of the game console makers, they don't exactly make it easy to pirate the media by throwing down plenty of spike strips in the hardware, online gaming and armies of lawyers ready to sue.. in other words... the RIAA's wet dream.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Good thing I shop at Best Buy

I wish it was against the law to open products (prior to the sale to the end user) and sell them as new. I refuse to buy anything with the factory seal broken.

Most states define a car as used once you drive a new car off of the dealer's lot.

I shop at Best Buy all the time and I get reward zone points, despite the fact it annoys my former neighbor (who I talk to all the time) because he HATES Best Buy with a passion.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: Good thing I shop at Best Buy

said by IowaCowboy:

I wish it was against the law to open products (prior to the sale to the end user) and sell them as new. I refuse to buy anything with the factory seal broken.

Most states define a car as used once you drive a new car off of the dealer's lot.

I shop at Best Buy all the time and I get reward zone points, despite the fact it annoys my former neighbor (who I talk to all the time) because he HATES Best Buy with a passion.

it would be easy to do, just slap all products under the same law that is used for the mattress tags. you know the one that states the retailer cant clip the tag off. would be pretty easy to amend that to include packaging of consumer products.

I mean when I just got my Mac Book Pro, for setup in the store the clerk actually asked me if it was ok to break the seal on the box.
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XIII

join:2010-06-16
Scottsdale, AZ

Re: Good thing I shop at Best Buy

Best Buy opens computers all the time:
»hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/0···w-Laptop

They have been doing it for a while..among other things (Geek Squad)
--
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C0deZer0
Oc'D To Rhythm And Police
Premium
join:2001-10-03
Tempe, AZ

Scumbag Monopoly

n. see Gamestop.
1. Any entity using its total control and market dominance position to excuse in performing dick moves that serve to infuriate and offend the very market it is intending to attract.
2. out of touch market systems using coercion and market dominance to illegally maintain monopoly status.

••••••••
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Illegal

This is illegal as hell. GameStop opening up NEW copies of games and then taking out items that were in the box. That doesn't make the game NEW anymore but actually USED since the wrap was broken and now items are missing.

GameStop will surely get sued over this. Especially by OnLive and their major investor- ATT and anyone that bought the game and didn't get the coupon/advertisement included. The thing I question at this point is what other things have they been taking out of the box and keeping?
Kamus

join:2011-01-27
El Paso, TX

Re: Illegal

said by hottboiinnc:

This is illegal as hell. ...

It really is that simple. It should either be sold as "used with items missing" or "open box with items missing".

This isn't even "shady". It's a straight up robbery.

axiomatic

join:2006-08-23
Tomball, TX

No need to open games for fear of loss prevention.

There is a rather obvious second option to gutting the game that is done by a company called GamesPlus near my house.

They digitally scan the covers of the games and put the scanned front/back of the game on the shelf for customers to read the box.

Gamestop needs to learn this lesson. Color scanners/printers are like cheap, ya know?
Trencher

join:2007-02-12
Etobicoke, ON

Onlive

Was fun poking fun at this with the OnLive Rep at PAX on the weekend. He gave me a big "NO COMMENT" when I brought it up lol