Never say a big company can't do the right thing.
On Wednesday morning, the news broke that US retailer was opening new PC copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and removing the OnLive activation code before resealing them and selling them as new to customers.
The OnLive license was one of two licenses bundled into the product. Those who wanted to download and run the game locally could use the Steam license, while customers who wanted to stream the game and/or play on a Mac could use the OnLive license. The Steam license does not work on a Mac.
Gamers who didn't want to use one of the two licenses could either pass it along to a friend or sell it. Either way, it was a great deal for consumers because buyers were essentially getting two copies for the price of one.
In a statement, GameStop said it had no advance notice that the boxed copy would include an OnLive license and, since the retailer had recently acquired Spawn Labs, it considered the inclusion of an OnLive license to be the promotion of a competitor. It was on that basis the company made the decision to unilaterally remove the licenses.
Unsurprisingly, this did not go down well with consumers. Consumers took to both Twitter and Facebook to vent frustration at the retailer, and the news quickly spread from industry-focused sites to the mass media. By the end of the day on Wednesday, GameStop made the decision to pull all PC boxed copies of the game from its retail stores as well as its Web site, which is what many argued it should have done in the first place.
Today, GameStop went one step further and directly apologized to its customers for getting them involved with the dispute.
The following email was sent to all customers who purchased the retail boxed PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution from its stores and Web site.
Dear GameStop customer,
Earlier this week, GameStop removed a competitor's coupon from standard edition PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a recent release by Square Enix. We were not aware that the product box would contain this competitor's offer. We regret the events surrounding this title release and that our customers were put in the middle of this issue between GameStop and Square Enix, the publisher of this game. And for this, we are truly sorry.
For your inconvenience, we would like to offer you a free $50 GameStop gift card and a Buy 2 Get 1 Free pre-owned purchase. We want to earn back your trust and confidence in the GameStop experience. Please bring in this email and your store receipt or order confirmation from GameStop.com and present it to a Game Advisor.
In short, anyone who purchased the game gets to keep the game, gets a free $50 gift card (which is the same as the MSRP of the OnLive license) and an additional GameStop coupon for a future purchase.
Kudos to GameStop for realizing it had made an error and for going the extra mile to make it up to customers.
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