If you're thinking of picking up Deus Ex: Human Revolution at your local GameStop, you might want to reconsider. GameStop is removing coupons for a free OnLive copy of the game from PC releases. They've instructed employees to open DE:HR boxes and remove the offending coupon. If you buy Human Revolution directly from OnLive, it will cost you $49.99, meaning the coupon is pretty valuable.
A leaked email purportedly sent by Josh Ivanoff, a Field Operations Manager with GameStop reads:
"Please immediately remove and discard the On Live [sic] coupon from all regular PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Our desire is to not have this coupon go to any customers after this announcement."
According to a GameStop's Beth Sharum, quoted by GameSpy, "Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DE:HR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons."
Here's the company's official statement, via its Facebook page:
"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."
GameStop's pre-order copy of Deus Ex comes with an opportunity to win yourself $20,000 worth of Deus Ex augmentations for your living room, so it's not as if GameStop and Square hadn't been speaking previously.
While GameStop didn't mention it, if I had to guess, I'd guess the real reason for the coupon debacle is because GameStop recently purchased Spawn Labs, a streaming game service that is a direct competitor to OnLive. Maybe this is evidence of why game retailers shouldn't also be publishers.
I've put a call in to GameStop to get some comment on the matter, and I'll update this story once I hear back.