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GameStop Opening Deus Ex Boxes, Removing Free Game Coupon

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the you-won't-need-that dept.

Games 343

DisKurzion writes "A leaked GameStop memo indicates that employees are to open the regular PC release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and discard the included OnLive coupon. From the article: 'GameStop spokesperson Beth Sharum confirmed the practice, telling Ars that "Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull these coupons.'"

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Tampering (4, Insightful)

CSFFlame (761318) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197154)

Isn't this tampering with a new product?

Re:Tampering (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197718)

Oh you can bet this will be quite actionable unless there is a contract agreement to the contrary.

Re:Tampering (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197902)

By reasonable standards, yes, but Gamestop used to sell used games as new. [kotaku.com] This is basically a monopoly that abuses their customers. And their customers are largely under 18 year olds with more disposable income than experience or common sense, so they keep shopping there.

First! (-1, Troll)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197158)

there is something wrong about this...

Re:First! (0)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197204)

ok so - why would they want to do this again - especially when Square didn't give them that authority..

Re:First! (0)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197502)

Because they thought they wouldn't get caught?

Re:First! (0)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197984)

ok so - why would they want to do this again - especially when Square didn't give them that authority..

The coupon was for a digital download of the game via OnLive, or something similar -- Gamestop has a vested interest in killing off and preventing the rise of digital distribution.

Re:First! (0, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198002)

People still buy things at Gamestop? Oh yeah wait, console people. Hahahaha, couldn't happen to a nicer bunch. What are you complaining about? This is all being done to protect you from nasty pirates, right? Enjoy the taste of someone else's distribution channel. After all, you are paying for this.

You've got to be kidding... (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197170)

So... let me get this right.

If you're competing against a fast-growing distribution method that has the potential to completely under-cut your own business model, the best way to do that is to... engage in behaviour that will really piss a good portion of your customers off?

It's not actually the removal of the coupons that bugs me - it's the opening of the game boxes. I know that some retailers do this a lot - fortunately, it's rarer here in the UK than it is in the US. But I really don't like it - I've certainly bought "new" DS games in the past in the US that had saves already on the cartridge (presumably a staff member's).

It's not as if they're just competing against download distribution. I've never bought a game from Amazon or play.com that had been opened before it arrived (well, aside from the time our local post-office staff decided that stealing was fun, but that's another story) - and those are almost always cheaper. Seriously, do these bricks and mortar retailers even want to stay in business?

Actually, IANAL, but is there a legal issue here? If there's a reasonable expectation that every copy of the game includes this coupon and Gamestop are removing it, are they committing fraud or theft or something? Either from the consumer or from Square-Enix? I mean, surely Square-Enix must have a civil case here - and it's almost at the kind of level where it starts to sound criminal (if it happened in the UK at least).

Re:You've got to be kidding... (0)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197234)

the best way to do that is to... engage in behaviour that will really piss a good portion of your customers off?

I seriously doubt that it will piss off a good portion of their customers. Most will probably never know, and those that do just don't really care. Not that I agree with removing them, but just wanted to point that one out.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (2)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197258)

IANAL either, but I would expect that GameStop owns the games until they sell them, and can do with them as they wish, given that the games are their property. What they are obligated to do or not to do contractually with the game maker may be a different story.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (5, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197296)

I suppose it depends on whether the coupon is advertised anywhere. If it's advertised as being included with the game - and especially if there's a marking on the game box itself saying "coupon inside" - then there are all kinds of trading standards laws that would be getting broken in the UK. I've no idea whether there are US equivalents.

If the coupon isn't advertised anywhere, then it may be murkier.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197380)

I suppose it depends on whether the coupon is advertised anywhere.

GameStop does not advertise the coupon as being part of the sold package.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (2)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197414)

And it's not marked anywhere on the box? That's what I was getting at - it doesn't really matter what Gamestop is advertising it as on their website and their posters in store. If there's a little marking on the box saying "OnLive voucher included", then they may be in a world of legal hurt. If Square-Enix have something saying "OnLive voucher included in every PC boxed copy" on their website, then they may have issues as well, though that's probably less certain.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197492)

I think

Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge

kind of says it's not mentioned on the box.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197548)

Not really. Could just mean "We hadn't seen the boxes until they arrived in our distribution centres - that's when we saw the label on the box saying there was an OnLive voucher included."

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197564)

There is nothing on the box at all about the coupon. You could have found this out with a simple google image search.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197466)

Maybe GameStop doesn't, but if anyone does I think they're courting legal trouble. GameStop doesn't make any specific claims about what's in the sold package, but if what they're advertising is "a boxed copy of DXHR" and it's common knowledge that such a box includes a coupon from the publisher, there's some bad faith going on.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197536)

Maybe GameStop doesn't, but if anyone does I think they're courting legal trouble.

Why?

GameStop doesn't make any specific claims about what's in the sold package, but if what they're advertising is "a boxed copy of DXHR" and it's common knowledge that such a box includes a coupon from the publisher, there's some bad faith going on.

Yes, they do. Their website clearly states what you get in the package. The box itself also makes no mention of the coupon, either.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198032)

Unless GameStop clearly states that it's an open box with missing parts, they likely run afoul of the law. There is an implicit warranty that they are selling the complete product as supplied by the manufacturer. The question is if they will be called to task for it. In the U.S., it's doubtful, their action only affects peons. Elsewhere, perhaps.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197654)

It's iffy... Gamestop could be seen as diminishing the value of the item that they're selling you (specifically by the exact value of the coupon), so if they're selling it at standard price, you could have a legal claim to recover the "damages" done. However, I doubt that the coupon is for more value than the $25 that it takes to file a small-claims action (YMMV, this is Washington State's value). So, really the only option is a class-action suit from anyone who purchased the game and did not receive a coupon.

This is also kind of unlikely. Square Enix though has no claim, because Gamestop is under no duty to sell the products they buy in the exact same condition that they were in when they purchased the items wholesale.

Although, agreed, if the advertising says that there is a coupon, then Gamestop is potentially running afoul of truth in advertising laws. I somehow almost doubt that they would be so cavalier about removing the coupon if the advertising did though.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (0)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197306)

Yes, except there may be laws that vary from state to state that regulate what you can claim is "new". In some states, having 'saves' on a game might run afoul of the law. Removing the coupon? Likely not, even if it is chickenshit.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (3, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197434)

They need a sales tax license, and they need to have the product for "resale" to avoid paying sales tax themselves upon purchase. This sort of tampering may place them under requirement to pay sales tax on the product, rather than reselling it as a new product--they're not authorized to alter it and resell it....

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197460)

But how can they sell it as a new product?
These are now open box games not new games.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197574)

The thing is ... pretty much EVERYTHING Gamestop sells is technically open-box. At least around here, all Gamestop locations open every game they receive, remove the game disc, stuff it in an old paper sleeve, and toss it in a drawer with all the others (then re-shrinkwrap the box). It's also fairly common practice for employees to "borrow" games - I've certainly gotten a couple supposedly new games with fingerprints all over the discs as well as a couple scratches (before I stopped shopping at Gamestop a few years back because of crap like this.)

Of course, this is the same company that THREE TIMES IN A ROW tried to give my friend a non-collector's edition preorder code for The Old Republic when he had pre-ordered the full CE - it took a hand-written letter to the regional VP to actually get what he paid for. =\

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197612)

I always ask for a new sealed box when I shop there. The box I get is sealed and contains a game disk. If they are resealing them why is that still a new game? Seems like fraud to me.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197590)

They've been selling opened games as new for a long time. I've heard plenty of stories of employees 'borrowing' new games.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197754)

If they "Borrow" a new game then they "used" it making that a used product. Sounds like they need to be sued for this.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197830)

Why would anyone sue? Best case is you'll get a new, unopened game in exchange - probably the same as if you just took the game back to the store. Then the salesmen try to push the "borrowed" game to someone who doesn't care.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197890)

So you think this is fine?

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197558)

In that case, they should be selling them as *used*.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197990)

IANAL either, but I would expect that GameStop owns the games until they sell them, and can do with them as they wish, given that the games are their property. What they are obligated to do or not to do contractually with the game maker may be a different story.

Would messing with the contents of the game box affect their ability to claim that it's "new"? I genuinely don't know but my expectation of buying a new product would be that it is the product the manufacturer shipped out, no changes, no wear and tear (well, transport bumps), no missing pieces etc. Taking stuff out the box and selling as new is dodgy in my opinion but I don't know the legal stuff here.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197298)

Actually, IANAL, but is there a legal issue here?

No, why would there be?

If there's a reasonable expectation that every copy of the game includes this coupon and Gamestop are removing it, are they committing fraud or theft or something?

Is GameStop advertising that those coupons are in the package but then not having them present when sold? No, they don't. Thus, what fraud is being committed?

Either from the consumer or from Square-Enix? I mean, surely Square-Enix must have a civil case here - and it's almost at the kind of level where it starts to sound criminal (if it happened in the UK at least).

Why would Square-Enix have a case? Was GameStop contractually obligated to have the coupons present in the package? That's highly doubtful.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197358)

Actually, do you know that the coupon isn't advertised on the package? I don't know that it is - but it wouldn't surprise me. I've got plenty of game boxes on my shelf that have, on the box art itself, labels saying "voucher for x inside" or "free demo of y included". And I've got umpteen Blu-Ray discs which say "free digital copy included" and the like.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197514)

Actually, do you know that the coupon isn't advertised on the package?

Yes, I do.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197626)

Ok, found more information from a farily reputable source [joystiq.com]

Bottom line - Gamestop are probably - though not certainly - ok in terms of criminal law - there is indeed no marking on the box. But depending on the nature of their contract with Square-Enix, they may be in line for a world of butt-hurt from that direction.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (0)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197646)

Or you could have bothered to read the linked story:

Methenitis added that customers might be able to pursue legal action against GameStop for deceptive trade practices or fraudulent advertising, though he doesn’t think they’d have much of a case, as nothing on the game’s packaging suggests that it includes the OnLive code.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197760)

That's kind of what I said. Either you're not reading my posts, or you're trolling. Either way, can't be bothered with you any more.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197790)

Is that a requirement? Does a box advertise that the game comes with a game manual? I don't think most do. But GameStop would be f*cking with the product if they removed it. If they don't want to sell the games with the coupon, they should return them to Square Enix and tell them to supply them with games without a coupon (that competes with their non-existent and probably lame service).

Re:You've got to be kidding... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197368)

They are selling used games as if they were new. If they consider a game to be used after the customer has opened it, then the customer should do the same.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197448)

They are selling used games as if they were new. If they consider a game to be used after the customer has opened it, then the customer should do the same.

They've done this for years and the FTC supposedly already investigated them for the practice. If there was some great legal issue something would have come of it by now.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (2)

RatherBeAnonymous (1812866) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197630)

No, why would there be?

If it's coupon it has cash value. They are selling a retail package to the customer, minus the coupon, which was intended to be part of that package. This is theft.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (1)

guspasho (941623) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197832)

Because they are altering the product between when they receive it and when they sell it, which is likely a major violation of the distribution agreement with their distributor or the manufacturer.

Imagine if you got an air conditioner from Sears, got it home, installed it, and plugged it in, and found out that when you turn it on it announces "Thank you for shopping at Sears!" It would be no different than if they opened every box and removed all the warranty cards or accessories that supported certain window frames or something like that. The manufacturer/distributor would most definitely have a solid civil case against the retailer for altering their product before sale and then misrepresenting it to their customer as unaltered/new.

Gamestop has always opened games (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197360)

I don't know what the reasoning is, but they do it. They reseal them when they sell them. So it is nothing different for this one. If you demand factory sealed games, Gamestop was never a place you shopped.

Also to note Onlive isn't a distribution method. Onlive is a service where they run the games on their servers and stream you the video. The idea being you don't need to have a good computer to run the game. In reality it sucks badly since you only get a low bitrate 720p steam, meaning it does not look like you get with a high end system, more like with a low end one, and there's interface lag because of the network round trip.

In terms of digital distribution, Gamestop actually is in that business, they purchased Impulse some time ago so they now sell games online as well as in stores.

Re:Gamestop has always opened games (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197494)

I did not know this. I always ask for a sealed game when I shop their, never taking the open ones from the shelf. I guess I will stop going their at all.

How is it legal to claim that these are new games?
Does amazon also open games and sell them as new?

Re:Gamestop has always opened games (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197734)

I think the only requirement for selling something as new is that it has not been sold before. You find at places like, say, Target, that they can sell an item even if the box has been opened and the contents inspected, which happens sometimes by curious customers.

Amazon does not do that. It would be inconvenient for them to do so. They are about low costs of operation. They just ship the games out as they receive them.

Re:Gamestop has always opened games (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197784)

So then even their employees using the item does not make it used?

Glad to hear that about amazon, I will from now on not buy new games at GS.

Re:Gamestop has always opened games (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197912)

I would think that would qualify as it being used, though I don't know the law well enough to say for sure.

Re:Gamestop has always opened games (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197952)

I think you mean you "will stop going they're." Your welcome.

Re:Gamestop has always opened games (1)

JustSomeProgrammer (1881750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197698)

I was under the impression they only opened games that were used for display. I know I have purchased several unseal XBox 360 games from them in the past with the microsoft seal in tact. I don't think they would carry extra ones of those.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197476)

I'm willing to bet it's most likely in violation of US anti-competition laws, if not product tampering. They remove the case contents and CD-key's to prevent shoplifting, but this is the removal and discarding of part of the product intended for purchase.

As for game-spot entering the digital market- good luck! I enjoy the low hassle of steam, as well as it's healthy support for Indie games. 3 of the past 4 games I've bought have been from small groups. The outlier was fallout 3, the 'game of the year' version with all DLC (always wait for the ultimate/goty/end of marketing life bundled version). It's also been the only one I've gotten bored with before completing it.

Re:You've got to be kidding... (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197552)

I'm willing to bet it's most likely in violation of US anti-competition laws, if not product tampering.

In what way is it a violation of anti-competition laws? GameStop does not hold some significant market share over game sales as they are easily dwarfed by companies like Best Buy. Secondly, GameStop has already been investigated by the FTC for this practice since it's been their company policy FOR YEARS. And since those stories mentioning that are from 2009 and nothing seems to have happened to them, it's doubtful you are correct on either count.

So, Gamestop has agreed to EULA? (5, Funny)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197206)

Cool. I can violate every provision of the EULA, and it's GameStop that has to agree to the terms.

I wonder if that'll hold up in a court of law?

Re:So, Gamestop has agreed to EULA? (2)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197286)

Just because GameStop agreed to the EULA by opening the box (not that this has ever been agreed to in court, or that I know of Deus Ex even having this), doesn't mean you can violate their terms.

Re:So, Gamestop has agreed to EULA? (4, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197780)

Yes, you can. You didn't agree to shit, Gamestop did. You are under no obligation at all to abide by the EULA, especially since I'll bet that EULA has a clause about non-transferrable property that kicks in upon opening of the software packaging.

Gamestop is then violating the EULA, their problem, not yours.

As it is, this is product tampering, and bait and switch, not to mention anti-competitive practice.

Re:So, Gamestop has agreed to EULA? (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197988)

Yes, you can. You didn't agree to shit, Gamestop did. You are under no obligation at all to abide by the EULA, especially since I'll bet that EULA has a clause about non-transferrable property that kicks in upon opening of the software packaging.

Gamestop is then violating the EULA, their problem, not yours.

As it is, this is product tampering, and bait and switch, not to mention anti-competitive practice.

No, sorry. The EULA agreement pops up during installation. Bait and switch does not occur since the coupon was never promised. Not providing a competitor's marketing coupon cannot reasonably be considered as anti-competitive.

Cereal box (5, Insightful)

Palshife (60519) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197232)

This would be like my grocery store opening my cereal box to get the toy out so that I'm more likely to buy toys from the store.

Fucked. Up.

Re:Cereal box (2)

MobileC (83699) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197584)

It'd be more like the store opening up the cereal to remove a toy advertising a competitor they told the distributor not to include in the first place.

Re:Cereal box (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197826)

Still fucked up. I don't want any of their employees opening my food and possibly contaminating it. If you don't want to sell the product with the toy, send it the f back and demand product without the competing product. Your inter-business dealings have little to do with the customer you supposedly serve.

Re:Cereal box (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198012)

Still fucked up. I don't want any of their employees opening my food and possibly contaminating it. If you don't want to sell the product with the toy, send it the f back and demand product without the competing product. Your inter-business dealings have little to do with the customer you supposedly serve.

Do you eat your DVDs? wtf?

Does anyone else smell that? That smell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197240)

Smells like a lawsuit coming. Anti-competitive business practice, I believe. Something about using their market position.

Luckily, my crystal ball is back from the shop. It shows they will stop the practice, not pay any fine, and admit no wrongdoing. It will be clarified as a communication mistake and they will implement unspecified training to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Re:Does anyone else smell that? That smell... (2)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197470)

I've got a better crystal ball - this is a tempest in a teapot, gamers will bitch and moan and do nothing about it, and life will go on. No lawsuit. No reckoning. Nothing.

Re:Does anyone else smell that? That smell... (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197500)

My guess is that Square will sue not the gamers. They likely have contracts on what can be done to their product while it is in the hands of Gamestop before it's sold to the end customer.

Re:Does anyone else smell that? That smell... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197580)

They likely have contracts on what can be done to their product while it is in the hands of Gamestop before it's sold to the end customer.

Doubtful. GameStop owns the product at that point and can do with it as they want. Anyone who is surprised by this news that GameStop opens these packages before selling them is apparently rather clueless because this is something they've done for years. Back in 2009 there was a big hullabaloo over it as well with a supposed FTC investigation but as you can see, nothing happened.

Steam or Amazon ftw! (1)

Kildjean (871084) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197254)

... and this is why I don't buy my games from the galactic empire (gamestop) anymore...

DIsgusting (2)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197320)

To think I wanted to work there as a child...

Wow (5, Funny)

daemonc (145175) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197362)

What a bunch of deusbags.

Re:Wow (1)

readandburn (825014) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197570)

Well bowled, sir.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197618)

I think I would rather be a douche-bag than a deuce-bag, personally. I suppose it has to do with what I would have to eat.

Can it even still be considered new? (2)

Rinnon (1474161) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197366)

When I purchase something that is advertised as "New" I expect it to BE new. I want it to be sold to me as it was shipped from the distributor. By opening these boxes and removing whatever the fuck they want, are these games even allowed to be called "new" anymore? I avoid shopping at Game Stop to begin with (There is fortunately a local store that has better prices and more selection), but when I DO need to buy a "new" game from them... I'm going to start insisting that they only give me sealed boxes. If a game is not still factory sealed, I'm going to demand it be sold at the used price point, as this is essentially now an "open box" item.

Re:Can it even still be considered new? (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197512)

Umm, this is GameStop. They don't sell Factory sealed items, even on things marked "new".

Re:Can it even still be considered new? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197534)

They sure make it appear as though they do.
I take the open box to the counter then request a sealed one. If they are resealing them than I want to pay open box not new prices.

Re:Can it even still be considered new? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197628)

You do realize that for most popular, new games they still sell the "used" versions for like 95% of the price of the new copies, right? You're not going to save much of anything.

Re:Can it even still be considered new? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197818)

It does not matter if it is only a 1% difference. That is X% they are stealing.

Is it ok for me to commit fraud if it is for small values?

Do you work for these scumbags? Why else would you defend such practices?

Re:Can it even still be considered new? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197914)

when I DO need to buy a "new" game from them... I'm going to start insisting that they only give me sealed boxes.

They have resealing machines. You can't count on a sealed game to be "new" at GameStop.

Re:Can it even still be considered new? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197930)

When I purchase something that is advertised as "New" I expect it to BE new

You do realize the clothes you buy may even have been tried on by someone else, right?

Do they lose their "new" status too? Or do you after trying on a jacket, demand that they bring you one that no else has tried on?

By opening these boxes and removing whatever the fuck they want, are these games even allowed to be called "new" anymore?

If they opened printer boxes, dropped a usb cable inside, and slapped a sticker that said "USB cable included" on the front you would be deeply offended?

If a game is not still factory sealed...

And this is important why?

I'm going to demand it be sold at the used price point, as this is essentially now an "open box" item.

Yes, it is essentially an "open box" item. That doesn't make it the same as a "used" item.

You can demand whatever you like, but they'll probably just ask you to leave the store. You have no legal right to dictate that they sell open box items for a particular price. They can sell any item in the store for any price. They don't legally have to give discounts for open box items, or even for used items.

This is why I won't shop GameStop (4, Informative)

BaronHethorSamedi (970820) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197432)

True story. I went to Gamestop once to pick up Dragon Age: Origins. I'd seen the DLC advertised with a new copy, and that sounded like a good deal. The clerk offered me a used copy for slightly below the $60 asking price. I specified I wanted a new copy for the DLC, so he took the box out from behind the counter, I paid for it and left.

I got the game home, opened it, and there was no code for DLC included. Then I noticed the game had been unsealed and re-wrapped. I took it back to the store, presented the receipt and said, "Hey, you sold me a used game at full retail." The guy tried to backpedal, saying it was a new copy that had been opened for display purposes, and maybe someone had stolen the DLC code. It was late, so at that point I offered to take the used copy he'd previously offered if he gave me the right price for it. He then said that was the only copy they had (though he'd previously tried to sell me on a used copy before presenting me with the "new" one). He hastily provided me with a full refund.

Then I went to a competitor's store nearby, where I found a new (i.e. sealed) copy for $40, DLC included. I have not set foot inside a GameStop since. My definition of a "new game" is one that's gone from the factory to my hands without the contents of the box seeing daylight. GameStop, it seems, has other ideas.

Re:This is why I won't shop GameStop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197650)

I agree with you completely. This is pretty much either blatant theft or defrauding the consumer.

Re:This is why I won't shop GameStop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197708)

Glad you mentioned this. I got a "new" copy of Dragon Age Ultimate edition that was supposed to have a code for all of DLC. I assumed that in my rush to install and play I lost the coupon code sheet, although I don't see how.
Can I say for certain that GameStop removed the sheet? No. But it's likely enough that I can now stop kicking myself over it now.
But it did piss me off so bad that I soured on Dragon Age 2 and still haven't bought it.

Re:This is why I won't shop GameStop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197742)

I once purchased a new DS game with a used DS when they first came out from them. So at the time I thought maybe the saves were on the DS. after buying a new used DS years later, that had hotting bits and grease in it, I discovered I had been hosed on both occasions.

Gamestop, worst ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197438)

I'm not surprised. Gamestop is a company without even the hint of decency. I stopped shopping there years ago. Ripoff trade-ins, irritating salesmen- no, I don't to preorder a game that's two year away asshole, inconsistent pricing, and worst of all- selling games as new after the employees opened them, played them, then put them back on the shelf. That's a used game, not a new game.

How am I not surprised? (1)

CoderJoe (97563) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197468)

I've not purchased new games from GameStop in quite some time, however I have heard from a couple other people that they open every new copy and keep the CD or DVD behind the counter as an "anti-theft" measure. (There is no incentive to shoplift, as there is no media and/or key in the box.) At least one of the people I have heard this from complained to someone at id Software, with the concern over unscrupulous employees making copies of the keys to use themselves or sell.

The legal ramifications, in a different article (5, Informative)

Hahnsoo (976162) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197526)

The Wired article on this does a more balanced job at handling the legal ramifications:
http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2011/08/gamestop-onlive/ [wired.com]

Basically, Gamestop may be in the right, legally, if Square-Enix has a pre-existing contract with them with a non-compete clause. As the article states: “Existing contracts between GameStop and Square may have barred this kind of promotion, and so GameStop may actually be justified in their action if Square is in breach of some promotion/marketing agreement”

But they can also be in legal trouble over this, as the article also points out, for a number of different reasons.

Nowhere on the packaging does it say "Free OnLive coupon", apparently. I haven't looked at the packaging myself.

Open box/Scratch & Dent price? (1)

slick50 (136573) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197530)

Does this mean I can get an Open box/Scratch & Dent price?

Re:Open box/Scratch & Dent price? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197602)

You mean the price where they knock off 5 bucks at most?

Gamestop been doing it for a long time (4, Interesting)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197578)

I quit shopping at Gamestop because they opened many of their boxes. Since they are selling new games along with used for consoles, how do you know which you will end up with? Case in point, I purchased a Nintendo DS game for my daughter. Christmas Day when she opened it up and put it in her DS there were saved games on it already - it had obviously been used. When I bought it, I mentioned that the box was not sealed, and they claimed that they had to do that else they would get shoplifted. I replied that other stores have less employees in the store but don't have their games opened and behind the counter.

Another time in a different Gamestop my son bought the PS2 game Devil May Cry, again the package was open and the had the discs behind the counter. A few days later while playing it asks him to insert Disc 2, which was not in the box. We went back to the store and they still had the 2nd disc.

In both cases they made good, but after those experiences they lost me as a customer, and I had been shopping there nearly every week since they were Babbages. It sounds like they have still haven't learned not to open packages.

In this case it's even worse - don't they have to break the security seal to get the coupon? In the old days they could just re-shrink wrap it, these days most games come with a security seal as well.

No more Gamestop purchases (1)

brucek2 (208676) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197594)

I don't see the gray area here. Imagine if they had removed the other collector's edition content so they could keep it for themselves, yet still sold it at full price as the collector's edition. It may be legal for them to take the content while they own it, but reselling it without disclosure after modifying it has to be fraud.

Plus you really have to wonder, if a retailer is willing to screw you over this way, what else are they willing to do to you?

Fortunately there are dozens of choices for who to buy games from. There's no hardship to removing Gamestop from the list.

Steam (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197608)

49.99. Stores are so 2004.

Do people still shop there? (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197616)

If so, why? The few times I've gone in there ( "well, it's been a while, they have to have gotten better" ), I have left disappointed.

A Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197672)

This is a shame. GameStop is a provider not a creator. They sell the products created by another party. They are a middleman between the creator and consumer (and certainly not the only one). They have stolen from the both production team and the gamers who purchased this product (be it legal or otherwise). Both should be outraged! This action is out of bounds and will, and should, lose them a great deal of credibility in the gaming market. I am looking forward to purchasing this game, but it will not be from GameStop. I will not be purchasing future games from them either.

Hmmm (1)

madenglishbloke (829598) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197674)

Manufacturers never include coupons like this out of the goodness of their hearts (not that many of them have hearts!) - its entirely likely that these coupons have been paid for by OnLive as a promotional thing (They pay the game maker, who make money without doing anything, people redeem the vouchers, and a percentage carry on paying for the service - everyone profits.) In this case - wouldn't GameStop be defrauding OnLive of potential revenue they have paid for?

no longer new (0)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197680)

Original contents as provided by the manufacturer are now missing? By definition this is now a used game.

First Sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197828)

No one mentioned the first sale doctrine in the entire thread here. Obviously no one that has owned a business that buys merchandise wholesale and sells it retail cared to comment.

Unless they have an agreement that says otherwise they can do anything they want with merchandise they purchase before they resell it.

Gamestop does this with most new games (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197834)

The stealing codes is semi-new. But opening the box and storing the disks somewhere else is something they've done for years.

The employees will even take the games home and play them, then they'll sell the games to you as 'new'. Except when activation codes don't allow that.

Someone should sue them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197874)

And claim they want another game in compensation for the theft.

When asked what game they want, I think i'd pay a grand to see the face of gamestop's staff when they say:

"do you have battletoads?"

Any lawyers reading? (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197900)

Are there any lawyers (as in, licensed to practice law) who are gamers who are reading this willing to take this one pro-bono?

Re:Any lawyers reading? (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198026)

Are there any lawyers (as in, licensed to practice law) who are gamers who are reading this willing to take this one pro-bono?

Only if they're idiots.

Gamestop blows (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197916)

Legal or not, this is pretty clearly poor practice for the customer and rather shady. But it's nothing new. Gamestop is little more then a pawn shop these days anyway. Their PC selection has been so pathetic for years that I'm surprised they even sell this game.

I stopped going there years ago when I went to buy a game and was instead lectured about how I should pre-order. I then walked across the street to a big box store and bought it without the lecture. This is a terrible company and as soon as their pawn shop business is taken away by the console makers they will go under. Can't say I'll miss them in the slightest.

Ridiculous (1)

netdigger (847764) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197962)

Its pretty easy to get any computer software. Dues ex is already on torrents. The Key is what you have to pay for. Someone has opened the package and scene the key.

Now I get home and try to install and find my key has already been used. I call up Square Enix and tell them that i bought it at game stop. I think that gamestop will have a few irate customers and a pissed off manufacture

Just entered my local gamestop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198052)

I just got back from Gamestop and asked if they had any boxed copies that wasn't victimized by removing the coupon. The guy over the counter said he had no idea what I was talking about. It was extremely apparent the boxes had been opened however. Either he really had no idea as someone else did it (quite possible) or he was lying to my face.

More reasons not to buy from Gamestop. Regardless if I would want the coupon or not, essentially stealing from their customers by way of taking things we should be getting is just dirty. I don't care for the reasoning that "It's theirs before it's mine." They're a store, they should simply be the middleman to a sale. I should be getting the experience that the game developer and publisher is offering, not what Gamestop wants me to have. Not that Gamestop is above doing dirty things, seeing as they love to sell used games new. They're still doing that too. My girlfriend got a "New" DS game with a save already on it several months back.

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