GameStop today showed us yet another reason why any serious PC gamer should avoid them like the plague (I realise that many of you may not need much convincing).
The PC version of the highly enjoyable new FPS Deus Ex: Human Revolution comes with a voucher giving you a free copy of the game through OnLive's cloud-based gaming service. So for those times when you are away from your main PC, perhaps out of town or using someone else's machine that isn't as capable as your own, you can simply login to OnLive and play the game. Sounds good, right? Well, not to GameStop.
Seemingly miffed because they also plan to release some kind of cloud-based gaming service in the not-too-distant future, and seeing OnLive as a direct competitor to this potential service, GameStop apparently decided to direct all of their stores to open every PC copy of DE:HR and remove the coupon, whilst still selling the game as new.
Just think about that for a second, while at the same time pondering the questionable legality of selling an opened item as new. You get a nice little bonus that the publisher decided to throw in for you, and because it may possibly, in the future, compete directly with GameStop's service they just unilaterally decide to take it away from you.
Imagine going into a bookstore and picking up the latest bestseller, only to reach page 19 and find it torn out. Upon complaining to the store they tell you that they are bringing out their own page 19 in a few months and it's going to be much better than the author's original, so you should just wait and come to buy theirs as soon as it's available. This is essentially GameStop's argument.
Late Wednesday GameStop decided that they were pulling the PC version of Human Revolution completely, instructing their employees to remove it from store shelves and deleting it from purchase at gamestop.com.
Frankly I find this outrageous, and simply the latest excuse (if more were needed) not to shop at GameStop in the first place. These days you are better off giving your business to Steam (for digital distribution) and Amazon (if you need a physical box) anyway, since they are usually the cheapest two retailers around.
GameStop won't be seeing another cent of my money anytime soon, if ever.