Major video game retailer GameStop is reportedly removing OnLive vouchers for free, streaming copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution from the boxed, PC version of the title sold in its stores.
GameSpy reports word from GameStop customers that their boxed copies of the title did not include the OnLive voucher as recently promised, with GameStop employees reporting the removal order came from GameStop management.
GameStop spokesperson Beth Sharum confirmed the voucher removal program to GameSpy, saying "Square Enix packed the competitor's coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull and discard these coupons."
GameStop does currently offer a downloadable edition of Deus Ex: Human Revolution through the Impulse digital download service, which it recently acquired from Stardock.
Gamasutra has reached out to the relevant parties for comment and will update as we hear more.
[UPDATE: GameStop has issued an official statement acknowledging the coupon removal and defending the practice:
"We pulled the coupons because, like all retailers, we prefer not to promote our competitors and their competing offerings and services in our stores. Unfortunately, the coupon was packed without our prior knowledge."
Further, a post on GameStop's Facebook page notes that, "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."]
[UPDATE 2: Reports have emerged that GameStop has pulled the PC version of the game off of its shelves entirely.
According to a note allegedly sent by a GameStop employee to consumer game blog Giant Bomb, employees of the store have been asked to pull all copies of the PC version of the game off of shelves for an eventual return to Square Enix.
"As GameStop is developing a streaming service in our Spawn Labs Cloud Computing Division, the coupon that was included is for a competing service. We are returning all copies of the PC regular edition to the vendor in agreement with Square Enix," the note reads.]
[UPDATE 3: Square Enix America confirmed to Gamasutra that GameStop "was not made aware" of the OnLive coupon's inclusion in the boxed game, and said it "respects the right of GameStop to have final say over the contents of products it sells and to adjust them where they see fit in accordance with their policies."
The publisher also encouraged gamers "who want to purchase the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution without additional coupons" to shop at GameStop.]