The Technically New

I was reading a web comic I frequent on a daily basis, GU comics and stumbled upon an interesting discussion on an event that happened recently that involved the new game Deus Ex and Gamestop.

The short form was:
- Square Enix included a coupon for 1 free month to an online game service called OnLive in each copy of the game
- Gamestop has their own online game service called Impulse and to prevent competition, opened and removed these coupons from all copies

People obviously don't like this, and it makes sense.

There is the argument that the game is not 'new' anymore if they:
1. Open the package (for any reason)
2. Remove anything from the package

From my (long) time at EB, there was a legit reason, at the time to open the games and still sell it as new; b/c people steal and we didn't have marketing materials for display purposes. It wasn't the best solution or reason, but it had to be done. I fully understand in what was (at the time) a mostly male-dominated store, guys don't always take the best care of what they handle. But if you had me, I handled it with great care and it would bother me to sell a non perfect condition cd to the point, i'd normally defect it than have a disgruntled customer.

Alot of people tend to pooh-pooh on EB for some reason. Maybe b/c they're a big corporation.. so they're "the man." Or for practices such as this situation. Or the people that work there that were rude to them. But there are locations that have great people that are gamers themselves that treasure their customers. It sounds corny and weird (to treasure their customers), but i remember when I did the opening shift, I'd always have the lunch crew from some nearby office come by, just to see what was new, and say hi. I had the one guy that would call frequently asking for the trade-in values for tons of games. Or the young kid who basically grew up in the mall b/c his parents owned the DQ; we let him sit on a little stool and play on his nintendo ds.

I don't know, at this time, how I feel about removing the coupon from the game; I understand how it is damaging (to Gamestop's Impulse business), how notice should have been provided by Square (keep good relations between companies), that at EB reps will remove the guts of the game to be used for display purposes, and how as a lowly rep, you do what you're told whether it's ethical or not (of course there are things you can report). But taking something that should be included in a game.. thats iffy. I think the best thing to do with the least amount of backlash, is to fully remove the game from circulation and wait till Square provides a version without the coupon, or publicly advise that they will provide a 50$ coupon with Gamestop for removing it BEFORE any are sold without warning. Do you think the normal rep WANTS to deal with irate customers who found out; who probably didn't think it was right having to remove it in the first place; who had to spend the time opening every single copy?

I like to think of the situation from all sides and just think that there should have been a flag set in place to alert Gamestop that this game had a coupon which was against their best interest. And if there isn't one (flag/system)in general, obviously from this public outcry, Gamestop should implement one in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment