Here's the long and short of the news story so I can get to the editorial piece about this: Square Enix paired up with OnLive, a digital distributor of games, to package a free copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution into every copy of the game that was sold at Gamestop. Therefore, Gamestop employees have been told to open the new games and take the codes out, and sell them as is.
So here's the stitch. It's widely known around the industry that Gamestop has been planning a digital distribution model for a long time now, and this would give you a good idea why Gamestop isn't too happy about this. But everyone is up in arms at Gamestop for doing this, and when I mean up in arms, I mean very very agitated. But why does everyone get so angry so quickly whenever the nations largest brick and mortar game retailer does something they don't like?
There's lots of analogies I could use to bolster my argument here but let's compare apples to apples shall we? Steam is a digital distribution service, the biggest service of it's kind. EA decided to create their own and it's doing well for it's size, it's called Origin. The situation we're looking at today would be as if you went to Origin and bought a game to be downloaded right to your PC, and you got a free code to head over to Steam and download the same game. Steam and Origin are direct competitors so obvious Origin wouldn't even have to put up a fight in this case, why does the situation change when it comes off of the digital arena? The only, and I mean only, problem that I can see with this (and it's splitting hairs as it is) is that employees are being forced to open new games and then turn around and re-sell them as new, when they've been opened before.
I can say that I've felt this wrath before since I've worked at a Gamestop. For some reason the employees take the brunt of the hate towards the company because we are the ones that you have to interface with. The situation with OnLive is not the guys behind the counter trying to steal your promised codes and use them at home. It was an email, pictured above, that says to do this, and if you don't you might be subject to punishment because you aren't doing so. It seems to me that most people get a negative feeling towards Gamestop employees because they push pre-orders and their Powerup system so much. While I can come out and say that Gamestop employees do not get paid on commission, this is not unlike any other business where there are incentives for selling things; i.e. car wash attendants and even some restaurants.
When it comes down to it, this fiasco is a basic business practice; you do not promote a rival company with anything that you do. Granted that Gamestop might not feel any impact of this in their stores but left unattended, this could be a fatal blow to their yet un-released digital distribution center. Feel free to leave comments and debate the points below, the section is always open.