Update: It seems GameStop stores are actually removing the free OnLive game code from PC retail copies of the game. The company itself confirmed the move this morning by saying: "Square Enix packed the competitor’s coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge and we did pull these coupons."
The highly anticipated third installment in the Deus Ex franchise went on sale yesterday for Xbox 360 and PS3, but it’s the PC gamers that are in for a surprise. The game was also made available for PC via digital download and retail copy, the latter coming bundled with a free code to play the game on OnLive’s streaming PC game service.
Square Enix is the first publisher to include a free code for an OnLive game alongside a retail PC title. If it proves to be a popular purchase model, we should expect other publishers to offer similar OnLive incentives. Such a move could also help the alleged decline in PC gaming, as you are essentially getting two games for the price of one.
"OnLive is delighted to partner with Square Enix in presenting Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the first video game disc packaged with a free cloud gaming copy," OnLive CEO Steve Perlman said in a statement. "Gamers get the best of both worlds -- a physical copy for their home PC and an OnLive cloud gaming copy for instant-play anywhere on an HDTV, PC, Mac, and soon iPad and Android tablets. Having the option of local or cloud gaming provides unprecedented value and convenience that has never before been available for high-performance AAA titles."
It’s unclear if the two copies of the game are linked in any way, but we can’t imagine logistically how they would be. This means you could give the OnLive code to a friend or family member, assuming you don’t plan to play the game away from the system you originally installed the retail copy on.
The idea behind OnLive is that instead of running a video game locally, players connect via broadband to a gaming system that runs and stores their data and the entire game itself. OnLive provides a fluid and lag-free experience on Windows and Mac OS X systems with very low hardware requirements. Customers can optionally purchase the OnLive game system and access the same content directly on their television. Full games cost between $9.99 and $49.99, depending on the title. Game rentals are also available for those that don’t want to pay full price for something they don’t “really” own.