The street date for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
has been predictably broken by some retailers and a new pricing and release war has broken out among stores in the US and UK.
LoveFilm and The Hut were the first to break the street date by the looks of things, with both stores mailing out copies to consumers as early as last Friday. The game is actually supposed to launch tomorrow, with many stores holding midnight openings for the title.
The Hut, which is also the dispatcher for LoveFilm, admitted to breaking the release date in the UK as part of an effort to circumvent the on-going postal strikes in the UK.
"We are dedicated to getting products to customers on release,
" a spokesperson told GI.biz
. "We use Royal Mail as our preferred courier and were advised to dispatch on Thursday for delivery on Tuesday due to the impending strike action. This was called off on Thursday evening and we have contacted Royal Mail to hold the product until Tuesday.
The action set a precedent however and many consumers have reported being able to get copies of the game in high street stores across the world.
US games retailer GameStop confessed that it had deliberately broken the street date in some specific locations as part of an effort to protect customers in places where the game was already on sale ahead of schedule.
"Our decision followed many conversations with Activision and was an effort to protect our customer base,
" a GameStop rep told Kotaku
Late last week GAME in the UK sent out notices to customers saying that the title had been shipped early, but a later statement claimed that this was nothing more than an error with an automated notice system and that copies had not actually been shipped. HMV, who will be hosting the official launch at a London store tonight (and we'll be there), also issued a similar statement.
None of this will help PC gamers who get their copies early though, as Activision is using IWNet and the Steamworks functionality built into the game to prevent PC gamers from playing the game until the official release.
"If you bought a retail copy on PC, you can play it on 10.11.09,
" said Infinity Ward's Rob Bowling on his Twitter page
A pricing war has since broken out on the game too, with Sainsbury's and HMV leading the way according to MCV
. The cheapest you can get Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
for at the moment is either £26 from Sainsbury's or £9.99 from HMV - provided you trade in Froza 3
, Tekken 6
or Uncharted 2
. So much for a £55 retail price, eh?
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