GTA IV might be released early. But will it be on purpose?

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GTASlipped.jpg

According to a leaflet from the UK supermarket Tesco, GTA IV is going to be available in their stores on April 25th. There is a similar case in Poland, with a screenshot of a website advertising the games availability on the 25th as well.

Now, I don’t think that Rockstar would announce the 29th and then actually release it on the 25th, so we have to assume that these are either typo’s or companies that are going to let the product slip before its actual release date.

The reason that I bring this up is that South Africa is no stranger to situations such as these. Many titles have been released early, usually from stores that aren’t dedicated gaming stores and are usually clueless to worldwide release dates, I would try and name some of them, but I just cna’t think of any off the top of my head (Oops, i made a typo!).

This must cause concerns for publishers who are trying to ensure that no one gets the game ahead of time. Speaking to many local gamers, I realise how many people are almost banking on the fact that the game is going to slip somewhere. I know that if I happen to stroll past a store that has the game on its shelves before the release date, I won’t think twice about buying it and the truth is, I would probably tell everyone I know as well.

Do slips like these really affect the industry in a significant way though? I don’t really think so ( I have a feeling that some comments below are going to disagree). What I am worried about however, are scenarios where stores will purposefully slip the game and let people know ahead of time as if it was some sort of secret that no one should know about, in the hopes that tons of consumers will flock to their store to purchase the game, thus boosting their sales significantly.

So what does everyone think? Release date slips, do they have a major effect on the industry? If so, is it possible that there are any positive effects?

source: Playstation Beyond via Videogaming247

Last Updated: April 21, 2008

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since ’08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

  • here’s a scenario for you, Big game coming out! GTA IV! releasing 29th! I’m willing to bet that by know just about every person has got their pre-order in I’m also willing to be that there won’t be stock on the shelves… but wait one of your lifestyle stores has suddenly realised that there’s an oppertunity to gain some quick cash… they release the game on 25th! word of mouth spreads like wildfire! pre-orders are CANCELLED from other retailers so that they can get their game earlier.

    but what now happens is even if the game is sold out the client is “made to think” that the retailer will get it’s next batch soon 25th – 29th is a week away he can wait

    but now remember there are a 1000 gamers that have done exactly the same thing. so now all these stores have grabbed a huge chunk of the clients in an unfair move which can be taken to the competitions board. Companies that do this are either completely ignorant or want to increase their sales and client database. and it’s not to say that the gamers will never get their copy (well if they don’t act soon they might not) but now anything going forward the company that skimped on the release date now has larger client base to reach than previously and some will stay thinking that maybe just maybe they’ll break launch date again.

    but little do they know that it is possible to loose their distribution for that product range. bye bye games. and that’s why you don’t see a lot of specialist stores doing it. since if they loose a distribution they’re already shutting their doors.

    make sense?

  • Thats the scenario that i mentioned near the end of the article, you are completely right.

    However, I would love to say that there is some grand conspiracy going on in the stores, but to be honest, i think that games are slipping here becomes of bad management and worse communication.

  • erm, in the post above “becomes” = because

  • Krypty

    I just think the situation will never change locally in our country. It all comes back to money.

    And we don’t have enough specialized stores.

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