On Friday, Game Rant reported on possible street date violations for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. A number of customers had alleged that their local stores were selling the highly-anticipated game as early as Wednesday of last week, though no official street date break had occurred.
Then on Saturday, GameStop stores in New York, Maryland, Ohia, and Pennsylvania began selling their pre-oder copies. Initial statements suggested the street-date violations were the result of an agreement between GameStop and Activision in order to protect the retailer’s pre-orders – sales that could potentially have been threatened by local game shops that were selling the game early.
On Sunday, Kotaku published a statement from Activision: “Activision has not given any retailer permission to sell Modern Warfare 2 prior to the Nov. 10 street date. The company fully supports the Nov. 10 street date.”
Later, in an effort to clear the air, GameStop spokesperson Chris Olivera, vice president of GameStop’s corporate communications, contacted Kotaku and defended the retailer’s decision to release pre-orders:
“This past weekend, GameStop made the decision to break street date and sell reserved copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in select markets where other retailers had broken street date. Our decision followed many conversations with Activision and was an effort to protect our customer base.”
Whether or not the street date violation was the result of GameStop’s defiance or an agreement between the retailer and Activision, it’s difficult to imagine GameStop getting anything more than a slap on the wrist. In most cases, the retailer did not sell non-pre-orders, and could easily find legal defense in the argument that local game shops had forced their hand.
Today, a few reports of GameStops selling copies of the Modern Warfare 2 standard edition without pre-orders have surfaced, though the sale of non-pre-orders does not appear wide spread: GameStops are still refusing to violate the street date in many regions, even on their pre-orders, and most GameStops that have begun selling pre-orders still won’t sell a non-pre-order copy of the game. I personally picked up my pre-ordered Xbox 360 Modern Warfare 2 Limited Edition Console from a local GameStop in New York and can verify this GameStop would not sell any non-pre-order copies of the title.
The street date remains largely intact going into the official release of the game, albeit a tad blurry. For the time being, it appears as though the majority of gamers will have to wait until 12:01am tonight. Though, it probably wouldn’t hurt to call your local GameStop – just to see.
Were you able to pick up your copy of Modern Warfare 2 early? If not, when are you going to get it?
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is scheduled for release at 12:01am tonight.