Gaming industry insiders weren't the only ones picking up early copies of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" over the weekend. Reports out of the New York City area and elsewhere indicated that scattered retailers decided to ignore the game's official November 10th street and start selling it early. Among them were one of the biggest names in video games sales, GameStop, and although Activision claims not to have signed off on the decision, an official GameStop statement owns up to the move.
"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," GameStop's vice president for corporate communications Chris Olivera told Kotaku. "Our decision followed many conversations with Activision and was an effort to protect our customer base."
Olivera didn't directly assert that Activision approved of GameStop's decision, his choice of words definitely implies that Activision was made of aware of his company's choice. It's unclear if Activision would take any recourse against retailers in violation of the "MW2" street date, but Infinity Ward has drawn a hard line on the subject.
"ANY store selling #MW2 early is in violation of street date," Infinity Ward's community manager Robert Bowling said on Twitter Sunday. "There are no 'special permissions.' That said, we won't punish players for it."
Activision echoed that sentiment in their own statement, stating "Activision has not given any retailer permission to sell 'Modern Warfare 2' prior to the Nov. 10 street date."
The good news is that if your an average gamer on the street, you don't need to feel like a criminal if you bought a legitimate retail copy of the game -- even if you do have to wait another day to activate it for PC. Whether or not there is any fallout between Activision and retailers, however, will be an entirely separate question.
Did you pick up an early copy of "MW2"? How do you think Activision should react to retailers who broke street date? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.