GameStop breaks Gears of War release date while insisting that street dates are “vital to the industry”

Some GameStop customers in the UK who pre-ordered Gears of War 3 received their copies in the mail as early as last Saturday, September 17, days ahead of the title’s official release date. Copies of the game arrived with a note, informing customers that the “game should not be played until Midnight 19th, September.”

Speaking to MCV, a GameStop spokesperson explained that the Royal Mail service’s efficiency took the retailer by surprise, saying that Gears of War 3 copies “moved through the Royal Mail system quicker than anticipated and nobody should have got it until release.” According to the spokesperson, “The note was just a provision in case some people got it today instead of tomorrow.”

It’s not uncommon for games ship early to customers who pre-order, but GameStop insists that release dates are “vital to the industry” and that “breaking street dates” is not part of the company’s plan, suggesting that this past weekend’s early shipment of Gears of War 3 copies may be more of a rarity moving forward.

Still on the fence about Gears of War 3? Read our Gears of War 3 super review to find out what we loved and hated about the third chapter in the series.

Sep 19, 2011

Source: MCV, reddit




  • pr0tostar - September 20, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    Ok hold up. That "provided note" was added to address the "unforseen efficiency" of the royal mail? Right... zomg gamestop got me my copy of GoW3 early, must do business with them from now on!! Obviously this bit of kiss-assery is an intended revenue ploy aimed at the fanatics of GoW, and I won't be surprised when it happens again with Skyrim and MW3. As much as I'm tired of gamestop thinking they can act above the industry (the Deus Ex incident comes to mind), all I can do as one person is do my business with respectable retailers.
  • ObliqueZombie - September 20, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    Would I have waited? Yes. I would've read all the extra that the game came with. Plus, I wouldn't want to get in trouble and potentially have my hard work erased. But DAMN that would be the worst two days of waiting. P.s.: I got the game midnight, tonight! After a 3 hour nap, I'm ready to play all damn day and say "To Hell!" with my one class.
  • jackthemenace - September 20, 2011 7:17 a.m.

    Super Pissed, my copy, even though I pre-ordered the Special edition, STILL hasn't bloody arrived. I'd been so excited all day, and I got home and... BAM. I am disappoint.
  • Kethmach - September 20, 2011 7:12 a.m.

    Now Timmy, your Mom and I are going away for the weekend. Here are the keys to the car if you need to move it out of the garage to get to the lawn mower- but don't drive it unless you have to, okay?
  • ObliqueZombie - September 20, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    Beautiful analogy.
  • SenatorPepper - September 19, 2011 8:23 p.m.

    'Congratulations on your purchase of Gears of War 3...Please note this game should not be played until Midnight 19th, September.' WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Cheers, GameStop.
  • Spybreak8 - September 19, 2011 2:33 p.m.

    I can wait for my super free shipping.
  • matt_bristol - September 19, 2011 2:26 p.m.

    Got mine today after pre-ordering on Amazon. Got to say it's a great game. There's a warning message on the event calender saying along the lines, "you are a lucky person getting it early, some of the features may not be working 100%." Not worried about Microsoft banning me, they haven't in the past banned people who legitimately get the game early.
  • GhostbustTyler - September 19, 2011 1:45 p.m.

    I saw a local electronics shop near me with copys on sale on Saturday. Thought it was pretty sketchy that they would do it. Stoked to pickup my pre order tomorrow and have this game own my life until Arkham City comes out.
  • therawski - September 19, 2011 1:39 p.m.

    Wow Paul, my birthday was on Staruday (I don't care about gow, that's just an epic typo)
  • acridweasel - September 19, 2011 1:33 p.m.

    Whatever GameStop UK say, I'm sure they are simply trying to get a foothold in the UK market, having only just launched. That's how I, and many others, got hold of Driver: SF for £21.97 ($34.55 according to Google) for launch day...
  • tomthespesh - September 19, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    They got it early? Lucky bastards I pre-ordered off Amazon and got the dispatch email at 7 this evening. No way are Royal mail quick enough to get it to me for tomorrow. I should have stuck with they usually get pre-orders to me a day or so early.
  • RabidCabbage - September 19, 2011 1:12 p.m.

    I can't wait until Staruday. Sounds like a great day.
  • BlahJay - September 19, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    A sudden burst of unexpected efficiency brought upon by a Royal Mail supervisor with a GoW3 delivery on the way, no doubt.
  • Money - September 19, 2011 12:57 p.m.

    In Norway, apparently it got shipped out a week ago. Seems like i'm the only one without Gears 3, its making me sad.
  • Fox_Mulder - September 19, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    Yeah do not play until midnight on the 19th. What, are GameStop's enforcers gonna sit on my house to make sure I'm not gonna play it?? Ha!
  • flabslapper - September 19, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    it probably has to do with if you were stupid enough to be logged in to Live that Microsoft might think you had a pirated copy and banned you
  • Zeedar - September 19, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    That's not how it works. I got an early copy L.A. Noire when it came out, I got it about 3 days before release, and could play it no problem.
  • flabslapper - September 19, 2011 1:21 p.m.

    my bad, I thought it was like if you signed on and then tried to play multiplayer you'd get banned if it was before the day they expected people to be playing
  • WonsAuto - September 19, 2011 1:37 p.m.

    They can tell the difference between pirated and legit copies, I'm sure. I've heard of people playing Halo online after stores broke street date without issue.

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