Following our story last month where Rising Star Games' MD Martin Defries said some UK retailers weren't interested in Muramasa: The Demon Blade, we decided to do a little ringing around of GAME and Gamestation stores to check on the preorder availability of this fantastic game and were rather shaken by what we heard.
Speaking to a manager at an anonymous store, we were told that despite there being a database entry and preorder code for the game on their till system, placing an order was no guarantee that the title would be available in the store on the day of release - or at all.
We were also told that as the title isn't regarded as a big release (understandable to a multi-format chain considering the other releases on November 20th) the decision could have been taken at Head Office level not to stock it at all, an unusual thing for a manager to say about a game two weeks before its launch.
A call to Gamestation's stock availability line gave us confirmation that the title will be available to purchase from their mail order, but they were unable to tell us whether stores would be stocking Muramasa until nearer its release date.
We also rang GAME's PR department to ask for confirmation on their decision to stock the game, and were told that the relevant person to speak with was out of the office and would be until next week. Inquiring if we should call back to gain an official confirmation, we were told that the PR company "would not be able to get that information" for us, and emails to their PR department went unanswered. Make of that what you will.
If you have your name down for Muramasa at your local GAME or Gamestation, we strongly recommend you give the store a ring and ask for confirmation that you will receive your title on launch day. If you can't get any concrete confirmation, we'd recommend you look elsewhere to get your hands on Rising Star's Japanese animated epic as it's looking highly likely at this stage that the UK's biggest games retailer won't have it on their shelves.
As we've said, GAME have been contacted and if we hear anything back from them, you'll be the first to know about it.