News Article

UK Retailer GAME Less Than Happy With Rivals Ignoring Pokémon X & Y Street Date

Posted by Damien McFerran

"We are seeing street date breaches occur on a frequent basis"

Last week saw the release of Pokémon X & Y on the Nintendo 3DS, unquestionably one of the year's biggest releases. Nintendo took the brave step of releasing the game globally on the same day — October 12th — which meant that everyone could experience the adventure together, regardless of which region they happened to be in.

That was the plan, anyway — however, retailers all over the world broke the proposed street date and starting selling the game early, much to the annoyance of Nintendo.

It also frustrated UK specialist retailer GAME, which broke the street date after it claimed that several other rivals — including HMV and Tesco — had forced its hand by putting the game on sale themselves.

GAME category director Charlotte Knight spoke to MCV about the problem:

We take compliance with all industry standards and regulations very seriously. It was extremely disappointing to see a number of competitors break street date over Thursday and Friday on Nintendo products across both online and store environments.

We are seeing street date breaches occur on a frequent basis and this undermines the work which goes in to creating exceptional launches. We’ve worked very closely with Nintendo in the run-up to launch in order to make them as successful as possible. We have worked with them on every decision taken.

It must be very tempting as a retailer to sell a game early, especially when it's a massive title like Pokémon X & Y and you want to prevent buyers from shopping elsewhere, but doing so undermines Nintendo's hard work.

Did you get your hands on a copy before October 12th? Let us know by voting in the poll below.

When did you obtain your copy of Pokémon X & Y? (262 votes)

I got it on or after October 12th

78%

I got it before the proposed release date of October 12th

22%

Please login to vote in this poll.

[via mcvuk.com]

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User Comments (52)

Jaydenn

#1

Jaydenn said:

I got it before the 12th from GAME. Shame though, proper launches for massive games are always fun.

mike_intv

#2

mike_intv said:

Admittedly this is a view from the left side of the pond, but Nintendo is in a tough situation in the UK. It can't crack down too hard on these companies or they won't sell the games. But if it takes no action, street date becomes meaningless.

Mytoemytoe

#3

Mytoemytoe said:

I hate when my rival tries to undercut me. But that's why I'm carrying one of each 3 kinds of starter in Torchic, Chespin and Squirtle. Maybe GAME should employ this strategy.

SirMime

#4

SirMime said:

To be fair to GAME they were the last company to start selling Pokemon early. Most other stores around my area were selling it from Wednesday onwards and sites such as Tesco had sent out copies with some people getting them as early as Tuesday. Most GAME stores weren't informed until about 10:00 on the 11th that they should start selling their copies.

Tasuki

#5

Tasuki said:

They only way that that is going to stop is if Nintendo gets tougher against these companies that break street dates. Like seek legal action against them.

WingedSnagret

#6

WingedSnagret said:

The worst part is that Nintendo might never do a simultaneous worldwide release again because of this. :o

RaylaxStaff

#7

Raylax said:

Funnily enough, Nintendo UK themselves broke the street date by an hour: the title was available on eShop for about 15 minutes at 11pm on October 11th, before someone evidently noticed and pulled it until midnight :P

I missed the accidental 11pm launch, but my friend managed to grab the digital copy early :D

Nintenjoe64

#8

Nintenjoe64 said:

I didn't get Pokemon but GAME normally ship things on a Tuesday or Wednesday for Friday release so they're normally giving games out a day early.

Bass_X0

#10

Bass_X0 said:

I got mine from Asda last Friday morning for £33. As opposed to GAME's £40 asking price. Its just stupid to shop at GAME because of their higher prices.

Rezalack

#11

Rezalack said:

@Mytoemytoe Wow, I wasn't even aware you can get a Torchic. Thanks for pointing that out man, I just happened to pick Froakie and Bulbasaur and was hoping to find a good fire type.. this is perfect. Thanks. Especially awesome since I've never used a Torchic before.

Mallard

#12

Mallard said:

My local Game have been breaking the street date on every game for years, when it comes in the manager will sell it, you have to pay cash mind. As far as I know, no one has died!

Buzzthebatgirl

#13

Buzzthebatgirl said:

I got X in a Tesco Extra late on the Friday night and Y arrived from Sainsbury's online on Monday. Just fine those that sold the game early like what happened in Canada. Personally I'm not too bothered about the game getting sold on the Friday as that's a) only one day and b) the typical day of releases in the UK. Two weeks early is just stupid and irresponsible IMO

Bass_X0

#14

Bass_X0 said:

Why should someone who wants the game ignore it if they see it on the store shelves prior to street release date and instead come back on the actual street release date? Who are they honoring really, by denying themselves an extra day's play of the game?

Fans shouldn't be criticised by other fans for buying the game early.

unrandomsam

#18

unrandomsam said:

I am unhappy with GAME. (The Nintendo part is not even visable when you walk in the shop). Nothing has changed since I last went in there. They only sell pre owned everything for the same price or more than Grainger Games sells new. (Examples New Super Mario Bros 2 - New £39.99 / Animal Crossing - Used £29.99 / Fire Emblem - Used £34.99). Most promoted game their was Fifa 14 3DS which is them all over. No positives at all. They had download codes at the same price as NIntendo for a few cheap ones.

And they have given an EU wide monopoly on download codes. (I won't buy download codes from them under any circumstances. Even if it means giving Nintendo another £7. Does mean I get physical games more than I otherwise would though).

unrandomsam

#19

unrandomsam said:

All the others Game took over were better before they destroyed them. (Leaving only the Game branded ones and hardly any of them).

Amazon and Grainger Games are enough for me. (Odd thing from places like Shopto).

unrandomsam

#20

unrandomsam said:

Its not even that they are more expensive than Amazon or Grainger Games (Online)

it is that they deliberately don't stock games New and if by a stroke of luck they do then they sell at £39.99. (Grainger will have it New between £30 - £35 very few are £35.)

I really think Nintendo should re-evaluate what they are getting for their subsidy with the download codes. (Seems to have a fair bit in common with the price fixing thing from 2003 actually this situation).

MetaRyan

#22

MetaRyan said:

I started downloading the game at 10 PM the day before, but that's because NoA updated the eShop at midnight Eastern time, which is 10 my time.

AutumnShantel

#23

AutumnShantel said:

The 12th; it doesn't matter to me who got it a day early. I guess I can see Nintendo's problem with it, though.

cookiex

#24

cookiex said:

Am I the only one who thinks this could've been largely avoided by releasing Pokémon on Friday the 11th as opposed to Saturday the 12th? Saturday releases are problematic in Europe where most retailers close early and (in places like Germany) don't open at all on Sunday. Plus Nintendo games otherwise come out on a Friday in EU, so I can also easily see retailers mixing up the street date.

DracioKoi

#25

DracioKoi said:

One of my local stores were selling the game early, but I got it from them on the release date. The persons who bought the game from the them thanked them for selling the game two days early.

BakaKnight

#26

BakaKnight said:

Got it at the right date and for what I witnessed noone in my area broke the launch date, not even the store where I always see 3DS games out 2 days before the official release.

NintendoLee

#27

NintendoLee said:

Mine was dispatched online on the Thursday, arrived the Friday. Most places online do that in case Royal Mail take two days (they quite often do).

johnvboy

#28

johnvboy said:

Like I said on another thread I don't blame the likes of Amazon for sending a game out a few days early,they have to give people the postage cost back if the game you ordered for launch day does not arrive on time.

High street retailers should abide by the rules and not sell titles early.

Kit

#29

Kit said:

GAME cannot claim the moral high ground on the basis that they only released it earlier than scheduled because other retailers did - if they had stuck to their guns and honoured the world-wide release date then 'maybe' they would have had a leg to stand on. This just makes them look like hypocrites, complaining about others when they did it themselves. Shame on them. I can see their concerns because no one will want to pre-order from them anymore if it's going to be available elsewhere earlier and cheaper. I admit I pre-ordered my Yveltel Red 3DS XL from GAME, but afterwards I realised I payed £30 more for it. I also pre-ordered Pokémon X Digital Download through GAME Online and got my free copy of Pokédex 3D Pro, but my 'loyalty points' still didn't make much difference to the overall cost. I'm sorry GAME but I probably won't be buying any more games/consoles through your retailers. :(

KTT

#36

KTT said:

I preordered it online and it arrived to me on 10th October.

Crimson_Ridley

#37

Crimson_Ridley said:

I can't be upset that UK retailers broke the date, because I don't believe they realised the 12th wasn't Friday. When has a game released on a Saturday in the UK? Tuesdays and Fridays are when we get games, so I'd assume they just thought Friday was the official launch.

Time zones also meant that the world didn't get the game at the same time, so Nintendo's idea was doomed from the start. This really isn't a big deal yet has had far too many articles posted about it.

GAME is only jumping to the defense of Nintendo because it's desperate for exclusive content.

Rezalack

#38

Rezalack said:

@CaptainCharlie Thanks, I have him now. I usually never turn my game off, I just close it and let it charge. That's why I never noticed the mystery gift, lol. Pretty easy to miss if you never log off.

Arcamenel

#39

Arcamenel said:

A few days early isn't a big deal imo, I mean yeah it's still unfair to those having to wait for the real release date but like I said before I still prefer this to waiting to get it months after Japan. I don't think it'll stop them from doing any other worldwide releases, especially if these games do really well and bring in a lot of new players or back old ones. They will probably just try to get shipments sent the week of. There is no reason some people should've had the game a whole 2 weeks early, now that was just insane.

C7_

#41

C7_ said:

"I only did it because all the other kids were doing it"

I'd like to know when this excuse has ever successfully justified anything enough to make it look like they did nothing wrong. Nintendo pushed for a worldwide Saturday released and made deals with all of the stores that could get the games early that they would only sell on that day and no sooner. Breaking the promise, regardless of the reason, is a sign of either incompetence or malice, and if I were Nintendo I would be giving literally every single store that broke it out early a hard time about it. They're businesses, and they should act like it; ESPECIALLY with big chains like GAME.

okamiki

#42

okamiki said:

Its bad for nintendo but really, launching a game on saturday?

Retailers in my country sold the game after thursday which is games release dates for all plataforma.nintendo should havê done a little bit research in this matter.

But of course i know is disapointing after all those planos.

Volmun

#43

Volmun said:

Oh is that why i STILL DONT HAVE POKEMON X!!! witch i pre-orderd with GAME...

Plucky

#44

Plucky said:

My brother got the game in the mail on the 11th, so i shrugged it off that GAME simply sent the game early, anticipating that it wouldn't get to our house until the 12, eventually i got a text saying that my pre-order of Y was in, on the 11th as well.

It was pretty weird, the pre-order bonus is a Pokeball, but for some reason, i also got a Poster...so any Americans here, did you get anything other than the Poster? is it possible that the Pokeball was a pre-order bonus for us, but the Poster is for physically coming in, possibly the opposite for Americans?

Or does America have more competition in the games department? I mean after all we used to have Gamejam and Gamestation...they both eventually shut down, Gamestation moving their stock and fusing with Game. Still a bit weird for places such as Tesco to sell videogames though.

Other than that, it's pretty enjoyable so far, the XP seems a tad easy to gain, but there's just so many Pokemon choices....quite a lot of likable Pokemon from all sorts of generations, and I've just beaten the 8th gym leader clocked at 39 hours.

sidrickXIII

#45

sidrickXIII said:

My local retailer had it up on his facebook, for about a week, saying he would be selling it on thursday the moment he had the delivery.I happily went to go get it from him on thursday as well, manly because he's an independent retailer struggling against big companies like GAME and TESCO so he needs any uper-hand on them he can get, and fairplay to him. But then if the big companies are releasing big games early, not just pokemon, is it because
a> They made a mistake/ 'everyone else was doing it'
b> Thay don't care for street dates and just want your money
or c> They want to strangle any and all little independent retailers out

GalacticMario28

#46

GalacticMario28 said:

I don't live in the UK, so I don't know all of the details about how release dates and such work over there, but if a bunch of companies decided to sell the games early (which I think is really stupid and unfair), then that pretty much gives GAME two options: 1) sell the games early and lose the respect of some gamers, or 2) wait until the 12th to start selling the games and potentially lose a lot of money. From a business perspective, the choice is pretty obvious, even if some gamers (myself included) would rather not have had them stoop to the same level as their competitors.

Pixel-Perfect

#47

Pixel-Perfect said:

I would have broken the street date if that option were available to me. Without a second thought.

Kit

#48

Kit said:

@LunaticPandora in fairness the only reason I brought from GAME is because a m8 works there - I wouldn't have bothered if he didn't (probably won't in spite of that) and I probably won't bother pre-ordering anything again anyway.

WYLD-WOO

#49

WYLD-WOO said:

I was told by a very rude manager at GAME in Brentwood, Essex (England) that TESCO and ARGOS are not their compertitiors. After asking them to match the price of a game seen in them stores. So why are they un-happy??? I waited for an hour to get get my copy of FIFA 13 from GAME last year and this year I saved a nice amount purchasing from another retailer. Plus, it only took a few seconds to purchase. Quite sure GAME won`t be about in a few years time and hopefully we will then see the return on the sole trader.

Bass_X0

#50

Bass_X0 said:

ill a bit weird for places such as Tesco to sell videogames though.

But they've done it for years.

Shame to those who bought it early.

Why? I went to Asda on Friday morning on the way to work to see if they had it in, they did so I bought it. If they didn't I would go back the next day. But why choose to leave a game on the shelves and waste time and travelling costs to go back to the store? They could have sold out by then and I wouldn't want to pay £40 at GAME when I paid £33.

ryuzke

#52

ryuzke said:

I got it on 11th around 23hrs D: I called just to see if the store had a sale at 00:00 and they told me I could get it befire

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