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Everyday Legend avatar 2:43 PM on 11.15.2009  (server time)
Do The Wrong Thing: Street Dates, & Breaking Them By Any Means Necessary...Why?

This, in a sense, is a response to not one, but two different news stories that dropped just outside of a week of each other. Just let that little fact sink in for a second.

GameStop Justifies Modern Warfare 2 Street Date Break
New Jersey Breaks Street Date For AC2 And L4D2
(both dtoid)

This is worrisome. Why the hell does a universal street date policy even exist if major retailers will justify its breaking just to stop "independent retailers" from getting a so-called "drop" on them? The last time I checked, not one independent retailer (i.e. mom n' pop shop) has the juggernaut of a logistical shipping force that GameStop can muster, and any independent retailer would have a snowball's chance in hell of matching the sheer amount of copies that GameStop would have its hands on at launch, and that's not to mention a MASSIVE possibility (if not certainty) of a complete re-up within 24-48 hours. At that end, why not just let the independent "little guy" have his day (and that's blatantly assuming that the aforementioned "little guy" even exists)?

Why? I think I can figure it out, using the fantastic power of COMMON SENSE!

GameStop as a corporation is most likely using "independent retailers" as a distractionary boogeyman. They're most likely trying to get/maintain a lock on what they could consider weaker markets where Best Buy and other major box retailers of its kind hold massive space and therefore massive sway, and can get their initial leg up on their major competition by conveniently blaming the elderly Asian couple (and son) that runs the oldest underground videogame shop in town.

I'm not saying that it's true, as there's no way to find that out - those decisions are most likely made behind closed doors concerning arbitrary monetary amounts you and I will most likely never see in our lifetimes. But I'm saying that from the moves I've seen them make over the years, it's probably highly bloody likely. And I think that practice is a despicable load of bullshit, or else why would they as a company have approved not one, but two consecutive breakings of street date within a week of each other? The fact remains: most folks are either 1.) too thick in the skull to think it out, or 2.) don't give two shits in the first place, as that's 72 hours in where they got a leg up on their competition vis a vis GameStop's exact same tactical choices.

Either that, or they believe that if they break street date policies and sell it early anyway, at least they know that the likelihood of somebody getting robbed at (sometimes theoretical) gunpoint in their stores over something as fucking trite as a goddamn video game will plummet. Which, in that makes their logic sound pretty damn smart, actually.

- EL

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