Play-Asia pre-order customers receive a Mandarin-speaking Master Chief

Reader Reggie Santiago sends us news of an unfortunate importer mix-up that had thousands of  pre-order customers watching Halo 3 cutscenes that star a Mandarin-speaking Master Chief. The mental image is funny, but you have to feel bad for these guys.

English-speaking customers of video game importer excitedly tore into packages to finally pop Halo 3 into their Xbox 360s, only to find that they received the Halo 3 Asia Version. It turns out that Play-Asia did not know that the game would not have an English voice track. The Asia Version does feature English subtitles, but there are parts of the game (like teammate talk) where no subtitles are displayed, leaving these unlucky importers scratching their heads.

To try to make good, Play-Asia is offering a trade-out for the English Asia Version to those who ordered before September 26th, but unfortunately this trade requires the return of an unopened copy. They are also offering a $10 in-store gift certificate as an apology. 

You can read the full details from Play-Asia after the jump, but I got a big kick out of this line: “If you are happy with the Asian Version Chinese cut-scenes voices, then please ignore this email.”

To be fair, Play-Asia is a great store. I’ve imported consoles, games, and figures from them many times, and I always find that the service is great. I think this is just a case of details slipping through the cracks. 

[thanks, Reggie — bum luck, meng] 

Thank you for contacting

This email is regarding your ordered item Halo 3 Asia Version
 for Xbox 360. This email does not apply to the Limited
Edition Asia Version of the game, so if you also have purchased the
Limited Edition Asia Version of the game, we may ask you for your patience
for the time being. Please read this e-mail carefully.

We strive to keep our products listings updated and accurate, however, we
have not been informed of the fact that the game does not include an
English voice track for the story line. To avoid any possible
misunderstanding: The game is fully capable of displaying English,
however, the voices in cut-scenes will be in Chinese.

We were not aware of this fact prior the time we received our batch and to
clear our pre-orders as fast as possible, a thorough check of the game was
only possible once the first batch of pre-orders has shipped.

We understand that this may be an inconvenience for some of our customers
and have tried hard to find an acceptable solution to the problem.

Every customer who has purchased Halo 3 Asian Version (regular version
only) before 26th of September is entitled to a replacement towards the
English Asian Version of the game if they so wish to do so; but some
limitations apply

– Your copy of the game must be in original shrink wrapped, unopened
You must be willing to return the original game to us (*1)

If you are happy with the Asian Version Chinese cut-scenes voices, then
please ignore this email.

As soon as we receive your exchange request (in writing, by email, stating
that you will return the original Chinese Voice Asia Version) we will set
up an order in your account and dispatch the English Voice Asia Version of
the game.

You will receive our return instructions, and on return of the original
game, we will issue a store credit voucher of US$10 which you can use to
your hopefully next order on



We again kindly ask you for accepting our apologies for this incident,
please understand that only the voices during the cut-scenes are

Please feel free to directly reply to this email regarding any comments or
questions. If you wish to go ahead with the replacement, please reply to
this email and state that you will be returning the original game upon
receipt of the replacement at your own cost (however, the store credit
will be issued once we receive the originally sent game back to cover for

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Dale North