Registered: 04/15/2009
722 posts

Re: Possible Broken Street Date

Nov 19, 2012
I think I said this in another thread once, but the whole "fine" thing is basically a gentlemans agreement for retailers. A release date is announced officially so that the market stays fair for all involved in selling the game.

For example if Best Buy gets a shipment of COD three days before the official date, but Target for some reason doesn't get theirs as fast, BB will have to wait until the official day to sell given by Activision to avoid creating an unfair market situation in which all who planned on buying the game at Target suddenly flock to BB to get it early.

The publisher could impose a "fine" of some sort if they really wanted to, but would the retailer actually be obligated to pay? No way. In order to get money out of a corporate retailer, the game publisher would have file a class action lawsuit and then prove that damages incurred as a result of the game sold early. Not too easy to prove and likely the publisher would blow more money on the court system than the imposed fine.

2nd option is to refuse to ship games to the retailer in violation. I guarantee this won't happen, because now the publisher loses tons of dollars because all that game stock is sitting in a warehouse as opposed to the retailers shelves.

At the end of the day it's basically a bluff, except for the employees. If an employee sells a game early, yeah, their management might terminate. So the whole thing about "we will get fined if I sell this" is a good way to keep the soldiers in line and keep honoring the release date agreement. Does that make sense?
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