UK street date 'anarchy'

Retailers fail to honour embargo dates as two top games--Pro Evolution Soccer 6 and Canis Canem Edit--come out early.

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The official release date in the UK has been broken again by retailers this week, which put Bully and Pro Evolution Soccer 6 out onto store shelves two days ahead of schedule. Last week, Sega brought the official release date of Football Manager 2007 forward to October 18, after "certain retail outlets" had chosen to ignore the embargo and put the game out on sale early.

This week, both Canis Canem Edit (also known as Bully) and PES6 are already on sale at high street retailers and online stores throughout the UK. Konami spokespersons pointed the finger at family store Woolworths, where it claims the games were deliberately put on sale today, October 25.

They told GameSpot: "This Friday is one of the busiest days on record for new releases, one of which is PES6. We understand that Woolworths, reacting to street date-breaking during recent weeks have instructed their stores to sell this week's major new releases from today (Wednesday)."

The situation could escalate into retail and chart chaos, Konami warned. "This is not something we condone," said the reps. "It leads to anarchy in the market, and some retailers who do not yet have stock or are unable to react quick enough will be disadvantaged."

A spokesperson for Woolworths commented that the company had simply been reacting to other retailers who had already put the games on sale, though he refused to name names. He said, "Woolworths is reacting to what it has seen in the market over the past two weeks."

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