GameStop breaks Modern Warfare 2 street date in 'select markets,' Activision disapproves

Retailer says competition forced it to begin selling new Call of Duty; top third-party publisher retorts that it has "not given any retailer permission" to sell game early.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

As is often the case, the street date of a major game was broken a few days before its official release. Over the weekend, game blog Kotaku received word that several retailers in the Northeast and Midwest United States had begun selling Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

GameStop is jumping the gun on the Modern Warfare 2 street date in
GameStop is jumping the gun on the Modern Warfare 2 street date in "select markets."

However, unlike most preemptive sales, which typically happen at non-specialty stores, apparently the game was being sold under a corporate directive by the country's top game-only retailer--GameStop. When contacted by GameSpot on Monday, GameStop's vice president of corporate communications Chris Olviera offered the following statement:

"This past weekend, GameStop made the decision to sell reserved copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in select markets where other retailers had broken street date. Our decision followed many conversations with Activision and was an effort to protect our customer base. Today we are focusing on the launch of the title in 4,200 of our US locations and the New York City launch celebration that we are cohosting with Activision [and] Microsoft."

There may be some behind-the-scenes awkwardness at Modern Warfare 2's New York City launch, since Activision apparently ended those conversations by voicing its disapproval. "Activision has not given any retailer permission to sell Modern Warfare 2 prior to the Nov. 10 street date," a spokesperson told GameSpot. "The company fully supports the November 10 street date."

Check back later in the week for GameSpot's full review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The M-for-Mature-rated game is being released for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, with the latter version also coming bundled with a 250GB limited-edition console from Microsoft. GameSpot's Modern Warfare 2 launch center has more information on the military shooter.

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