Mission accomplished for Might and Magic petition

[UPDATE] Turn-based strategy game quietly delayed as fan uproar over open beta test coalesces into online petition.

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Angry gamers have been banding together to form online petitions for years, typically because they want to see a favorite franchise continued, or a new game localized and released in their own territory. That line of thinking is being flipped on its head this week, as a group of dedicated Heroes of Might and Magic gamers are petitioning to keep the latest game in the series from being released--for now, at least.

Publisher Ubisoft began its open beta period for Heroes of Might and Magic V earlier this week, and it didn't take long for a group of disappointed testers to coordinate efforts and launch a Web site to get the game delayed from its planned March release date.

"All of the undersigned wish to see Heroes of Might and Magic [V] as the title that reinvents the series, the title that brings glory back to the Heroes of Might and Magic name," the petition reads. "All wish to see more releases in this new world that Ubisoft has created for Might and Magic. However, we also feel that, should you release the game on its currently scheduled release date, all of our dreams will be shattered. Pushing back the release date even one month will provide many benefits, most of which will in turn equate to increased long-term profits for Ubisoft, and increased longevity for the Heroes series."

Little did the petitioners know that the project had already been delayed. An Ubisoft representative told GameSpot today that the company had pushed Heroes of Might and Magic V out of the March release window before the beta test even went live. However, the only public indication of this was the game's quiet absence from the company's list of releases planned for the current quarter, which ends March 31. A revised release date for the game is expected next week.

[UPDATE] The Ubisoft representative has since contacted GameSpot, emphasizing that the game's delay was not known about before the launch of the beta testing period.

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