UK retailer GAME won’t stock EA titles
There is a sacred trust in the gaming business; an unbreakable bond that connects consumer to retailer. It is known as the “pre-order,” and it is something we gamers can trust to deliver our treasured collector editions and downloadable bonuses. Until this week, that is. As of March 1, UK retailer GAME will no longer be stocking any games from publishing giant Electronic Arts. This also means that it will not be honoring pre-orders customers made for EA titles, including the highly anticipated Mass Effect 3. Seriously. Read on for the details, and what you can do if you have a pre-order with GAME.
In a story that originally appeared on Eurogamer, GAME has stopped stocking EA title due to a dispute over credit terms. Struggling to compete in the game retail business, GAME recently asked publishers for more “manageable credit terms” to help them through a “strategic review” of their business. Apparently, EA liked the credit terms just the way they were, and refused. In apparent retaliation, GAME pulled all EA titles from their shelves. Classy move. As is the usually the case when big corporations get pissy with eachother, it is the consumer who suffers most. All customers who pre-ordered Mass Effect 3 through GAME are now stuck with nothing. OK, that’s not entirely true. You’ll get £5 worrth of GAME Reward points with proof of a pre-order. And a refund of any deposit you might have made. So everything is cool, right? Wrong.
But have no fear! Electronic Arts, champion of the consumer and friend to all the creatures of the forest, has come to the rescue. Sort of. They have put up a special page on their UK website listing all the retailers who are still offering pre-orders for Mass Effect 3. The problem is that most retailers offering the N7 Edition of the game have already sold out. So if you were hoping to get a copy of the N7 Edition, loaded with all sorts of extras, you better hurry. As of this article’s publication, only Gamestop UK and Sainsbury’s still have N7 Editions for sale.
So all of this pretty much sucks. As I mentioned before, the pre-order is a sacred trust, and I’m only partially joking. Limited Editions have become very popular, and ordering them in advance is the best way for fans to get them. I hope everyone affected by this mess can secure copies for themselves.