Let’s be clear here: There’s NO WAY I’m going to score an early copy of Black Ops 2. I know this, but it won’t stop me from trying. Partially because I feel that I have a solid track record of getting games early, partly because I am times a fairly lucky fellow, and partly because I have a sickness. Of the recent CoD games that I’ve played (CoD4, Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3) I’ve been able to acquire two of them early (and in the case of MW2, almost a week early). I’ve checked the four stores (all locally owned) that usually supply me: nothing. Craigslist is a desert. So this tells me some things.
One, that Treyarch’s & Activision’s distribution partners are shipping the games out much later than they used to. Think about it, games generally just don’t pop up in a store the day of release; for the most part they’ve sat in the back for a few days to make sure that there’s stock to sell on the day of release. Gamestop won’t break street dates but Super Video Game Pals will ’cause they’ve got the stock and need to compete somehow.
Two, Gamestop is sick of the locals eating their lunch and have somehow (and I have no idea how) ensured that the mom n ‘ pop shop are unable to get their merch early, thus not allowing them those extra days to sell the game which GS is not able to do (Speaking to the lawyers out there, how legally binding is something like “street date”?)
Three, Maybe Gamestop’s left them alone but the local shops have been harassed by the game developers themselves and have ceased selling games early.
Four, and to me, one of the more likely scenarios: if you’re just some rando off the street or on the phone, these local shops are going to tell you to go screw. But if you’ve got a relationship with the place, they’ll probably slide you a copy under the counter.
Since I had a brief obsession with ordering all of my games from Amazon (but no longer, let me assure you) any good will I’ve built up at the four stores that I traffic is pretty much gone. I called all of my spots yesterday and they all told me that while Saturday is a possibility, it will most likely be available on Monday. WHAT WILL I DO UNTIL THEN? Oh, right.