Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Good News Everybody!

It would seem that irreconcilable differences between videogame distributor Game Group and publishing behemoth Electronic Arts (cunts) has resulted in GAME no longer having exclusive rights to distribute Mass Effect 3.

At the moment it's not clear what the rift between the two actually is, but Edge reports that the problems may stem from the loss of GAME's credit insurance earlier this month, forcing it to pay upfront for future releases. This could well be the beginning of the end for the retailer, after EA also admitted that "the financial position of one of our major European retail partners...could lead to both increased bad debt and lost sales"

In a memo to staff released by GAME this morning, obtained by IGN, Northern Europe MD Tom Devine confirmed that the largest videogame retailer in the UK will not be stocking Mass Effect 3, or indeed any other EA games after the release of SSX this Friday. Consequently, all pre-orders of Mass Effect 3 made through GAME have been cancelled, and customers have been refunded the full amount plus £5 worth of GAME credit.

So what does this mean for those of us who weren't so lucky to pre-order the Mass Effect 3 Collector's Edition in time? Well, we've been given a second chance as EA were quick to list all their new distributors including Amazon, Play and ShopTo, who now have copies of the Collector's Edition available for pre-order. As soon as I heard I scooted over to Amazon to get mine, but I have to say this still doesn't alleviate the rage I feel toward EA's behaviour regarding exclusivity pacts and downloadable content debacles.

The fact that EA/Bioware had included vital content to Mass Effect 3's story in the Collector's Edition (which had a bunch of other neat stuff), but expected those of us who missed out to download it for an extra $10 made my blood boil. Indeed, the exclusivity deal with GAME meant you couldn't even be extorted by purchasing the Collector's Edition even if you wanted to. Certainly, there was no way I was going to buy a standard edition and pay extra for the DLC while those lucky enough to get a Collectors Edition got it included, albeit at a higher price only with extra goodies thrown in. As a principle I fall into the camp that games should be released in their complete form, not sold in bits and pieces as a way to generate more moneyz. Actually, this guy actually sums it up far better than I.

In many ways I suppose things have kind of worked themselves out in the sense that there is now a choice of distributors from which one can preorder the Collector's Edition. But that still doesn't change my animosity toward GAME, Bioware, and that motherfuckin' evil entity, EA.

At least I suppose that in the end I'll now get my Collector's Edition, but probably at the cost of my soul.