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Rockstar "investigating" GTA V early sales

Street date broken by online retailer Amazon

The street date for highly-anticipated release Grand Theft Auto V has been broken, with many consumers who pre-ordered their copies of the game receiving it this weekend.

The title is officially due for release on Tuesday but online retailer Amazon has already dispatched copies of the game, much to the delight of consumers, who have been posting images to social networking sites Instagram and Twitter.

Rockstar has issued a short note to GamesIndustry International stating: "We are in the process of investigating early 'sales' to determine how and why that is occurring."

The move will frustrate bricks-and-mortar retailers who only received their stock on Saturday and possibly push stores to begin selling the game early.

Grand Theft Auto V is likely to be one of the biggest sellers this generation with some estimating it could shift 18 million units during publisher Take-Two's financial year.

Latest comments (15)

Carl Hudson Studying Computer Science, University of Adelaide3 years ago
Amazon took advantage of the opportunity to make customers really happy knowing full well that nothing will come of it. Personally, the game doesn't interest me in the slightest.
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Aaron Johnson Buyer 3 years ago
I don't think this was intentional Carl. Having worked for a game retailer, I can tell you that breaking street dates is a sure way to get fired. An angry call from Rockstar (or any publisher for that matter) is not one I'd like to take. Again, I don't think Amazon meant to ship early.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
Perhaps Amazon is too big to care? Small online retailers and bricks-and-mortar stores can't afford to anger publishers in such a way, but can Rockstar afford to lose Amazon? Unlikely. I suspect that Rockstar will remain angry for awhile, but will also behave in a very diplomatic fashion no matter the reasons for this. Personally, I think it was Amazon's famous customer-service coming to the fore, coupled with speedier than expected post.
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Show all comments (15)
Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game3 years ago
I've known people to get pre-ordered games from Amazon and online retailers early, a they don't want to risk them being delayed. I'm surprised if this is the first time it has come to the publishers attention.
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James Butterworth IT Hardware & Software 3 years ago
I can relate to you, Andrew. I got my copy of Saints Row 4 early, it came on the Wednesday, a day before release date, and it was ordered with Game, so it isn't just Amazon. I have had games arrive early with Amazon, Saints Row 3 was the one.

Game sent out emails to people who had preordered GTA V, me included, saying they will honour Rockstar's request not to ship until the 16th, they also did the same with GTA IV, and honoured it.

Deep Silver didn't care about preorders for SR:IV arriving early, they wanted to get copies out there to get sales in before GTA V was released, everyone knows other games are taking a backseat on Tuesday ;)
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster3 years ago
Accidents happen but its not like Rockstar are really going to lose out in the long run. I don't think they would even consider taking sanctions against Amazon either.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
I agree that this was probably an accident, not a deliberate attempt by Amazon to impress those who preordered. It happens considerably less often in the US so it could have to do with Amazon UK operations in specific.
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Sasha Yelesin Student 3 years ago
Wish I preordered from Amazon now.
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Atilla Hulsebos Senior Editor / Tech, PS3life3 years ago
From the comments I've seen it's been mostly people that live the furthest away from an Amazon warehouse, some on offshore islands that get their stuff by airmail. Those orders get shipped a few days earlier by Amazon to make sure it arrives on release day. Except with some of these places, royal mail is lightning fast from the mainland sometimes. Like this time apparently.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
Well... it sure beats one alternative: NOT getting that game you paid for already on that street date. Wasn't there an issue with Amazon or Best Buy last year or some other recent holiday season about people not getting holiday orders until much later?
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Maybe trying to avoid any postal strikes?
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Sam Brown Programmer, Cool Games Ltd.3 years ago
It doesn't always work, I remember paying Amazon for release-day delivery of Mass Effect 3 and it actually turning up four days late. (If my incandescent rage at them for this was the thing that made them break the street date with GTA5, then I apologise to Rockstar. ^__^ )
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Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios3 years ago
Maybe trying to avoid any postal strikes?
If they want to avoid Postal strikes, maybe they shouldn't use USPS :P
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
@Joshua: Oh, I hope that was a joke. USPS has actually gotten better with shipping these days (at least for me) and hell, if the folks who want it dead kill it off, you won't be mailing anything anywhere without getting overcharged by some company in the pockets of one party or another. If the Post Office here could get rid of the STUPID financial leash placed on it and operate as it should, they'd not be in the position they'd be in.

@Tom - trying to do that with a game that sells as many RETAIL copies as a GTA does will do nothing but lose sales to people who still live in areas where they can't get broadband. Penalizing them for an issue cased by a distributor isn't fair or smart at the end of the day. Sure, in a perfect world, that unlock mode works perfectly... but I don't even want to know what happens if there's ever a launch day server side issue where "oops" people can't download that game update because you have X million others trying to do the same thing or there's some other issues. I've heard and read of such chaos and I just have to be glad that I can still pop in a game and PLAY it right away or after a mandatory install (which is great for making dinner while waiting through)...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Greg Wilcox on 17th September 2013 5:38pm

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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game3 years ago
@Tom.
Didn't the console playing crowd just get done with telling Microsoft that they didn't want that right now? It would be abysmal timing to implement that in a single player console game (especially on the 360 version) just after Microsoft polished off the humble pie.
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