Rockstar Investigates Unauthorized GTA 5 Sales

Rockstar Investigates Unauthorized GTA 5 Sales

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Copies of Grand Theft Auto V have been showing up in the wild before tomorrow's release date, which concerns the title's publisher.

Rockstar Games is reportedly launching an investigation today after Amazon.com allegedly broke the street date for Grand Theft Auto V. The game isn't scheduled to hit shelves until Tuesday, but many customers found that their pre-ordered copies had been delivered over the weekend.

Obviously, this is the kind of infraction that ruffles feathers in the videogame industry. Grand Theft Auto is one of the most profitable franchises on the market, and publishers take release dates very seriously--especially when the title is expected to sell 20 million copies over the next six months.

This morning Rockstar issued a brief statement to GamesIndustry International but was characteristically vague about the details. "We are in the process of investigating early 'sales'," the statement reads, "to determine how and why that is occurring."

More often than not, leaks like this are the result of an error or miscommunication. It's certainly not in Amazon's best interest to prematurely ship its copies of GTA 5, because this type of behavior can result in some pretty severe consequences. But, it does give Amazon a distinct advantage in customer satisfaction, which probably doesn't make other retailers happy.

However, it's incredibly difficult to quantify how much damage a broken street date might cause. The game has already started to surface within many prominent piracy communities, so the damage may already be done. Though, it's often impossible to identify the origin of a pirated title, which means that the leak may have come from another source.

Either way, the folks at Rockstar are crossing their fingers for some spectacular sales figures. Hopefully this won't throw a wrench into their plans.

Source: GamesIndustry International

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Josh Engen:

Either way, the folks at Rockstar are crossing their fingers for some spectacular sales figures. Hopefully this won't throw a wrench into their plans.

Judging by the metacritic scores, GTA V has now been promoted to Unstoppable Force.

More often than not, leaks like this are the result of an error or miscommunication. It's certainly not in Amazon's best interest to prematurely ship its copies of GTA 5,

Haha, pull the other one, no really it squeaks.

Amazon routinely ships games, DVD, CD and books early, usually by a couple of days but I've had movies turn up more than a week before the street date. They do it to drive sales, because it works and they can get away with it.

Amazon is one of the biggest retailers in the world, it does sixty billions dollars worth of business a year. Even if Take 2/Rockstar investigate and find that Amazon jumped the gun on purpose (which they always do) what exactly are they going to do, pull all Take 2 products from Amazon and hope the other outlets take up the slack? Hope no third parties start distributing by Amazon to fill the gap? Sue them for selling the stock they bought?

For all the sound and fury, the flipping their shit at Microsoft and the banning people for having the temerity to play the game they paid for when it arrived a couple of days early, when it comes to Amazon, Take 2 and Rockstar are just going to have to shut up and like it. There's no situation where they antagonise Amazon and come out ahead.

The above poster's good point about the benefits and lack of risk to Amazon aside, they also guaranteed release day delivery. I wouldn't be surprised if they were shipped with the intent that they would arrive tomorrow.

Then again, as it's Amazon and they CAN get away with it....

I don't see where the problem is. People will still buy the copies they intended to buy, and the pirates would've just as easily cracked it if they got it on the release date. As I understand it, those release dates are more of a recommendation that a rule to be obeyed. If they really want to do something about it, they can just ship the game individually so that copies arrive at each place at the correct time (and not before), which is a logistical nightmare.

fix-the-spade:

More often than not, leaks like this are the result of an error or miscommunication. It's certainly not in Amazon's best interest to prematurely ship its copies of GTA 5,

Haha, pull the other one, no really it squeaks.

Amazon routinely ships games, DVD, CD and books early, usually by a couple of days but I've had movies turn up more than a week before the street date. They do it to drive sales, because it works and they can get away with it.

Amazon is one of the biggest retailers in the world, it does sixty billions dollars worth of business a year. Even if Take 2/Rockstar investigate and find that Amazon jumped the gun on purpose (which they always do) what exactly are they going to do, pull all Take 2 products from Amazon and hope the other outlets take up the slack? Hope no third parties start distributing by Amazon to fill the gap? Sue them for selling the stock they bought?

For all the sound and fury, the flipping their shit at Microsoft and the banning people for having the temerity to play the game they paid for when it arrived a couple of days early, when it comes to Amazon, Take 2 and Rockstar are just going to have to shut up and like it. There's no situation where they antagonise Amazon and come out ahead.

Also this.

They can then rely on people using them next time in the hope of similar "misunderstandings". Shameless really.

fix-the-spade:

More often than not, leaks like this are the result of an error or miscommunication. It's certainly not in Amazon's best interest to prematurely ship its copies of GTA 5,

Haha, pull the other one, no really it squeaks.

Amazon routinely ships games, DVD, CD and books early, usually by a couple of days but I've had movies turn up more than a week before the street date. They do it to drive sales, because it works and they can get away with it.

Amazon is one of the biggest retailers in the world, it does sixty billions dollars worth of business a year. Even if Take 2/Rockstar investigate and find that Amazon jumped the gun on purpose (which they always do) what exactly are they going to do, pull all Take 2 products from Amazon and hope the other outlets take up the slack? Hope no third parties start distributing by Amazon to fill the gap? Sue them for selling the stock they bought?

For all the sound and fury, the flipping their shit at Microsoft and the banning people for having the temerity to play the game they paid for when it arrived a couple of days early, when it comes to Amazon, Take 2 and Rockstar are just going to have to shut up and like it. There's no situation where they antagonise Amazon and come out ahead.

This is totally valid, man.

And also depressing.

As long as the copies of the game were brought and payed for legally from Amazon.. i don't see the big deal. Rockstar is still getting paid, so it's fine

As a Game Developer, I have no problems with Amazon shipping copies early, it probably not even Amazon's fault they use 3rd party shippers like UPS and Fedex. To these shipping companies, it always better to ship early than have stuff arrive late, especially if you can bundle it with other packages, then it financially better to ship early. This isn't brick and mortal store which has the ability to sell right at midnight, The majority of people who ordered off of Amazon are going to get there game until several hours later.

If the copies arrived in the customers' sweaty paws late, there'd be people on that side flipping their lids - with as much likely to be done about it in future. At least this way the paying customer is even happier, right? So what's the problem? That day or two won't make a bit difference in terms of any piracy.

The most likely scenario: shipping company says delivery within 2 weeks. Amazon ships exactly 14 days before. The shipping company delviers faster than the latest cut-off date that they can. outrage ensues.

Haha. I like how they put 'sales' in air quotes. They ARE sales.
And Amazon...brilliant. Were it a small store then harsh consequences can be applied easily; don't supply to them in the future, they lose business, job done. But Amazon? Rockstar at best could just say "Sorry to bother you, but if you could try to not let this happen again we'd be ever so grateful. But if it did, that would be fine too".

Rockstar need Amazon a thousand times more than Amazon needs anything from Rockstar.

Anyway, I've had pre-orders early in the past too. When you have mass distribution with wholesale, retail and logistics trying to ensure everyone is stocked up ahead of time, on the basis it cannot all be done in a single day some people will get it before others. Chances are Amazon received it, processed it then matched copies to orders which were then packed and shipped. The difficulty comes with online stores, not brick and mortar ones. Online stores need to send something at least 1 day (possibly more in the USA?) before release day to ensure it arrives on the day. And on the freak chance of the postal service being fast, people get it early.

I wish the UK version was the same, mine said it'd arrive today but it didn't arrive with the rest of my mail. Generally speaking in the UK you do not get it from Amazon early because if you order first class it normally arrives the next day anyway, and if you pay for guaranteed next day they send it by courier. If you go with the free option it tells you not to expect it on release date so they are covered.

Other retailers on the other hand quite often send them out by second class post so they dispatch them earlier to make sure it definitely arrives on time, which sometimes means that you get it early. Or else they send it first class but two days beforehand. Amazon seems to get priority when it comes to shipping items.

F*ck Rockstar on this... I've always believed that a customer orders a product, they should have access to it the second it's produced. If the disc is at my local GameStop at opening on 9/12 I should be able to get it. I understand street dates for theatrical releases for scheduling but for physical products it should be the 'latest available time.

As far as it messing up the sales data, that point is hogwash....these are fully paid for copies from preorder and have already been accounted for.

While their dev team should be commended for their hard work, their PR and upper management need to chill

 

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