Login | Signup

ShopTo & Activision At Odds Over Call Of Duty: Ghosts Release Date

Carl Phillips
Activision, Call Of Duty: Ghosts, Pre-orders, Release dates, ShopTo

ShopTo & Activision At Odds Over Call Of Duty: Ghosts Release DateOnline Retailer Refusing To Sell Upcoming Titles From The Publisher

Leading UK e-tailer ShopTo has announced that it will not be selling any upcoming titles from publisher Activision because of its policy with release dates and pre-orders. The final straw has come with Call Of Duty: Ghosts, which due for release on 13th November, a Tuesday, with Activision stating that retailers cannot post pre-orders any earlier than the Monday before. ShopTo has responded by saying such decisions hurt online retailers, both in a financial manner and in customer satisfaction, leading to the bold move of not stocking any new games from the publishing behemoth as a result.It has emerged that Activision have enforced this rule due to the growing number of retailers (both online and on the high street) that break release dates to either ensure customers get their product on time or to encourage more pre-order sales. With costly midnight launches arranged by the publisher being affected as a result, Activision has stated that any retailer that refuses to comply with their contract could be refused a re-stock, and could even see copies of future games not turning up until the actual release date.

In a statement issued to Eurogamer, ShopTo boss Igor Cipolletta explains that Tuesday release dates “effectively destroys an e-tailer's pre-order campaign” as deliveries do not have enough time to get to customers, and in turn affects the level of trust for the retailer.

"Their friends and acquaintances, by word of mouth and social media, (despite possibly not having ever ordered from us), would see us (and possibly e-tailers as a whole) as unreliable. This despite all the time and hard work my team and the myriad of other publishers put into other titles during the year.”

Cipolletta explained the main issue is that, by releasing on a Tuesday, paying staff to work over weekends ends up reducing potential profit, unlike Friday release dates where staff wages are covered by a normal working week. He went on to say that most publishers usually “understand and appreciate that Royal Mail takes 1-3 days to deliver 1st Class to our UK mainland customers.” He went on to declare that Activision's decision was a “stock market trick that show investors the sales from Tuesday to Sunday rather than Friday to Sunday”, a move done to help “the market share of the publisher” and nothing more.

Were Activision to allow pre-orders to be sent out earlier, Cipolletta would be willing to change ShopTo’s stance, but as it stands listings for Call Of Duty: Ghosts, Deadpool, and Skylanders Swap Force are nowhere to be found on the website. While this is an interesting turn of events, there is a good chance that Activision will see this as just a minor setback, with any potential sales at ShopTo going elsewhere. Meanwhile, ShopTo will suffer from a lack of revenue from the launch, hurting their yearly profits.

So, where do you sit in all of this? Are you for or against ShopTo’s bold stance, or do you already have a pre-order elsewhere? Perhaps you are planning on attending the midnight launch at your local store, or are going to get a digital copy to remove the hassle?

Add a comment10 comments
GetsugaTenshoS  May. 8, 2013 at 11:43

I think ShopTo have a pretty solid reason for doing what they're doing but at the same time, I think a lot of their customers will be unhappy that they can't buy the game from there.

Lots of people like buying from one place so they can build up their reward points and they'll probably find it annoying to be spending the same amount elsewhere without being able to add a few more reward points to their accounts.

I doubt I'll be picking up the game anyhow. I was really let down by BO2 and haven't really regained my interest in the series since then. Maybe if the game play looks good but I'll probably just stick to other games for a bit.

DivideByZero  May. 8, 2013 at 12:18

I though Black Ops 2 was excellent and it actually restored my interest in the series after the awful MW3 (which was just MW2 set in worse maps for me).

But that aside, I think this is a good and brave move by a great shop... however, it's a bit like punching a shark. It may work but if it doesn't you are in big trouble.

socialjeebus  May. 8, 2013 at 12:44

As a regular customer of Shopto (when I'm actually in Blighty - which admittedly is less and less nowadays) I can't remember the last time I ordered, let alone pre-ordered an Activision title (does Sleeping Dogs count, lol).

In fact a quick look at their back catalog (how the heck did they ever think Sleeping Dogs wasn't good enough for release, next to Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse or 007 Legends?) and COD aside (I don't play FPS anymore - I overdid them at Uni) will anybody miss any of their licensed crap?

Nascar? James Bond games?

gmdlogan  May. 8, 2013 at 13:10

I'm not into it this year. For first time in years. Not after the £43 season pass and **** servers on BO2. 3bar signal and it lags like hell. Could play Mw2 on 2 bars perfectly.

MW3 was epically **** poor. And I was one of IW's biggest fans.

Breadster  May. 8, 2013 at 13:15

I think it will hurt them financially, but it keeps up their reputation of being the most reliable online retailer. I love Shopto, and it's great that they're willing to lose sales to demonstrate their dedication to getting orders to customers on time.

As it stands I'm not planning on getting the next CoD anyway, and I can't think of another Activision game that has me interested at the momenr.

MattGardner  May. 8, 2013 at 13:32

@socialjeebus: RE. Sleeping Dogs, I'm so glad we never have to find out! Given that Squeenix gave UFG plenty of time to polish and finish the game, I dare say that True Crime HK under Acti would have been a shadow of the game it eventually became.

socialjeebus  May. 8, 2013 at 13:44

@socialjeebus: RE. Sleeping Dogs, I'm so glad we never have to find out! Given that Squeenix gave UFG plenty of time to polish and finish the game, I dare say that True Crime HK under Acti would have been a shadow of the game it eventually became.

I can't argue with that Matt.

Still, given some of the utter drivel Acti release you have to wonder just what goes on there.

I have to agree with gmdlogan on the Season Pass debacle and with Breadster on Shopto.

I really like Shopto, not always the cheapest but they have delivered the fastest (for me) and for free.

Late  May. 8, 2013 at 14:45

Kudos to ShopTo for making a stance and not giving in to bullying. It'll cost them, in terms of sales of Activision games, but I imagine they'll gain sales of all other developers' titles now that they've effectively set in stone their reputation for shipping titles a couple of days before release.
They've long been the go-to guys for guaranteeing you get your game on time (or even a day or two early) and if they'd bent over on this they'd have lost that reputation.

Completely unrelated to their dispute with ShopTo, I do think there's a good chance Activision are going to see sales slip with this year's instalment of COD. As with several other posters above, I don't think I'll be buying it this year - despite having bought every release in recent years.

Some folk will naturally find a correlation between sales dipping and ShopTo binning Activision off - which means yet more support for ShopTo and more criticism of Activision.

Kopite211  May. 8, 2013 at 20:51

Good on them. Shopto have always been speedy at delivery but these mpositions put about by Activision lead to undue pressure on the retailers.

bggriffiths  May. 9, 2013 at 11:21

Profit margins are notoriously low for COD titles thanks to the high RRP, but ShopTo could still come to regret this. Skylanders is a goldmine for stores and Destiny is going to do well on hype alone.

But yeah, I'm not a fan of Tuesday releases. I generally get them late from most sites.

Email Address:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.