Online 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?