Have you ever got a game before release???

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bodger0ne

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So, with all the big releases underway, it's that time of year that people are trying to dodge spoilers for the newest games as people manage to get their hands on copies before the intended release date, and it made me think, have any of the Duder's here got a tale of getting a game before release??

I've got 2 tales I can recall, to start:

Headhunter(Dreamcast - 2001)

So, this one was a true Found-on-the-Store-Shelf, street date broken find. I was 15 years old at the time, and my main console was the Sega Dreamcast. I had saved up doing paper routes and purchased the console through a Catalogue (Littlewoods, back in the UK) and it came with Sonic Adventure, Omikron - The Nomad Soul, and a VMU to save (which didn't turn up for 2 weeks after the console, but that's another story) but as we all know the Dreamcast's fate in that generation, it wasn't exactly high on store's stocking lists when it came to new games but that didn't stop me reading gaming magazines and wanting everything.

So, imagine my surprise when I went out to town one weekend, and did my usual routine of hanging out with friends, and trawling the game shops, of which there were two big ones at the time. GAME was the main chain (like Gamestop for the UK) and the other store, Gamestation, was a much smaller company at the time, focusing more on trade-ins to sell but it did mean they had some awesome stuff that wasn't common, like selling imports (I will always regret not picking up the Wonderswan Pocket and NEOGEO Pocket Color that were in there) but they would always have one wall display of the newest games. Looking over the walls for any decent deals on trade in's, as they were usually 2 games for 15 for Dreamcast stuff, imagine my surprise at seeing Headhunter on the shelves, and not just one copy, multiples.

Thinking there was something weird, i went over to the magazine section, picked up the dreamcast magazine, and looked to the new releases section. There was Headhunter, for sale on Friday, November 16th, 2001. Only problem is today was Saturday 5th... oh my. Two weeks early??? so, of course I took it over to the till to see if they would act weird, or say we couldn't buy it yet. Nope, just outright sold it to me!

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (Playstation 3 - 2008) thu jun12

This one was much luckier, as it wasn't an in-store pickup, but I had the game pre-ordered through Play.com (now Rakuten) as they did decent deals on pre-orders, and with all the hype surrounding this game, I thought it was safer getting it shipped to home instead of fighting in shops for a copy. So when the game was set to release on June 12th, 2008 (a Thursday release?) you could say i was surprised when it turned up at my door on the Monday.

The biggest thing i remember from this one, was due to the timing and the joys of always online with the ps3, when i started playing the game, it showed up as my Currently Playing, causing a torrent of amusing messages from my friends list, mostly asking how i got it, except one friend who was super excited for it, who sent a screed of abuse because he wanted to play it first. Sucks to be him.

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styx971

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i acquired a copy of ff12 a month before release back in the day no real story to it tho. still playing it before it was out out was kinda cool . never beat it tho.

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mellotronrules

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only once.

there was a used record store in toronto that tried branching out into games once upon a time. they had bioshock 2 for xbox360 on display something like 48hrs before its street date- and my friend asked the dude behind the counter point blank. he silently pondered it for 5 seconds, and said "sure, why the fuck not" and sold it to us.

we felt pretty cool. 😎

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RaynorShine

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Not a game but I bought the ps3 slim from Best Buy before the release date because it was shipped to them without the “don’t sell before this date” label and they played dumb about it and put it on a low key shelf near the back of the store.

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DemiGodRaven

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My copy of Katamari Forever for PS3 showed up a whole two days before release. I felt like a god.

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Nodima

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#6 Nodima  Online

While I admit this doesn't fully count since all sorts of people get into betas, I still really treasure when I got into the Final Fantasy XI Playstation 2 beta-test and played the hell out of that game for the three or so months it was running. Which meant I also got a fresh PS2 HDD free of charge for my service when it was over, which made my parents' house the place to play NFL 2K since I had the actual instant replay video and expansive in-season Sportscenter updates.

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wardcleaver

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Halo 2.

I was living in Japan at the time and would order from this specialty importer for the English version of most games. They usually came from Canada or Hong Kong, I believe. Of course, I usually got them about 7-10 business days after they were released in the North America.

However, I was surprised when I received my copy of Halo 2 on a Friday, 4 days before its official release in the US.

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SethMode

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#8  Edited By SethMode

For a stretch in 2009, one of my friends was dating a guy that was an assistant manager at Gamestop at this extremely dated mall in Center City Philadelphia called The Gallery. It was this bastion of retail nostalgia for a lot of people, but also kind of a poorly maintained shithole. The latter part though, meant that a lot of stores were a lot less....strict about legal stuff let's say. This is all buildup to say that I got a I want to say 3 games before their release date during that time, as his store would routinely break street date (until someone snitched on them and they got in a TON of trouble and fired the whole managing staff, my friend included (he fucking hated the job, so it's all good).

I don't remember what the other 2 were, but the big one I do remember is Batman Arkham Asylum. I got a PS3 version of that early and I think even had finished it by the time it was released.

EDIT: my partner just informed me that one of the others was Demon's Souls, which I think I forgot because I had zero idea what the fuck was going on in that game for obvious reasons (it was my first Souls game).

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sombre

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#9 sombre  Online

When I used to work at Blockbusters, we used to get the games in like a week early. We were free to take them out and borrow them, as long as they were back for the day of release.

I played so many 360 games at that job

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monkeyking1969

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I worked at a EB Games so every once in awhile we would get a game before street date. Most of the time they very pretty precise about not having the delivery arrive until the day before, but all buscries have their flaws. I think I got Gran Turismo a day ro two early, but that is the only one I remember clearly. I got Klonoa: Door to Phantomile early, but I returned it because it just didn't thrill me.

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Corvak

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I used to be part of an (unpaid) review site, we would get some review codes from time to time, usually for smaller indie games. Mostly we were just reviewing things we bought though.

More in line with the thread, I was a benefactor of the infamous Canadian Fire Emblem: Awakening launch, where they just sold the game a week early, I believe related to a clerical error on the part of Nintendo of Canada but I never really looked too closely at it.




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redwing42

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I was a part of play testing/multiplayer beta for Halo:Reach, and I feel like I got that a couple months early. Got a funky labelled physical disc from it. That's it for me, though.

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clagnaught

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My local Best Buy had Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne on sale a week or two before it was supposed to come out. My brother and I kept doing double takes. Sure it enough it was the real thing, and not a pre-order copy or anything else. We bought it and started to play the campaign. We at tried Battle.net mainly to see if it worked, but that wasn't live at the time.

I think that's the only time that's happened to me. There may be a time where a retailor delivered a game one day early or something.

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Broshmosh

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My pre-order of Mass Effect 2 arrived something like three days ahead of launch. It was pretty great.

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daiphyer

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Okay, I have some spicy ones.

I got GTA 5 a week before release. I was in Iran at the time, and the store I got it from had gotten it early, and were checking/counting the copies from a box at around 10PM, right before closing. I happened to be passing by their store at that exact moment and saw them taking out Xbox 360 GTA 5 copies from a box. They had forgotten to lock the door, so I just barged in and asked if they would sell me a copy. The guy looked at me, and said, eh, what the hell, money is money, and handed me a copy. I went home and I finished the game by the day it was supposed to come out. That's the reason why I was able to write a review of it so early.

I got Red Dead Redemption in the same manner, but it was only two days before its release date. This was in Dubai, and the game was banned here for excessive violence/sex/Rockstar reasons. However, there were these IT stores in the bazaar that literally had anything you could ask for. He would reach under his table and get it for you. I thought I'd try my luck, and wouldn't you know it, he had three copies of Red Dead Redemption for the Xbox 360 two days before its release.

And the last one, I didn't end up buying at the time, but it was actually something that Brad mentioned in a Bombcast at one point. Some kiosk in the Mall of Emirates in Dubai was selling Saints Row the Third about 10 days or so before it was supposed to be released. They weren't making a big deal out of it, either. They just had one sitting in the shelf. I think they had somehow missed the release date or just didn't care enough to adhere to it.

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Panfoot

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Only once, Deadly Premonition, which I wasn't convinced wasn't some sort of fever dream until I found other people playing it online after I had finished it.

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bondfish

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Ordered Guitar Hero: On Tour through Costco website and got it 2-3 days before release was super cool and even made a Youtube video of unboxing it thought it would be a hit due to getting it early.

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HHAP

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@sethmode: Wow I live a block away from that mall and can't believe it was already dated back in 2009. Surprisingly, that Gamestop still exists!

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SethMode

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#19  Edited By SethMode

@hhap: Oh nice, another Philly person! Nice to meet you! Life has got to have been interesting for you over the last few weeks with the Phillies success and the "how can we stop them from climbing the polls oh we just can't".

As Gamestops seem to be like cockroaches, I'm not so much surprised that it exists as surprised the mall in any capacity does. I'll have to check the Gallery out for nostalgia's sake. I've only been back in the area since earlier this year (and even then, I'm in the suburbs of Drexel Hill) and haven't made it into the city proper yet. Anyway, I could have sworn I heard before I left for Korea a few years ago that the Gallery in general was getting gutted because they were sick of all the shit that came with it (it kind of made me sad to hear). I'm happy to learn it is still plugging along haha.

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Shindig

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In terms of retail releases, there was always a bit of chicanery going on when Grainger Games were still in business. I assume it worked for all releases but I would always get word of them selling Pro Evolution Soccer a day early. Once they had the go-ahead from head office, I snapped a copy up.

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LonelySpacePanda

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I've been reading 20 year old Penny Arcade comics every day for pure unfiltered 2002 nostalgia. One thing I learned -- and don't think I realized at the time -- Metroid Fusion leaked as a ROM like a month ahead and I guess GBA emulators existed at the time? That's kind of crazy to have such a huge release so readily available like that.

Feel like a decade ago breaking street date was common for big games like CoD but don't hear about it much anymore.

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bodger0ne

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@shindig said:

In terms of retail releases, there was always a bit of chicanery going on when Grainger Games were still in business. I assume it worked for all releases but I would always get word of them selling Pro Evolution Soccer a day early. Once they had the go-ahead from head office, I snapped a copy up.

Ah, Grainger Games! with it's Skip-esque Orange everywhere. The old store was great when i lived in the Toon for a few years, but it blew up (in all meanings of the word) was too quickly!


I've been reading 20 year old Penny Arcade comics every day for pure unfiltered 2002 nostalgia. One thing I learned -- and don't think I realized at the time -- Metroid Fusion leaked as a ROM like a month ahead and I guess GBA emulators existed at the time? That's kind of crazy to have such a huge release so readily available like that.

Feel like a decade ago breaking street date was common for big games like CoD but don't hear about it much anymore.

I remember this!! it was how i first played the game until i could buy a copy!

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HellBrendy

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I got my Dead Space 2 CE one day early. Didn't actually play it for a month later or so, though.

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Cloudleet

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At my local mall, we had an electronics-store where they got games once in a while. I was in there buying a headset when I spotted copies of Alien: Colonial Marines in a box next to the register. Knowing it wasn't due to come out before the coming friday (it was a tuesday). I said "Oh, and I was supposed to pick up that too", pointing at the cover. The guy behind the register had no idea when the releasedate was, so I got to buy it.

Oh, if only it had been a better game...

Other than that, back in the physical media days of the PS3, I used to get games maybe a day or two before release in the mail. Nothing major, but having two days to learn most of the CoD: Black Ops 2 maps before most others was super helpful.

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Bollard

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ShopTo in the UK have a history of fairly regularly delivering games a day early. Not much, but it still counts.

The earliest I can think of is when I was living in London and my friend said he knew a store that had Pokemon X and Y in stock early. We went down and they sold us it no questions asked about 3 days before launch.

I suppose with Switch uh "emulation" the way it is now this is only becoming more frequent. I played Arceus and Scarlett a week before their actual release on PC, but Arceus was a lot more playable than Scarlett was. Then again, it sounds like the actual released version of Scarlett doesn't run great either.

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quijote3000

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No. I am a patient-gamer kind of guy

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VirtuaCat

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I got Dark Souls 2 a week early because the publisher sent every store manager at my company an early copy.

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glots

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#31  Edited By glots  Online

Outside of getting some games a day or two early in the mail, I’ve got two examples that I can remember.

I was picking up Mass Effect 2 for PS3 on launch day and the guy working at the register was unpacking a box full of Dead Space 2 copies. I mentioned I had it pre-ordered, after which they just sold me one early. I think he only said that any of the online stuff probably wouldn’t work. If I had to guess, me already buying another game worked for my benefit in that case.

Another time was the CE for Wrath of The Lich King. I think I got a text message on saturday or sunday from the local Gamestop to come pick up my order and I thought it was a mistake until I was walking out of the store with my copy. Of course the only benefit there was the artbook that I could read through early, since you couldn’t exactly play an online game a week before launch.