Upon the eve of the official release of Super Street Fighter IV, there have been numerous reports of retailers breaking the release date; known as the street date in business terms.
Most retailers have very strict policies in selling games on their release dates. Stores like Best Buy, GameStop and Walmart are usually the enforcers of these rules. Yet, there are some loopholes for a few retailers.
The smaller and local stores like Play and Trade, normally do not have a set date to sell certain games because their sales can not match those of the big boys. In addition, there are some bigger stores that normally honor the release but....well don't. Kmart is one example. Depending on the size of the store, they may sell the game without any restrictions. So, why are so many retailers are forced to sell the game on the release date?
Simply put, to comply with the rules by the distributors. Breaking the street date isn't bad for the consumer because that person gets the product before everyone else does. Yet, it's a big no-no to the retailers. If they they break street date (unless given the green light by the distributor or game publisher) then that particular store gets slapped with a hefty fine and may not receive any more products from that particular gaming company for a short period of time. That can REALLY hurt the sales of the company and such an action may result is lost revenue.
I had my copy of Super Street Fighter IV pre-ordered at Best Buy. When I heard about certain Best Buy stores breaking the street date, I called around to see if they sold their copies already. Of course, I heard the most common answer, "We can not sell that until April 27th.". Of course, there was a work-around for that. I had called a certain store in Frederick to see if SSFIV was in stock and although they had one copy for the XBOX 360, I went to the store and was able to find the only copy for the PlayStation 3. Now that I have spent some time playing it, check back later in the week for the review!
Release Date: April 27, 2010 Players: 1-8 Learning Curve: Varies on character Rating: Teen MSRP: $39.99