Breaking release dates has been a long time hobby of Mom and Pop video game shops all over the world. Is this against the rules? Absolutely. But who’s keeping these places under surveillance? Nobody. Therefore, if you were to go into one of these stores and buy a game before actual release, are you breaking the rules? Simply put, no. Why? Because it is not your responsibility as the consumer. You paid for the product fair and square, at full price, from a “supposed” licensed retailer. Now don’t worry I’m going somewhere with this.
The issues surrounding breaking release dates gets into this gray area when it comes to video game websites and magazines, such as DualShockers.com (click the link it’s a great website). As you may or may not know, video game websites and magazines are often times given video games before actual release. Public relations firms (PR firms) that represent a publisher do this to get their products reviewed on whichever medium, and they want the reviews up timely (preferably on or close to actual release date). However, video games given legally and early by these PR firms put their recipients on embargo. An embargo is when they are allowed to release a review. It’s kind of like being given a release date. Wait a minute… this sounds familiar. So… if you break the embargo… you break the rules. But if you bought it from a Mom and Pop shop, with your own money (which we clearly defined as not breaking the rules, and not put under an embargo, because you didn’t get it from a PR firm), is putting up an early review wrong? Did we break the rules?