Following confirmation that the US 360 edition of Ghostbusters will be region free, retail does not expect a rush to cash in on imports owing to the game's UK PlayStation exclusivty.
The game debuted at number four in the ELSPA GfK-ChartTrack All Formats Top 40 this week.
Though there is still a trade in import games on the High Street, retailers who choose to sell non-EU products can still face legal consequences.
“Any retailer selling imported games breaches copyright if the product is not licensed for sale in the UK,” explained ERA’s Kim Bayley. “The likelihood of ‘being caught’ would depend on the copyright owner knowing that the retailer was selling it.
“If this is the case it is for the copyright owner to take action against the importer. We would encourage all retailers to compete on a level playing field. However, we would also encourage publishers to make product available should there be retail demand.”
Importing was a problem for the industry in the past, when European release dates would be months or even years behind those in the US and Japan. However, with global releases commonly now separated by just a matter of days, the import business is now more an online affair.
“Many retailers have long severed their relationships with potential Stateside suppliers or have no idea where to look, other than on consumer online stores,” Game Guide editor Chris Ratcliff told MCV.