Grand Theft Auto V will allegedly not be shipped by online retailers until September 16th – just one day before its release.
That’s according to an email obtained by Videogamer in which GAME claims Rockstar has made the demand of all UK retailers.
It reads: "They have requested that no UK retailer despatch GTA V before the 16th September and GAME, along with all reputable retailers, will respect this request."
First Class Royal mail delivery should see the game still arrive with many customers on the day of release, but many will face the prospect of not receiving it until the following day – or conceivably even later.
That’s why online retailers typically ship out new releases earlier in the week, quite often on a Wednesday. The result, of course, is that titles will often arrive a day before their official release date. This is obviously something Rockstar is keen to avoid with a game as huge as Grand Theft Auto V.
Whether this will have a knock-on effect remains to be seen.
Leading online indie retailer ShopTo revealed in May that it would not be stocking November’s Call of Duty: Ghosts because Activision would not allow it to be posted until the day before its release.
This, it claimed, “effectively destroys an e-tailer's pre-order campaign as many deliveries inevitably arrive post-release date."
ShopTo boss Igor Cipolletta added: "This has the undesired effect of previously loyal and satisfied customers thinking that, if we can't 'get it right' for one of the biggest games of the year, why should they trust us with any future orders?”
The game is still not available on the site.
Fellow online retailer SimplyGames was last year caught up in a controversy surrounding COD: Black Ops II when it shipped the game to some customers early, meaning they got it on Saturday November 10th ahead of its official release on November 13th.