Remember when retailers breaking Mortal Kombat’s “Mortal Monday” release date was big news? These days, it seems like a major game release doesn’t go by without someone breaking the street date. Case in point: according to Gameeater, an unnamed video game store in Westminster, Colorado has (and by now, “had”) four copies of the Xbox 360 version of Call of Duty 4 available for purchase. Meanwhile, user adams828 has posted screenshots from his Playstation 3 copy of the first-person shooter over at the AVS Forum.
When a retailer breaks a release date, they are forced to pay fines to the game’s distributor, if they get caught, of course. These fines are usually extremely high, as the distributor charges the retailer for each copy sold before the official release date. For example, when Target broke the Nintendo DS Lite release date, Nintendo fined them $10,000 per unit sold early, according to unofficial sources. Despite the detrimental effects on some poor retailer’s pocket books, however, many stores often respond to a broken release date by breaking the date themselves, not wanting to lose potential game sales to the competition. So, start calling local stores to see if they’re selling their copies of Call of Duty 4 yet. At the very worst, all they can say is no.