Last week I read about an incredible offer for Ubisoft's upcoming PS3-exclusive first-person shooter "Haze." According to a flyer published on blog Dark Zero that I saw on Kotaku, the Canadian branch of EB Games (GameStop) was offering gamers what amounted to a one-week rental.
The flyer reads: "PLAY HAZE FOR A WEEK: Pre-purchase Haze and get full in-store credit back when you trade Haze in within one week of pick-up!"
Was it real? Yes. Is it still being offered?
A Ubisoft representative told me yesterday: no.
On Monday, I had contacted Ubisoft PR in the U.S. to find out how this deal had come about, what the incentive was for Ubisoft if the publisher was indeed involved, and if this generous offer was being extended to U.S. gamers as well.
What I was told by a member of the Ubisoft's PR team in the U.S. yesterday was that there had been a miscommunication between the publisher's Canadian arm and the EB Games retail chain in Canada. Furthermore, the issue has been rectified some time in the last week and the promotion has been cancelled. I was unable to get further details on how this miscommunication happened.
I contacted GameStop/EB for comment late yesterday, but have not received a reply as of this writing.
Was this deal too good to be true? It certainly was too good for a major publisher to tolerate. An offer like the one in the flyer would have a) allowed gamers a no-risk, week-long trial of a full-priced game and b) ensured that many subsequent Canadian EB sales of the game involved copies traded in by early-adopters who were done with it. Those subsequent sales of the traded-in games would in no way would have benefited the publisher of the game.
Sorry, Canadian gamers. You had to know that wasn't going to stand.