GameStops in Northeastern states such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are selling Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 early, with one store claiming special dispensation from Activision due to street-breaking mom-and-pop stores.
Here in Atlanta we still have to wait until Monday's midnight launch to pick up Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but lucky folks in several Northeastern states are getting their copies earlier. According to a GameStop employee I spoke to in Bowling Green, Ohio, Activision granted certain area stores special permission to sell the game early, in order to stem the tide of lost customers picking their copies up early from local mom and pop stores.
Update: Activision says this was not the case. Activision contacted Kotaku today with an official statement regarding the situation in Bowling Green and surrounding areas: "Activision has not given any retailer permission to sell Modern Warfare 2 prior to the Nov. 10 street date. The company fully supports the Nov.10 street date."
Second Update: GameStop corporate responded to Kotaku late Sunday afternoon, confirming that the decision to break the street date was made corporately.
The original story continues:
The employee actually greeted me with "Thank you for calling GameStop, where you can pick up Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2." Calls to my local GameStop stores were greeted with claims of jealousy and invitations to come by Monday night to pick up my copy. Dammit.
Thanks to C & C Games for sending us a copy of their receipt, and everyone in New York and Pennsylvania who sent in tips. Lucky bastards.
The comment section would be an excellent place for you to bitch about the general unfairness of all of this.