GameStop's top spokesman contacted Kotaku on Sunday evening to confirm that certain of its stores broke Modern Warfare 2's Nov. 10 street date and began selling the game this weekend. GameStop corporate authorized the sales, he said.
The statement, from Chris Olivera, vice president for corporate communications at GameStop's Grapevine, Texas headquarters:
This past weekend, GameStop made the decision to break street date and sell reserved copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in select markets where other retailers had broken street date. Our decision followed many conversations with Activision and was an effort to protect our customer base.
Earlier, Activision told Kotaku that it did not give GameStop its permission to break the street date. "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."
Olivera did not specify exactly how many of its stores GameStop authorized to sell Modern Warfare 2, nor in all of the markets it did so. From reader tips and follow-up phone calls, Kotaku knows that stores in Bowie, Md., Bowling Green, Ohio, Reading, Pa., and New York City were involved.
I've asked if this is unprecedented or if GameStop had ever done this with another game before. Should Olivera follow back up with me, I'll update all he has to say in this story.