The video game store is at the centre of another street date fiasco

Gametraders is now selling grey imports of Super Mario 3D Land ahead of the titles official release date this Thursday. This has prompted other retailers such as EB Games and JB Hi-Fi to sell their stocks of Australian copies early too. Its not the first time that something like this has happened; Gametraders also sold The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D a few days before its official launch.

Mark Langford, Managing Director of Gametraders, has told Kotaku that the company has broken the street date in order to defend itself financially, claiming Nintendo is making their life difficult by refusing to sell games directly to them. “If Nintendo would just do the right thing, we wouldn’t break street date,” says Langford.

The situation is the same with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, also officially out this Thursday, with Langford almost accusing Nintendo of intentionally barring local distributors from dealing with Gametraders. “They could argue that it was the result of a limited supply of games, but Nintendo needs to be really careful here, this is the sort of thing that the ACCC are very hard on.” What Langford is referring to is a possible collusion between Nintendo and local distributors to prevent them from selling the games to Gametraders as punishment for importing and selling early copies of Ocarina of Time 3D. Keep in mind that what Gametraders is doing, selling grey imports, is perfectly legal.


Nintendo has now responded to these claims, denying that Gametraders has been treated unfairly.

“It is simply incorrect to say that Gametraders have been denied the opportunity to buy Nintendo products locally and stock them in store,” says a statement from Nintendo. “All companies are free to purchase Nintendo products from our distributors such as AID and AFA and are encouraged to do so. We strongly support local supply where revenue feeds the local Australian market.

“Our company position is that we can only trade directly with companies that meet our financial credit criteria. Gametraders have sought direct supply from Nintendo however they have been unsuccessful on more than one occasion.”

The issue is that Gametraders needs to buy from other distributors at higher prices, making them less competitive, and impelling them to sell cheaper stock imported from overseas.

But what does this all mean for you right now? Well, if youre going to buy Super Mario 3D Land or Skyward Sword from Gametraders, remember that their copies are European imports; they will still work on your Australian systems but we understand that the Club Nintendo codes will be invalid. If you want to buy the games now from other stores, youll have to speak to store staff in person as the stock they have will not be put on shelves until Thursday.

Source: Kotaku