EB Selling Ocarina Of Time Tomorrow, But Do They Have Nintendo’s Permission?

EB Selling Ocarina Of Time Tomorrow, But Do They Have Nintendo’s Permission?

Vooks has just gotten word that EB is set to begin selling official Australian copies of Ocarina of Time early, in response to Gametraders selling grey imported copies of the game a week early. The question is – do they have Nintendo’s permission?

Technically, it’s a street date break, but considering the fact that Gametraders are already selling the game at retail, this appears to be an attempt to nullify the impact of the move by Gametraders.

“It’s not technically illegal,” said a Nintendo representative, when we asked, “so there’s not much we can do.”

The Managing Director of Gametraders has posted in Kotaku this week, explaining his reasons for selling imported copies of the game early.

“Generally we don’t break street dates unless a competitor has a deal (normally provided by the publishers) that gives them a competitive advantage,” he posted. “For the record our competitors have broken street dates plenty of times.

“The big department stores in particular pay about a 1/4 of the rent than we do and they mostly don’t provide the same staffing levels.

“Our franchise owners work extremely hard and have put everything on the line so we will do whatever it takes to compete.”

The official statement from Nintendo themselves is typically vague and non-committal.

“The official release date is still June 30,” we were told.

This is an interesting move. Clearly there’s nothing that Nintendo can technically do to prevent Gametraders from selling the game in stores, but it can nullify the impact of the move by allowing others to sell early.

It’s probably worth noting that there would have been absolutely no issue to begin with if Nintendo had committed to the same release date as other territories overseas.

The question now is – will other retailers also break Street Date as a result?


  • And that’s the point.
    Why was Australian release delayed by almost 2 weeks?
    A couple days dealy – not a problem, up to 2 weeks (and in some cases, more!)? Does Nintendo realise why people give up on them, like importing etc?

  • Now we play the waiting game, will EB Games sell tomorrow? If they do we will probably never REALLY know if they have permission.

    What does this mean for other retailers? Not everyone is going to have stock a week out. That’s pretty unfair and the reason Street Date’s exist.

    • That’s what I thought as well. Surely not every retailer is born equal when it comes to their reach and logistics. Not everyone has stock waiting in a warehouse for a week.

      The whole point of the street date was to coincide with the typical big June Toy Sales going on around the country. That, and allows everyone to be on even footing on the pre-determined launch date. But GameTraders fired the first shot.

    • I pre-ordered the Limited Edition version from EB Online and received an e-mail today stating that my game has been shipped. It will most likely turn up tomorrow. This would indicate that EB *will* be selling the game in store tomorrow.

  • “It’s probably worth noting that there would have been absolutely no issue to begin with if Nintendo had committed to the same release date as other territories overseas.”

    Don’t be silly, that’s far too sensible a thought to be valid when talking about video games in Australia.

  • The Australian release date has to do with a market plan. Do you think it’s coincidence that the big toy sales start today?

    And yes there is something Nintendo can do about it. Breaking street date brings bad report with publishers, and a big company like nintendo can hold back stock. They have before, and who can blame them? They can look at the relationship they have with certain retailers and decide if they want to help them out with more stock or shipping stock early etc.

      • But if they don’t nintendo can still do something about it. They did when GAME sold Dragon Quest early by accident last year.

    • Yes but Nintendo also needs to look at the other side of the coin. Look at Gametraders, they are selling the game right now.

      Yes their intentions were to stick it to EB and Nintendo for the exclusive Ocarina Edition but they inadvertently sent a message to Nintendo saying we can just import them from overseas and possibly save money cutting the publishers out. We do get overcharged alot and the international market does alot more than make Mortal Kombat available down under.

      Nintendo HQ and others really need to start taking the international distribution channels more seriously. The world has changed and it seems Nintendo bigwigs don’t seem to notice.

      Maybe they are too busy eating endangered species. (mods if you find that last sentence too political or racist feel free to delete it).

    • Capcom have actually surprisingly drawn the Line in the sand with “Resident Evil: The Mercinaries”, shipping the game delibratly without the ability to delete saved files. Thus effectivly killing any potential to resell the game(although this isn’t good for private resellers, I agree with their move). This is obviously a protest against EB refusing to send the retail profits of secondhand games to publishers.

      EB have boycotted the game in return.

      Fuck EB, they are killing the game industry from the inside. They stupid little retail “monopoly” is coming to an end and they are scared. EB is the new Atari… they rode the wave of sucess and even made it happen in the late ninties…. Now things have moved on from their business model in favor of digital distribution and they are starting to act like bullies.

      Nintendo never forgets stuffing around like this.

      I hope Big W, Myer, JB and other retail outlets using the “old” model sell craploads of copies of this game! Thanks EB, hopefully you just sent a wad of revenue to importers, Department stores and other less idiotic specialist game shops.

      Official Nintendo Magazine should promote the game heavily and tell people where they can and can’t get a copy!

  • You do realize why eb are doing this. Its because everywhere is so cheap and eb wants there $69 dollars. Pfft i will wait!!!!

      • Just to let you know, the Ocarina is plastic. I currently have a purple plastic ocarina, had it for years, but I never play it. Why? Because it sound like crap.
        Go to GT and get a ceramic one. Yes, it is more expensive but it’ll sound just like the one link plays.

        As with this debate, GT is selling UK versions of OOT. EBGames is selling Aus versions. Obviously they have permission from Nintendo.
        Also lots of people have broken street dates. Kmart was fined heavily for releasing Fable II early and wasn’t allowed to sell it. Or was it target… I don’t remember.

        • Yes it is plastic and probably sounds like crap… But it’s free and a collectible.

          Thats not my initial argument anyway. The point of the ocarina as a pre-order bonus was that it is a way for EB to compete and get market share from the bigs guys selling it cheap.

          This way customers get something extra and on the flip side EB don’t have to price match because of it.

          • Like i said here and in the other news story, It doesn’t matter if it’s cheap crap. EB thought of a way to get people to pre-order and at the same time not have to price match. It could have been a folded up piece of paper with a crappy EB staff drawn link on it, they still took an idea and ran with it, rather than rely on breaking street date to make money.

          • Tell that to the guys buying those $500 PVC anime statues with panties.

            Or the boffins who collect airfix models.

            Or the enthusiasts who are into tabletop gaming.

            Or pretty much any pre-order bonus on the planet.

            A collectible is what you make of it.

  • You last comment is spot-on Mark. Unfortunately, I think I know why Nintendo set their release date when they did – school holidays.

    I know that movies often do this (e.g. Wall-E was delayed by months) and it does make some sense there, as movies that tank in the first week or two disappear quickly. But it’s totally pointless for games, particularly when the Nintendo first party games have been shown to maintain steady sales trajectories for years.

    In fact, this strategy has lost them local sales. I imported from the UK because I would get it earlier (and cheaper, but that’s a different story) than their release, even after shipping.

  • So is this information going to be on the EB Games website eventually or something?

    Knowing my luck I will go into EB tomorrow and won’t give me my pre-order. Maybe I’ll just wait until the weekend.

    • I can tell you now that if you go into your local EB Games store tomorrow and if they have stock, they will give it to you. Just remember guys that their head office/DC is in Brisbane, so if they can one day ship to a store, they will. If it takes longer… well it will take longer. If you are in South East Queensland at least, you should be right to go in and get your copies tomorrow. Might I recommend calling the store first before going in to…

  • All I can say is do not buy this from EB, unless you desperately want the Ocarina. EB won’t price match because they are the only ones selling it with the Ocarina.

    Dick Smith has it for $47.94, Kmart for $49, JB for $54 and Game for $58.

    Big W has a big sale coming up, and might even have a price that trumps them all.

    So either wait, or go to GT if you want it tomorrow.

    • I got EB gift vouchers for my birthday a month ago. At first I was all “what the hell am I supposed to do with that!”.

      The ocarina is only a mild attraction for me, but it is a good excuse to get rid of the gift vouchers.

    • EB Games will also be stocking the versions without the ocarina, and will price match as long as the compeditor has it in stock and is selling it. *hint hint – use the 7 day return policy to get your game early and then return it to price match when everyone else starts selling – hint hint*

    • Good call. I only buy the other stuff GT sells like plushies and Mario toys etc. Don’t remember the last game i got from them.

    • i only ever buy old n64 games from them (i actually got my copy of OoT there). i never buy new releases from them because its way more expensive than all the rest.

      • The Marion Gametraders store is a hell of a lot cheaper than Game and EB in the same centre. not on every single item but overall is way cheaper. Most of the time their prices are the same or a bit less than JB

    • I only ever buy from Game Traders. At least they know their products and have an awesome retro range.

      Who would shop at EB – overpriced, don’t honour their extended warranties, staff that know nothing about gaming.

  • Should i find it funny that so many people are getting so bent out of shape about us getting this a few weeks later, even though it’s game they’ve probably played several time over already???

    I mean, in my thinking, if you’re that desperate to play it allll over again, wouldn’t you just pull out the N64 or Gamecube to tide yourself over?

    Heck, by the time it launched you could have completed it for the 4th time to start over again..

  • Just spoke to my local EB where I have my preorder and they knew nothing about it. It probably hasn’t filtered through yet but I would call tomorrow before heading in just in case.

  • Spoke to my local EB, they got a e-mail telling them to sell copys tomorrow, however they can only sell them if you actually ask to buy it, or pickup your pre-order. However they can’t ring up telling people their pre-orders are in until the 30th. The guy I spoke to was really confused about it.

    Judging from EbGameAus’s replys to vooks though and what I heard, seems like EB were trying to do this suttlely without Nintendo of Australias knowledge tomorrow after they recieved shipments from them.

    • I heard the same thing today before I even heard about it, or read this article. I was coincidentally down there to put down my $10 for the supposed June 30 release when the manager told me about it. And that I had to specifically check in at 3PM for it. I think it’s a specific ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Kinda seedy.

  • FYI, my copy was shipped out from EB games today, before I read all the news about the street date being broken (around 10am, my card was charged, 3pm I got the email saying it was shipped)

  • Just called my local (EB Kotara) and they said it “depends if they get stock”. Anyone else get this response?

  • I called my EB and they might sell it tomorrow, just need to call them again to make sure.

    Thank you Gametraders for giving us this opportunity.

  • Fingers crossed. I’m sad to say this but I will rage if they don’t. I hate eb enough without them giving me another reason to hate them. If they don’t give me the game they better give me my money back!

  • Yep, walked in and bought it. You have to ask though, as they’re apparently not allowed to show any signage advertising that they’re selling it.

    Nintendo gave’em permission on that strict basis.

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