International release dates for games are stupid

Here's John Walker on the absurdity of staggered international release dates for games that everyone has already pre-downloaded.

The reason it happens, as best as we’ve ever been able to ascertain, is because of retail. Games have traditionally always been released on a Tuesday in the US, and a Friday in the UK. Before there was an internet concreting over the seas, a US postcard sent boasting about it would arrive in the UK after it had finally been released. Now, however, we see it appearing on our chums’ “now playing” info in Steam, while staring at our own purchased and completely unplayable copy. Except it’s not unplayable, of course, because if it’s out in the US, it’s accessible to the whole world in a pirated form.

It's completely insane. An industry, built on marketing entitlements to the young, is trying to micromanage access to stuff that they've already paid for in a world where The Pirate Bay's top 100 is just a click away.