The third installment proudly breaks its street-date
FromSoftware’s Dark Souls III is one of the most anticipated games of this year and fans have been eagerly waiting for its release which is just a couple of days away. As we wait for the game’s official release, it looks like the Middle-East region is in the headlines yet again as copies of Dark Souls III have made it to retail well before the official release date.
According to our sources from the Middle-East region, Dark Souls III is now widely available in local stores a good four days before release date. The release of the game is being openly advertised in local stores and if you happen to be in Dubai, Sharjah or adjacent areas, you can buy the game from your nearest retailer.
Games being leaked before their official street dates are not something new in the Middle-East. We have seen major titles available well before release dates in the area with the most recent being Ubisoft Entertainment SA’s (EPY:UBI) The Division which was available almost seven days before its official release. Not only these, but other popular games like The Order 1886, Witcher 3 and many more have been traded openly well before official release dates in the region.
Digging into the various markets in the region, we find that bringing in games before release dates allows retailers to charge exorbitant prices for the games. One of the retailers told us that bringing in a game more than ten days before release date (which happens very often in the region) allows them to charge between 100-120 dirhams (almost $30) on top of their official price (usually 200-220 dirhams in the region). The retailer tells us that the premium price is simply because of the fact that users are able to play the game before everyone else around the world and in most cases, half of these early buyers end up finishing the game by its official release date and selling them in the local used games market.
The retailer was kind enough to provide us pictures of the box and the contents of the game which includes the standard packaging along with a special 23-page mini strategy guide by Prima. Another point worth mentioning is that the pictures of the disc depict a region 2 UK version.
While there is not a very long gap between the official release date and the leak date for Dark Souls III, it certainly tells us the state of regulations and control in the region and makes us wonder if this could spread to other parts of the world as well.