Electronic Arts' massively multiplayer Earth & Beyond is to receive only a limited release in Europe, despite the large number of European gamers on the official beta which ended last week. In order to restore beta characters and start playing again, interested parties will have to buy the game from one of a selection of sanctioned online retailers. For the UK, Amazon will be stocking the game, although it only arrived on their listings this week. The online retailer was completely oblivious to it as recently as last Friday, although now the game will apparently ship (priced £34.99 plus shipping) on October 4th.
In the face of huge demand, some retailers have gone behind EA's back and decided to stock US copies of the game. Gameplay started selling the imported US release on Friday, priced £32.99, and will also ship on October 4th.
Retailers in continental Europe include several in Germany (Playcom, Vitrex Multimedia, Flashpoint AG, Game It! and Ingram Macrotron), several more in Sweden (EA Shop, Tradition, CDON and Gamesmix), Akers Mic Online in Norway, Boomtown in Denmark, E-shop.ru in Russia, and Dynabyte and Fnac.be in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Earth & Beyond has gathered significant critical acclaim since it began testing, so it seems a little odd that EA is playing the game down in Europe, but those among you with a hankering for an interactive galaxy are at least now to be given a limited outlet.
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