Every week we compile a list of the games which we know to be available at retail that Friday, using data collected from oodles of publisher release schedules, online retailers and even down the phone from suspiciously youthful frontline sales folk, and one thing is usually pretty telling - "It's due out today, but we haven't had stock yet."
That's what we heard when we asked about Eidos' Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This At Home last Friday, but only for the PS2 version. The Xbox version definitely made it out, but the PS2 version seemed to be held up. Given our total lack of interest in the game (sorry Eidos), we just let it slide and got back to the tricky business of reviewing a regular month's worth of games in a handful of days using less than a handful of writers...
Anyway, good old C&VG have been sniffing around the story now, and they've discovered that the reason Backyard Wrestling didn't make it out on Friday had nothing to do with unforeseen slippage, dodgy release lists or anything else - instead, a printing error was to blame.
According to a spokesperson, "Eidos learned of a printing error regarding the age rating on the game disc for the UK PlayStation 2 version of Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This At Home on November 6th, 2003."
"Eidos immediately notified retailers and intercepted this version," the spokesperson added. The statement goes on to reiterate that the Xbox version is fine.
So what's the problem? It seems that, somehow, the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) certificate didn't make it onto the game disc label design, and as this is a legal requirement with games containing mature content (like stuff being smashed over people's heads, blood flying everywhere and foul language), BYW was unfortunately held back. "The revised PS2 stock is expected to be on retail shelves within the next one or two weeks," Eidos said yesterday. There's good news for investors though, as the issue "is not expected to have a material cost or sales impact to the Group".
So, er, anybody who had to make do with boring triple-A last Friday instead of suckling on Eidos' wrestling peculiarity, hopefully you'll be able to get your digital hands in the meat grinder within a fortnight or so. Be still my beating heart [Thwack! -Ed].