ShopTo is refusing to sell Call of Duty: Ghosts and future Activision titles, it has been revealed. Upcoming releases including Call of Duty: Ghosts, Deadpool and Skylanders: Swap Force have been removed from the retailer’s website because of Activision’s strict shipping policy.
Activision currently won’t allow online retailers to post Call of Duty games more than a day before launch.
ShopTo boss Igor Cipolletta told Eurogamer that this has a negative effect on an online retailer’s pre-order campaign, as many deliveries won’t arrive until the day after release.
“This has the undesired effect of previously loyal and satisfied customers thinking that, if we can’t ‘get it right’ for one of the biggest games of the year, why should they trust us with any future orders?” Cipolletta explained.
“Their friends and acquaintances, by word of mouth and social media, (despite possibly not having ever ordered from us), would see us (and possibly e-tailers as a whole) as unreliable. This despite all the time and hard work my team and the myriad of other publishers put into other titles during the year.
“Of course this Activision policy is not for every title, but due to the volume and fever pitch Call of Duty seems to generate (both positive and negative), it causes the most damage to us.”
Cipolletta said that ShopTo would reconsider its stance if Activision levelled the playing field between online and high street retailers, with the latter able to open at midnight.
He also revealed that recent Call of Duty titles have failed to generate the company any profit because of the extra costs associated with a Tuesday launch.
“Our wholesale unit price, added to the fact that the game has a worldwide Tuesday release date, means the processing and shipping requirements of this stock does not accommodate an e-tailer’s needs.
“With the requirement to pay staffing costs over the weekend, this would destroy any profit, as we cannot increase our selling price as we risk having zero orders. Essentially, if we receive stock late on a Friday, the processing time we have is halved and our processing costs double.”