Consoul's Blog Consoul Games: October 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Zelda: Twilight Princess EB exclusive

There was an Electronics Boutique vendor event held in Melbourne last week, where EB Managers had the opportunity to get hands on with forthcoming hardware and software including the Wii and PlayStation3.

One of the more interesting rumours that I heard following the event was that EB had secured an exclusive deal with Nintendo, such that the flagship title Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess would only be available from EB in Australia. I didn't believe it - it seemed extremely unlikely that Nintendo would shaft all the other retailers and limit sales of their single most anticipated game. Giving one chain exclusive rights to sell such a key system-selling title just didn't make sense. It couldn't be true. I dismissed the rumour...until I heard it a second time, from a different source. This time the story was that EB had exclusive rights to Twilight Princess for three months.

In both cases, the news was second hand. Someone heard from someone else. Hardly reliable. Surely it was just a misunderstanding. I figured somewhere in the retelling, someone must have had their wires crossed. No way could it be true. A search of the usual rumour mills online turned up nothing, but when you're looking for something that no-one is supposed to know, that's often the case.

I decided to get some exercise in my lunch break by scouting around the EB outlets in the Sydney CBD to dig for an answer. The store clerks were as surprised by the rumour as I was. They hadn't heard anything, which was pretty much expected, as they're just clerks, and EB's Sydney training events don't begin until next week.

I was on my way back to the office when I walked past one of the outlets again. Looking in, I spotted the area manager out the back in the storeroom. Bingo. He would know. He would have been at the Melbourne event. Before I could even finish asking him the question, he said "Yes!".

Huh? I still didn't believe it. I asked again, managing to complete the question this time, and finally got an answer that made sense.

Electronics Boutique will indeed be Australia's exclusive retailer of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, not for three months, but indefinitely...on Gamecube. Okay. The Wii version is not bound by any exclusivity deal. Given that most other retailers have dropped Gamecube support now anyway, this news is not really shocking. Sales of the Cube version in Australia won't be huge anyway. Nintendo want you to buy their new system to play Twilight Princess on, so this deal won't hurt them one bit.

So there you have it: Twilight Princess is EB exclusive in Australia. On Cube.