According to publisher Stardock, GameStop began selling their newest game, Demigod, last week ahead of its release date. The game will go on sale at other retailers tomorrow. In response to GameStop, Stardock has released the game digitally for pre-order and beta customers through Impulse and can be snagged now.
The early release also ruined some holiday weekends for some Stardock employees as they headed into the office to make sure the multiplayer and patch servers were active. Additionally, the game has no copy protection and was quickly leaked to the Internet. The company hit headlines last year with Sins of a Solar Empire, which also featured no copy-protection, but managed to sell extremely well:
"Stardock’s position on piracy is pretty straight forward but to repeat it here: It’s not that we don’t think piracy is massive. We just aren’t convinced that it results in that many lost sales. Or more to the point, we don’t think intrusive, obnoxious copy protection will result in more sales than we lose from people who don’t want to mess with it."
A quick call to my local GameStop confirmed that they are selling Demigod ahead of the street date. This is unusual, as GameStop is usually the last place I expect to see a broken street date. Could this be because the game is being digitally distributed? Maybe GameStop just doesn't care about PC games anymore? Why would they, it's not like they can rent them out to their employees and then sell them as new...
Either way, Demigod is now available and multiplayer is up and running. I'll be checking it out later tonight. Also, be sure to check out my extremely long interview with Gas Powered Games' CEO Chris Taylor.