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UK retailers including Game, Argos and ShopTo have shipped Final Fantasy VII Remake pre-orders a week before its official release date.
According to various customer reports, physical copies of the PS4 exclusive began arriving as early as Wednesday this week.
Game and Argos are still accepting pre-orders for the title, although it’s not clear if they will also be shipped ahead of the official release date on Friday, April 10. ShopTo claims it will not receive more Final Fantasy VII Remake stock until April 8.
VGC has reached out for comment.
In Australia, retailers including EB Games and JB Hi-Fi have also broken the Final Fantasy VII Remake street date and are openly selling the game.
The early dispatch of copies follows publisher Square Enix’s move to ship physical copies of the title early in Europe and Australia, in a bid to combat delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite many customers receiving their boxed copies of Final Fantasy VII Remake early, the game’s publisher says it is not planning to bring the digital release date forward.
“Changing the digital release date at this point-in-time could lead to logistical issues that could disrupt the digital launch for everyone,” it said on its support page. “Therefore, we will be adhering to an April 10 digital release date.”
Square Enix has asked those who receive copies of the game early not to spoil it for others, a message echoed by various retailers on their purchase pages.
“We had some hard decisions to make during the final few weeks before launches due to disruption to distribution channels caused by the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” the company said last Thursday in a statement credited to director Tetsuya Nomura and producer Yoshinori Kitase.
“Our highest priority is that all of you, including those who live in countries currently facing the biggest disruption, can play the game at launch, so we made the decision to ship the game far earlier than usual to Europe and Australia.
“As a result, there is a greater chance that some of you in these regions will now get a copy of the game prior to the worldwide release date of April 10.”