Even though its due for release on October 11th, Gears of War 4 already has an early access window that's being opened for some gamers... except for those who pre-ordered the game from Amazon. Apparently, some shipments are being delayed.
According to Polygon, Amazon originally had a program setup where gamers who pre-ordered through the service would be eligible for receiving Gears of War 4 early. How early? Today early. October 7th would allow gamers to get their hands on the title and begin playing the newest entry in the third-person shooter franchise. However, things didn't quite work out for some Amazon purchasers.
Over on Reddit, there's a thread filled with disappointment, anguish, rage, and lots of people opting to switch their orders to Best Buy instead. It seems a little late for taking advantage of the pre-order early access campaign given that even if you go with two-day shipping from Best Buy you're still going to end up having to wait until next week to get your hands on Gears of War 4, especially considering that it's going to launch on October 11th.
The article also mentions that due to Columbus Day, shipments that may have gone out already may not arrive by Monday, pushing the date to October 11th instead of October 10th. Of course, this is working on the assumption that shipments will be delayed in respect of Columbus Day.
According to Polygon the four-day early access promotion was available in pre-orders for the Ultimate Edition for $99, as well as the Limited Collector's Edition for $249, the latter of which comes with that custom JD Fenix statue. They also mention that specific, limited digital versions of Gears of War 4 would also enable gamers to access the game four days earlier than the initial release date.
Some gamers in the Reddit thread explained in posts that they were told by Amazon's customer service that Amazon doesn't have Gears of War 4 in the warehouse yet, and that would mean that something happened between manufacturing and shipping.
These kind of issues aren't commonly talked about nor do we regularly hear about them happening for a triple-A title, but it's not impossible that something may have happened between manufacturing the gold master disc of Gears of War 4 and getting shipments of the copies out for retailer distribution.
The Coalition didn't seem to mention any problems with the game after it was announced as having gone gold. It is a shame, however, that people who purchased the digital versions of the game still can't access it because the digital retrieval code is locked inside a package that hasn't shipped yet.
I suppose this is one of those rare times where buying the game from a digital distributor would have been the surer bet over relying on a physical package of the title to arrive at your doorstep.
Microsoft and Amazon have yet to say what the exact hold up is but sadly the early access phase is already passing gamers by who purchased the Limited Collector's Edition and Ultimate Editions of Gears of War 4. It's possible a few Amazon customers may still get a couple days of extra play time. The US Postal Service delivers Amazon Prime packages on Sundays and Holidays. For everyone else looking to get their hands on the game, you can expect to see it on store shelves next week on October 11th.