Days after posting the Batman: Arkham Knight release date on their website, the Microsoft Store has scrubbed the information. Wonder what that's all about?

As we reported on Sunday, the Microsoft Store's listing said that Batman: Arkham Knight would debut on February 24th, 2015. It was a believable date. That's a Tuesday, the day North American stores typically receive new games.

Xbox One release date for Batman: Arkham Knight

It's not unusual for retailer to have placeholder dates. These placeholders are often very easy to spot, though. They're typically the end or beginning of a year or quarter. For example, Amazon lists the Arkham Knight release date as December 31st, 2015. The date Microsoft Store supplied for Arkham Knight seemed a more precise than usual.

You could read Microsoft Store's removal of the date as simply them covering their ass. They accidentally leaked the date before Warner Bros. could reveal it, got chewed out when the date was publicized, and then changed it to "Not announced" to put the matter to bed.

Still, just because the date looked real doesn't mean it was real. It's just as possible that this release date was just an educated guess provided by WB. They may not have intended for Microsoft to publish it. Microsoft, meanwhile, probably didn't expect the sort of attention that the release date received.

As readers pointed out, the February 24th release date had one serious flaw: Witcher 3. CD Projekt's open-world RPG is launching on that day for the same platforms (PS4, Xbox One, PC). Warner Bros. is the publisher for both games in North America and it's hard to believe that they'd release both titles on top of each other. The two games are different genres but still close enough to risk hurting each other's potential sales. It's more likely that WB will want to put a few weeks between their launches to ensure that each game gets its proper share of the spotlight.

The cynic in me wonders whether retailers post these unconfirmed dates specifically to get a reaction from press or gamers. I'm sure it drives a lot of traffic to their pre-order listings. Even if 0.1% of the gamers visiting that page reserve a copy, that's business that competitors aren't getting. That being said, the date's probably just the result of human error.

This is far from the first preliminary release date to get deleted after gamers noticed it. I took screenshots of the Microsoft Store's listing specifically because I expected them to pull it. Sometimes these dates turn out to be legit, sometimes they're bogus. We may have to wait a few more months to find out either way.

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