Microsoft Decides Not to Slap Argos Around

neil thompsonMicrosoft has decided not to punish the retailer Argos for releasing Halo 3 to the public a week before the official release of their popular title.

Neil Thompson, who is the senior regional director for Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division in the UK and Ireland has said that he is convinced that it was a mistake and that the retailer has bent over backwards to make sure this does not happen again.

“From what I understand of it, it was an honest and genuine mistake. I’m disappointed that it happened because of the turmoil it creates, but I totally understand that in every organization sometimes it’s tough to manage every particular aspect of your supply chain and everything, to the nth degree, so that something won’t go wrong at some point. I don’t think there was any malice on the part of Argos at all, it was just an honest mistake. Argos reacted incredibly quickly to the mistake, they issued us with a detailed summation of why the mistake happened – mistakes like that, we have to be somewhat flexible.”

He also made mention regarding other retail stores, and stated that if they had used said mistake by Argos to launch their Halo 3 games before release, that they would loose all support from Microsoft. He was pleased that this has not occurred elsewhere.

“I’m happy at the moment that nobody has used that as an excuse to go and do silly things. We’ve been very clear with retailers that if they do choose to go down that path, then a lot of the support that we’ve given them, in marketing and things like that – that has an impact on it. We’re pretty forceful in our approach to these things, because we want it to be a fair market for all.”

Halo 3 will be available next Wednesday in the UK and Thompson spoke about they hype surrounding such a launch:

“Everyone will talk about the money, and stuff like that, because that’s a headline-grabbing idea – that gaming is potentially going to be the biggest entertainment event that hits this country this year. If you over-hype something that doesn’t deliver on the promise, then you run the risk of a backlash and that can work against you. I honestly don’t believe that’s the case with Halo 3.”

Thanks: (who spoke with Thompson at a press event with Microsoft)

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