Unreal Tournament 2004: Now available at a store near you (but not Best Buy)

Today I woke up with one goal: to obtain a copy of Unreal Tournament 2004. Remembering my arduous past attempts to obtain copies of Quake III, Grand Theft Auto III, and Vice City on their own respective release dates, I decided that today I’d get the jump on the crowd.

Since I work right across the street from a Best Buy, I zipped over there on my lunch break, intending to shell out $50 for the best game of the year. Alas, after ten minutes of fruitless searching among the software aisles, I had yet to locate my quarry. So I stood there looking helpless, waiting for one of those damn blue-shirted leeches to ask me if I needed help finding something, and you know what? There wasn’t a blue shirt in sight. One of the few times in my entire life that I have ever actually wanted them to help me find something, and they all run for cover.

I finally managed to track someone down and ask her if they had any more copies of the game in stock, having assumed that they had already sold out.

“No, we won’t have that game for another few days,” she said.

“Days?” I replied, astonished. “Wasn’t it released today?”

“Yeah, but Best Buy doesn’t pay overnight shipping for games. Everyone else has it, just not us.”

As she said this, the two guys who had walked up behind me adopted looks of disappointment and left; I assume they were going to ask the same thing.

So tell me: what kind of business sense does it make to let all your competitors get a three day head start selling one of the most anticipated games of the season, just so you can save a few bucks on shipping? I hate Best Buy, yet even I was clamoring to give them my money for this game. Who makes business decisions like this?

Now I’m going to have to fight rush hour traffic and beat aside the mall crowds in a desperate attempt to get a copy at EB this evening.

You have failed me for the last time, Best Buy.

Update: EB didn’t have it either, nor did CompUSA (and CompUSA gets extra negative points because the guy I asked about it lied and said the release was pushed back until the 24th). No Unreal for me. I’m so full of hate.