Amazon Pulls Reach Release Dates From Thin Air

Got some interesting mail from Amazon today.


Hello from

We now have delivery date(s) for the order you placed on August 26 2009 (Order# 104-9132614-4806655):

"Halo Reach"
Estimated arrival date: October 26 2009

Two months ago? That's great! Send it right away. Sure, the developer says it won't be out for another year, but I don't mind getting a sneak preview!

Then, an hour later:

Hello from

Unfortunately, an unexpected delay from our supplier may prevent us from delivering some items in your order placed on August 26 2009 (Order# 104-9132614-4806655) by December 24. We'll keep working to obtain these items for you, and we'll ship the items as soon as we receive them. Other items that may be in stock will still ship separately, with no increase in your total shipping charges.

"Halo Reach"

The developer said this game will be out in Fall of 2010. How is failing to ship in Fall 2009 an "unexpected delay"?

Ten more minutes go by.

Hello from

We now have delivery date(s) for the order you placed on August 26 2009 (Order# 104-9132614-4806655):

"Halo Reach"
Estimated arrival date: January 22 2010

These are the kinds of messages that send customers screaming to fansites that games are being pushed up, delayed, or cancelled. The developer has stated to everybody "FALL 2010". Is there a reason Amazon's ordering system seems to be ignoring that general date and instead consulting psychics?

UPDATE: I sent the above into Amazon's feedback system and got back another automated message that makes about as much sense as the first three. Stripped of its administrivia, it says:

Regarding your "Halo Reach":

I see we sent you an e-mail message about the unexpected delay in obtaining "Halo Reach." I realize this has been a frustrating experience, and I'm sorry about this.

When we ship your order, we'll send you an e-mail confirming the date, contents, and tracking number. Please contact us again if you don't receive a shipment confirmation by January 22. You can reach us at

If you'd rather cancel your order, I understand.

Which is ridiculous. There is no way I, nor anyone else, is going to get a shipment confirmation on Halo Reach by January 22. I realize that retail outlets MUST give some kind of release date to people who buy preorders. Why they don't pick a more accurate date is beyond me-- why tax themselves by having to dance this little dance, "delaying" the game by a few months every few months?



[Wrong email dates]

We apologise for the faulty dates in the emails. Those responsible have been sacked.

[More wrong dates]

We apologise again for the fault dates in the emails. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked, have been sacked.

[More wrong dates]

The engineer of the firm hired to continue the emails after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked.

- Blackstar

-= No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always gotten there first, and is waiting for it. =-

"This is UNSC AI Serial Number CTN0452-9. I am a monument to all your sins."