Update: Sony India has said the stock situation for its games will stabilize by mid-July.
We’re not sure if this means that all the games mentioned below will be back in stock, but hopefully this means no delays or stock issues for The Last of Us Remastered on PS4, which is scheduled for release on 30th July.
If you find a God of War game for PS3 in stores today, chances are it’s a grey import.
Top Sony titles like The Last of Us, God of War 3 and Uncharted 3 have been out of stock with retailers for months now.
Original story: For a few months now, some of the most popular first-party PS3 games have been missing from store shelves in India, and grey market importers are now starting to fill that void.
Top Sony titles like The Last of Us, God of War 3 and Uncharted 3 have been out of stock with retailers for months now. We’re not quite sure why this is the case, and neither Sony, nor its distributor, Milestone Interactive, have commented on the matter.
All of the above games are now manufactured within India by Sony, so it definitely isn’t an import-related issue.
Speaking with retailers and distributors, we’ve learned that aside from the three aforementioned games, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2, Infamous 2, Resistance 3, Heavy Rain, God of War: Ascension, and God of War Collection 1 and 2 are also out of stock.
However, you might still find many of these games in stores or through online retailers. That’s because grey market importers have taken advantage of the situation to provide retailers with stock of these sought-after games.
Flipkart’s listing for The Last of Us last July (left) and today (right)
The Last of Us can currently be purchased at Flipkart for Rs 2,999, with the MRP listed as Rs 3,499 – a premium over the actual MRP of Rs 2,699.
For example, The Last of Us can currently be purchased at Flipkart for Rs 2,999, with the MRP listed as Rs 3,499. That’s a substantial premium over the game’s actual MRP in India, which is Rs 2,699.
This supply of The Last of Us comes from a grey importer, but while it is being sold at a premium, several other, older games are being sold at MRP, since the importers don’t have to worry about competition from Sony’s own supply.
This includes Platinum-range titles like Infamous 2, God of War 3 and God of War Collection 2, which are all available at Rs 1,399 through grey market importers.
The issue isn’t isolated to Sony’s games, but also extends to EA’s titles, which are also distributed by Milestone Interactive.
Driveclub is one of Sony’s high-profile releases this year and any supply issues could hurt the PS4’s prospects in India.
The PS3 is now Sony’s best hope for mass-market success in India, but these supply issues send the wrong message to both consumers and game publishers.
Milestone released the 2014 FIFA World Cup game in India a month after its 17th April worldwide release date, while EA Sports UFC, which was scheduled for release today, will now release early next month. No reason has been given for these delays.
With the PS2 being discontinued and the PSP to follow suit this year, the PS3 is now Sony’s best hope for mass-market success in India, but these issues send the wrong message to both consumers and game publishers.
A consumer looking to pick up a new PS3 has a lot of great third-party options available, but the likes of God of War, Uncharted and The Last of Us are right up there among the very best the PS3 has to offer, and not having these essential games for sale is counter-productive to say the least.
Retailers say they’ve been told that new stock of first-party PS3 games will arrive in India by the end of June, but added that such promises had also been made in the past.
So we’ll just have to wait and see. Let’s just hope that these issues sort themselves out before the likes of The Last of Us Remastered, FIFA 15 and Driveclub come around.