November 12, 2012

Opinion: NBA 2K13 scuffle between Datablitz and XPlay

This issue has really caught me by surprise...

I know Datablitz but who the heck is XPlay?

While I was checking on some feeds via my Facebook Page, I came across some sort of statement from Databltiz.

Wait, what just happened?
It seems that there's an in between Datablitz and Xplay about NBA 2K13. Although sports video games are not my thing, this really caught my attention because Datablitz seems to be on the nasty end of the situation. I did some research on the issue and an abridged version of the whole scuffle:
  • XPlay has claimed to be the official distributor of NBA 2K13.
  • XPlay had meetings and marketing programs to promote the sale of the game.
  • Datablitz has bought copies of NBA 2K13 a gesture of goodwill.
  • Datablitz also purchased genuine copies of NBA 2K13 from other sources
  • The Criminal Detection and Investigation Group of the Philippine National Police has raided select Datablitz branches after receiving a tip of complaint from XPlay.
  • Datablitz and XPlay have made public statements of the matter.
  • Datablitz is not selling any copies of NBA 2K13 at this time.
To be honest, I was just shocked how my favorite (and the country's best) video game retailer was affected by this course of action. Datablitz has a decent track record of selling video games at affordable rates. Also, they even ask customers their gaming systems' region to check for compatibility before they make the purchase.

XPlay is a joint venture between GMA New Media Inc. and IP E-Game Venture which offers online gaming. From what I recall, they took care of the casual games during the time I was an active Granado Espada player (they had some sort of partnership with IAH Games but I'm not sure what's the current status on this one). They are currently the exclusive distributors of Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft  (Mists of Pandaria) at this time.

XPlay's complaint on the matter that it claimed DataBlitz engaged in "unfair competition" defined under Section 168 of Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. Now, that would be sufficient for XPlay to go against DataBlitz but I have to say that it didn't have to reach to the point where CIDG raided these stores.

I decided to do an impromptu investigation of my own. The branches that were affected are located in Makati and withtin the mid-north area (TriNoma, Eton Centris, SM North Edsa, etc.). The employees said that they were invited to be questioned by such officers. Here's an interesting post on how this invite occurred. I'm just glad the (affected) employees are back working at their branches.

At this rate, XPlay is getting the heat from the gaming community in the Philippines (including me). Some say XPlay's price is expensive as compared to the other stocks of Datablitz.

All I can say right now is that I hope the matter gets resolved without any major blows to either parties.

Here's the latest say from Datablitz too.

You have my support, Datablitz!
Resources - Blog posts
What’s the deal with the Databliz/X-Play issue? - ReimaruFiles
In Defense of Datablitz: Analyzing Datablitz’s Official Statements regarding CIDG Raid, Inside Sources Speak Out (updated) - Vidjogames
X-Play VS Datablitz - Geek Out!
Talk2Gaming: Analysis And Comments on the Datablitz – X-Play Fiasco - Back2Gaming

Resources - News Articles
DataBlitz scores XPlay for 'disgraceful harassment', 'profiteering' - GMA News
Explainer: DataBlitz Vs. X-Play Fiasco - FHM Philippines
X-Play had nothing to do with DataBlitz raid: sources - ABS-CBN
X-Play: DataBlitz’s ‘unauthorized’ selling of PC games hurt other retailers, too - InterAksyon
CIDG seizes P2.7-M smuggled games software - Inquirer

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