Atari has been forced to suspend shipments of one of its new PC games as the Christmas retail boom hits its stride. Terminator 3: War of the Machines was discovered to have shipped without CD keys, meaning customers can’t install or play the game.
It was released on December 9, and expected to be a popular Christmas purchase. At least one Australian games distributor has already run out of stock of the title.
An Atari spokesperson said the company was now liaising with the US-based developers of the game, in order to fix the problem.
Dealers and customers should hold onto their copies of the game, he said, and promised that the necessary CD key would be provided within a week.
But many customers wouldn't accept a wait of a week before they could use the game, Berlin Wall Software Supermarket's, Rob Beaumont, said. This would force dealers to take back the stock and issue credits.
Beaumont said he had already dealt with 10 upset customers.
“It’s not the first time this has happened,” he said. “You’d think Atari would have some form of quality control.”
In July, Atari’s Neverwinter Nights expansion pack, Shadows of Undrentide, was shipped with a Securom copy protection which froze computers or was incompatible with many CD/DVD-ROM drives.
Atari later provided dealers with a step-by-step fix.