TopWare Interactive has announced a last-minute delay to its upcoming role-playing title Two Worlds II - in order to make it an exclusive Amazon product in the UK.
Originally scheduled for release this Friday, the game has now been pushed back to the 1st of March - and the only place to get it in the UK will be Amazon, with no bricks and mortar launch planned.
"Eager to get our game out to the RPG hungry masses, TopWare has decided to forego a retail release, and launch Two Worlds II solely on Amazon.com," the company said in a statement to gaming news site Eurogamer - although it failed to indicate why limiting the title's release to a single on-line store would help 'get the game out' to the masses.
"If you had pre-ordered this award winning title elsewhere, they will not have stock as Amazon will be fulfilling all of the United Kingdom," the company goes on to warn - suggesting that the Two Worlds II: Royal Edition, a limited release collectable version, could be hard to find even for those who had pre-ordered the title months ago.
The sudden shift in distribution plan comes as accusations fly of threats to blacklist reviewers who give the title less than seven out of ten. "TopWare Interactive are blacklisting UK press who gave Two Worlds II 6 out of 10 or below, and being quite open about their reasons," claimed games journalist Lewis Denby earlier this week via microblogging service Twitter.
With the original title, which battled with the popular Elder Scrolls series entry Oblivion, scoring a disappointing 65 per cent on review aggregation site Metacritic, it looks like TopWare isn't entirely convinced that the sequel offers an improvement over the original.
The move to Amazon-exclusive UK distribution so close to release - which will likely result in people with pre-orders going disappointed come launch day - is bizarre, and coupled with the reports of blacklisting threats could sour the title's launch for many in the industry and gaming community.