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HMV keeps Warhammer-ers from goblins

Obsessives won't get early access

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The much-anticipated Warhammer online launches Thursday, with those who pre-ordered the game getting access from Monday. But the true obsessives who bought the Collectors Edition had access from Sunday - as long as they didn't buy it from HMV.

The purchase process is somewhat complicated, with customers able to buy a box containing only codes for access to the beta test, which has been running for the last few months, for a tenner - this is then knocked off the purchase price of the game. As the launch approached punters could pre-order the game, and those who did were entitled to "headstart" access to the game - significant in a world where resources must be built up and a few days can make a big difference.

The true obsessive could also buy, for an additional 30 quid, the "Collectors Edition" complete with free miniature (the staple of the Warhammer tabletop game) and some artwork. For their £60 collectors were also promised an additional day's access to the servers, enabling them to start slaying each other on a Sunday rather than the more secular Monday.

The problem is that all this early access required codes to be sent out by retailers - companies not really familiar with this kind of transaction. Punters buying in HMV shops had to provide email addresses and other details to allow the codes to be delivered in time. In many cases though shop staff didn't know that, leaving everyone more than a little confused, but even those who ordered from HMV online are still waiting for the codes intended to get them into the game two days ago.

HMV tells us that the only person who can comment on the issue is away. This must come as poor consolation to fans who made the mistake of shopping there and are still trying to get into the melee before the hoi polloi start cluttering the place up on Thursday. Meanwhile their guild-friends are already settling down to lose their next decade. ®

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