I just received a disconcerting call from the GameStop automated system. They told me that, due to shipping problems, Gears of War may not be in today. After a quick call, my local shop confirms the bad news.

When I dropped my hard earned $5 (okay, I had credit left over from a trade-in) on a Gears of War preorder, GameStop told me the game would be out on November 7th. What is confusing is why PR materials would list the 12th as the official Emergence Day for a game that GameStop told me to pick up in the store 5 days earlier. A Joystiq insider said that stores were told the street date to sell Gears was the 7th but -- due to distribution problems ranging from UPS to distribution centers -- many stores won't be getting them in as early as expected (Wal-Mart is scheduled to have them tomorrow). The clerk at my local store blamed it on a delay in Memphis.

So, the street date on Gears of War was the 7th, but a confluence of circumstances conspire to leave many of us waiting. This situation, coupled with confusing marketing dates (the game doesn't actually emerge on Emergence Day) and an impressive hype campaign, has left many gamers anxious. Our recommendation: call ahead. Don't be surprised if Gears hasn't emerged at your store just yet.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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