Will Wright’s sandbox epic Spore was officially released yesterday, with Australia being the first country able to download or purchase the game over the counter.
While video games are usually released in North America or Europe before hitting Australian shores, local consumers were able to purchase the game from yesterday morning — a full five days ahead of the scheduled US launch date. The reason for the early release is unknown; one Slashdot user speculated: “Australia has more horrifying, poisonous creatures per square meter than any other place on Earth. If anyone is going to understand Spore, it's them.”
Reports indicate that there were no retail copies on store shelves, but customers who had pre-ordered the game were able to pick it up at stores across Australia from as early as September 1. Pre-release downloading services were opened on 29 August, but users were restricted from completely downloading the game until yesterday morning.
The Spore game is available in either the Standard or Galactic Editions, with the more expensive version containing a poster, artwork book, an additional 'Making of' DVD and a game-play guide.
The game is set to be released on 7 September in North America.