UPDATE: 25/03/20

Looks like these games aren’t releasing sooner than expected. At least if this tweet from Nexus Hub is to be believed. 

Original article follows.

South Africa is heading towards a nationwide lockdown, but that is not stopping video gamers from getting what they want! Thanks to a surprise announcement (read: possible leak), BTGames might enable South African gamers to get Resident Evil 3 early, along with a bunch of other games releasing during the lockdown period!

COVID-19 or the Coronavirus, as it is generally known, is wreaking havoc across the world. It has an alarming infection rate (three times that of the flu) and is still without a cure. It has already widely spread through the European Union and is not slowing down. As a result, many South African businesses have implemented plans for their staff to work from home wherever possible, while individuals are encouraged to practice healthy habits. On 23 March 2020, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa initiated a nationwide lockdown that comes into effect on 26 March 2020 and ends on 16 April 2020.

This nationwide lockdown will see many stores close its doors. This naturally includes BTGames, one of South Africa’s largest video game retail franchises. Many incredible video games are releasing during this period, which means gamers who still rely on hardcopies (discs) to play their games will miss the opportunity to play them at launch. BTGames, however, seems to have thrown a curveball at embargoes and release schedules. If Twitter can be believed, BTGames will allegedly be selling certain games a week before their actual release dates.

According to Matthew Figueira, from a local tech and gaming podcast Checkpoint Chat, a banner image clearly shows Resident Evil 3 availability starting tomorrow (25 March 2020). According to the tweet, you can get Resident Evil 3 early, along with games like Persona 5 and many others. With that said, we must mention a recent demo was announced for the game. Perhaps the banner image is referring to the demo exclusively? Alternatively, perhaps it is just an oopsie and someone might be sitting without a job, come 17 April 2020? Either way, this is a huge event if true. Many gamers will be happy if they can play the game a week before the international launch. What a time to be alive!

We have attempted to confirm the change of release date, but most BTGames branches are either still unaware of the new plan, or have decided to remain silent until official word comes from HQ. With this in mind, it is always a good idea to call ahead to your local branch and ask about the stock before going through. The last thing South Africa needs now is for its gamers to go out in masses and risk more breakouts of the virus.

[Sources: Gov.za (official site), Twitter]

Junior Editor at Vamers. From Superman to Ironman; Bill Rizer to Sam Fisher and everything in-between, Edward loves it all. He is a Bachelor of Arts student and English Major specialising in Language and Literature. He is an avid writer and casual social networker with a flare for all things tech related.

Owner, founder and editor-in-chief at Vamers, Hans has a vested interest in geek culture and the interactive entertainment industry. With a Masters degree in Communications and Ludology, he is well read and versed in matters relating to video games and communication media, among many other topics of interest.