A group of video game stores across Canada are scrambling to get the licenses they need to sell video games on the shelves.
The Canadian Board of Film and Television Producers says the problem is especially acute in the GTA, where game stores are not allowed to sell their games to people under 18.
“They can’t sell it to anyone under 18, because it’s illegal,” said Steve Waddell, vice president of business development at the BFTPR.
“If you buy it for kids under 18 it can’t be sold.”
Waddell says the Board of Cinema, Television and Radio Artists has sent a letter to every video game store in Canada asking them to apply for licenses to sell games.
Waddel says they’ve received more than 500 applications so far, with no new licences for more than a month.
“We have to find the money for licensing,” he said.
“There’s not enough money coming in from the government.”
The BFTPS has sent the board an email that says its members have been working hard to get games onto store shelves.
In it, they point out that if a licensed game is not on store shelves by the time it’s ready to sell, it will be deleted from the store and banned from sale.
“It’s not a problem that’s new, but it’s a real challenge that we have,” said Waddelle.
The BTFPS says it has also been trying to get a license for a popular online game called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Waddlepedia, a popular game blog that focuses on video games, posted an update Monday night that said a license had been issued to Zelda: The Breath of The Wild, but the game has not yet been sold to retailers.
Waddelle says the BTFPG is also trying to find out if a game can be sold at a store in Winnipeg.
The Winnipeg branch of the BTP says it’s been unable to find a licensed version of the game there.
“I think the problem in the industry right now is we’ve got a very difficult situation in our industry and we have a very complex system in place to deal with it,” said Andrew Gendron, vice-president of communications at the Winnipeg branch.
“We’ve got licensing requirements, we have to follow the rules, we’ve had to deal more with social media, we’re having to deal less with video games.
It’s just been very, very difficult.”
Gendron says it would be ideal for a Canadian game store to be able to sell a game on their shelves at any time, and they can still do so even if it is only available in the store’s online store.
“The big question is how are we going to get that game in stores?
We don’t want to be stuck with it for months or years, because then we’re going to lose money,” he told CBC News.
The Winnipeg branch says they have contacted Nintendo Canada, and Nintendo says they will do their best to find and allow the game to be sold.