Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers Sell Out in Minutes, Disappointing Many Filipino Gamers

Today was supposed to be a day of celebration for many, as pre-orders for the highly-anticipated Spider-Man 2 Limited Edition Bundle, along with the themed DualSense and Console Covers, went live. It was expected to be a smooth process, just as any other pre-order done in the past, but it turned out to be disastrous for many customers and collectors as stocks flew off the (virtual) shelves, leaving many without anything to show for.

Everyone knew that these were very much sought after. The Spider-Man 2 Collector’s Edition, which featured a 19-inch statue of Venom against Spider-Man and Miles Morales, also sold out in minutes. There was no reason to think that the Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers wouldn’t be the same.

So, what happened? Why did the Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Cover Pre-orders in the Philippines end up a mess?

*No stores will be named in this article and all anecdotes have been confirmed from actual sources and experiences.

Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers Pre-orders – Store Exclusive?

First, let’s look at the timeline of events that led to the “eventful” Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers Pre-orders in the Philippines:

  • July 20 – Sony Interactive Entertainment and Insomniac Games revealed the fantastic-looking limited edition Spider-Man 2 PS5 bundle during SDCC. It was also revealed that pre-orders will start globally on July 28.
    • Release dates of these items vary depending on the country, particularly in Southeast Asia.
  • July 27 – Local retailers in the Philippines announced that pre-orders will be happening exclusively in physical stores starting at 10 AM on July 28.
    • The Spider-Man 2 Dualsense Wireless Controller retails for PHP 4,590.00 and the Spider-Man 2 Console Cover retails for PHP 3,690.00 in the Philippines.

It seemed like it was going to proceed smoothly, but the announced mechanics raised a few questions mainly because customers needed to line up at their branch of choice physically, which wasn’t a normal occurrence. Naturally, there was a call from many customers to add online orders but it was not addressed officially by any of the retailers.

Further complicating things was that some store branches were located in malls that open at 11 AM, and unless these branches had separate allocations, then the time difference would pose a problem because those that lined up there would not make it in time.

During the day of the Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers Pre-orders, naturally, interested customers flocked to their preferred stores to fall in line, brave the rain, and secure their slot for this limited edition piece. Being there physically was the rule that they had to follow, after all.

Two scenarios happened just as 10 AM hit:

  • Some retailers that offered store-exclusive pre-orders retained the mandate despite the clamor from customers to add online pre-orders.
  • Some retailers that initially offered store-exclusive pre-orders suddenly added online pre-orders on the day.
marvel's spider-man 2 limited edition ps5 console 1

Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers Pre-orders – Chaos ensues!

The latter, as you would expect, created widespread confusion and chaos. Some branches accepted orders in-store but it seemed that stocks were centralized instead of having branch-specific allocations. Because of the sudden introduction of online pre-orders, not all players that lined up physically got their pre-orders fulfilled because they were now in contention with online stocks. The Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers were extremely hyped and limited, to begin with, so this further aggravated the situation.

I’ve also been told that some stores only had 1-2 sets of the Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers, which is clearly not enough to satisfy the demand. Some branches even had none! One story I was told was that they were first in line at a branch but didn’t even secure a pre-order despite lining up in advance.

Even worse, some customers that have successfully paid (they were already given a receipt!) and pre-ordered the Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers were contacted again only to have their transactions canceled due to the lack of stock. This cancellation process persisted until late in the afternoon. Not good!

Some customers that lined up at their preferred branches that opened at 11 AM, hoping for a shot at the Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers, had to do the walk of shame as they were informed by the staff that both items have already been sold out despite the store not opening yet. How does that even happen?

Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers Pre-orders – How to prevent it?

While I have no background in distribution and procurement processes, or even how suppliers and retailers go about assigning stocks to stores, I was thinking that there could be simple ways to maybe prevent the mess that happened during the Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers Pre-orders.

  • Announce something and stick with it. It if was a store-exclusive pre-order to begin with, leave it as such and do not introduce additional mechanics during the day that would complicate the process and, even worse, remove stocks from those that actually lined up. If these mechanics were going to be updated, do it in advance.
  • Manage expectations. Based on some stories from trusted sources, some branches just had 1 or 2 pieces of the coveted items. In this case, it would have been nice if there was a disclaimer that stocks were extremely limited and there was a big chance that not everyone that wants one will get one. I understand that it may not be a common process to reveal stock numbers for an item, but it would have been nice to know this time around.
  • Improve communication. Some stories pointed out that staff didn’t know that there was an online option, as they knew it was a store-exclusive transaction. As you would expect, these workers received the brunt of the complaints as they were left helpless without the power to make decisions since stocks were centralized. At the end of the day, an apology would have been nice. It won’t bring back the lost time and effort, but at least show that you care about your customers.
  • Allocate stocks per branch. This could be tricky. Seeing as stocks for the Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers were extremely limited, it is possible that not all stores may receive stocks. Would it have been better to designate “flagship branches” in relevant areas that would carry multiple stocks per item instead (20 sets in a north branch, 20 sets in a south branch, etc)? I can’t say, but whatever the case may have been…
  • Just offer the online option, on top of the store option, from the start. This is already the status quo process that seems to already work, why suddenly change it?
marvel's spider-man 2 limited edition dualsense controller 1

Did you manage to get yourself the Spider-Man 2 DualSense and Console Covers? Do you have any suggestions on how local retailers can handle these situations better? Let us know your story!

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