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Crowds flock to buy new computer game

PUBLISHED: 16:58 11 November 2009 | UPDATED: 09:46 12 August 2010

BRUTAL: A scene from Modern Warfare 2.

BRUTAL: A scene from Modern Warfare 2.

POLICE were called by store staff to deal with a frenzy of fans desperate to get their hands on copies of what is expected to be the hottest console title of all time. Worried Asda workers in London Road, Swanley, called officers at 12.10am on Tuesday a

POLICE were called by store staff to deal with a frenzy of fans desperate to get their hands on copies of what is expected to be the hottest console title of all time.

Worried Asda workers in London Road, Swanley, called officers at 12.10am on Tuesday after becoming concerned that they wouldn't be able to meet demand for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 which was launched at midnight.

Some fans were left bitterly disappointed when they failed to get their hands on copies of the controversial game, which was expected to have first day global sales of $500 million.

Lee Pearce, of High Street, Orpington, wanted to buy the game for his stepson's birthday but said he waited three hours in line being pushed further and further back before eventually giving up.

He said: "It was chaos. I got there at around 9.30pm and there was a small queue already. There didn't seem to be any direction from staff for what was expected to be a large release of a game. As time went by, more and more people joined and one person in front of you became 20.

"Later on there was an announcement to split the queue from those who wanted to the Xbox version and those who wanted the PlayStation. About 600 to 800 people rushed forward. It descended into chaos and pandemonium, so much so that four members of staff suddenly appeared and one phoned the police.

"I was disgusted. I had wasted all that time and went home with nothing because the situation turned aggressive."

A Swanley police spokesperson said: "There were some concerns about the number of people in the shop and whether they would be able to meet the demand for the game, but there were no further problems."

Critics have condemned the game for what they claim is gratuitous violence. In one scene, the player has to decide whether or not to take part in the shooting of innocent civilians in a Russian airport.

But speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Ross Carrington, manager of Game in The Glades shopping centre, Bromley, said he doubted the demand would be dampening any time soon.

He said: "I've sold in excess of 1,000 copies so far. When we opened last night we had about 300 people queuing but we only let 10 to 15 people in at a time.

"Call of Duty is the best online first person shooter game ever made. There is so much hype about it. I have thousands of copies in the back but I have no doubt that by Friday I will have sold out."

A spokesperson for Asda said: "Admittedly splitting the queue was probably the wrong thing to do. The last thing we want is disappointed customers and we're extremely sorry that there was one person who missed out. They sound like they had a complete nightmare last night.

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