A report from Japanese magazine Shūkan Bunshun says that in the leadup to the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom earlier this month two men—in isolated cases—got contract jobs at Amazon for the express purpose of getting their hands on a copy of the game early.
The news comes courtesy of an unnamed Amazon subcontractor, called Mr. A in the story, who had worked in the same warehouse as both men. The first culprit, a 21-year-old man, was hired around a month before the game’s May 12 release date as a delivery worker. A few days before Tears of the Kingdom was due to drop, however, he simply stopped coming into work.
When Mr. A called his home, the man’s mother answered, and straight up told him her son was at home playing video games. When Mr. A later found out the game was Zelda, and that neither the physical or digital copy of the game had been released yet, he confronted the employee, who instantly confessed that he had only got the job to get his hands on Zelda early, and had lifted a copy from the warehouse when they arrived.
Having been caught the man returned the game, paid for it and was fired. The second worker, a 24-year-old man, had slightly different plans. When he too was found to have stopped coming into work just before TOTK’s release date (having only just been hired), Mr. A again suspected a “Zelda vacation”, only this time the perpetrator—who also instantly confessed—had stolen a bunch of Zelda-related merchandise, including Amiibo and Zelda-themed Pro Controllers with the aim of reselling them on sites like Mercari. He was also dismissed.
The full story on Shūkan Bunshun is only using these two men—both employed at a Kanagawa Prefecturea warehouse—as a case study; it’s alleged that this kind of theft is widespread at the company, and Mr. A is using the interview as an opportunity to complain that one of the reasons for this is that Amazon Japan has allegedly been sweeping these cases under the rug, and feels that were the employees charged with criminal offences the situation would be taken more seriously.
(The site contacted the Amazon warehouse featured in the story, and were only told that all deliveries of the game were successfully made, and that two employees were indeed terminated in May, without disclosing the reasons why).