Desslock, a normally level-headed news source, has this rumor to relay about Asheron’s Call:
the rumour that disturbs me the most is that a “major U.S. software chain” has cut a special deal with Microsoft/Turbine. According to the rumour, and because of my hectic schedule I haven’t been able to do my normal digging to get you confirmation (although it sounds accurate), purchasers of Asheron’s Call at that chain will get a more powerful starting character. It’s an annoying anti-competitive practice (Activision tried something similar with Heavy Gear/Walmart a while back), and you’d think that if any company would have learned from the error of its anti-competitive ways, it would be Microsoft. Bah.
If true, um, that would suck, Beavis.