In the UK, the release date for Uncharted 4 was broken because copies of the game were stolen in transit, according to a Sony executive.
On Tuesday, reports emerged showing that copies of the highly anticipated PlayStation 4 game were being traded in the UK some two weeks before its official release.
Explaining the broken street date, PlayStation games development director Shuhei Yoshida said in a blog post that "a number of copies of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End were stolen while in transit."
He said Sony was working with the police as part of a criminal investigation, and also warned fans that the broken release date may result in the proliferation of story spoilers online.
"As with most Naughty Dog games, the unfolding story is such an integral part of the experience and for this reason we wanted to warn you to beware of the potential for spoilers [that may be] posted by people with access to stolen copies of the game," Yoshida said.
"We know that very many of you have been looking forward with great anticipation and excitement to the latest masterpiece from Naughty Dog. From what I have played of Nathan Drake's latest adventure, I can tell you that it is very much worth the wait."
Uncharted 4 is expected to be the final game in the series developed by its custodian Naughty Dog, and the final one starring Nathan Drake. The Uncharted series may live on outside of Naughty Dog, however.