×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Germany Ends Pre-Orders for Games Without Set Release Date

German consumers won’t be able to pre-order products with vague release dates, according to a report from Heise found via Eurogamer.

The Higher Regional Court of Munich ruled that vague release dates like “coming soon” aren’t offering enough information to consumers, after a consumer protection group raised a complaint over the pre-ordering of the Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone. The courts decided that this ruling would apply to other products as well, including video games.

In order to offer a pre-order option, the game must have the latest date by which consumers can receive the item listed upfront.

Wolfgang Schuldzinski, CEO of Düsseldorf Consumer, commented on the decision.

“When consumers order goods on the internet, providers must specify by when the goods are delivered,” said Schuldzinski.

With highly-anticipated titles like “Death Stranding” and “The Last of Us Part II” going literal years without release dates, some consumers may be unwilling to pre-order without even a rough estimate of how long it could be until they will get to play. But those that are willing to pre-order with no idea when they will receive the item provide a benefit to publishers looking to gauge interest in their upcoming title, with arguably little benefit to themselves— other than first dibs on any pre-order exclusives.

However, it is unclear if publishers will be able to get around this ruling in Germany by simply giving a very delayed placeholder date (for example, just putting “01/01/2050” or something to that effect) or can put a date that can be changed as needed.

Plus, there is some risk that consumers could lose their money if the retailer offering a pre-order for a game with no clear delivery date goes out of business, like what some angry customers experienced after UK retailer Gameseek went out of business and liquidated its assets earlier this year. Fun side note: Gameseek apparently offered pre-orders on “Half Life 3” with a release date of June 7, 2019, according to a screenshot found via Reddit, which seems nothing short of predatory considering the status of “Half Life 3” (Still unconfirmed, sorry).

More Gaming

  • Timothy Olyphant Once Upon a Time

    Timothy Olyphant Explains Why He Did 'Hitman' Movie

    The 2007 film adaptation of the “Hitman” video game franchise is … not good. It received a score of 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics panning its incoherent plot and terrible dialogue. So, why did actor Timothy Olyphant take on the lead role as Agent 47? He had a mortgage to pay, he told [...]

  • GOG Debuts GOG Galaxy 2.0 App,

    'Witcher' Developer Debuts GOG Galaxy 2.0 App

    CD Projekt’s digital distribution platform introduced the newest version of its software client, including some of the features users can expect to see when it debuts. GOG Galaxy 2.0 gives users a way to combine all their games and friends across clients into one place. This new version of the old GOG Galaxy client was created [...]

  • Riot Forms Scholastic Association to Oversee

    Riot Forms Scholastic Association to Oversee School Esports Efforts

    “League of Legends” developer Riot Games is forming a new governing body for its college and high school esports activities called the Riot Scholastic Association of America, it announced on Tuesday. A board of advisors will work with a team at Riot to continue its scholastic esports support, including scaling competitive operations and creating a [...]

  • Raleigh, NC Preparing to Host Major

    Raleigh, NC Preparing to Host Major Esports Events

    Creative services company Big Block is teaming up with the city of Raleigh, NC as it prepares to host major global esports events, it announced on Tuesday. Big Block, which specializes in esports consulting, will now help the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance to evaluate local facilities, [...]

  • Microsoft Introduces Improved Xbox Game Bar

    Microsoft Introduces Improved Xbox Game Bar For Windows 10

    Microsoft unveiled its newly-updated Xbox Game Bar for Windows 10, meant as part of the company’s efforts to “improve the gaming experience” on the platform. The Xbox Game Bar is a customizable gaming overlay that comes built into Windows 10 directly. It’s compatible with most PC games, except for some titles that use the Vulcan [...]

  • Slakoth Featured for "Pokemon Go" June

    Slakoth Featured for "Pokemon Go" June Community Day

    The “Pokemon Go” Community Day is returning next month, and Niantic is urging players to not slack off and to be sure and nab a Slakoth, the featured pokemon this event, as seen in a new promo video. The video, shown above, features the augmented reality version of the normal-type pokemon who will appear more [...]

  • Valve Launches Steam Chat Mobile App

    Valve Launches Steam Chat Mobile App

    Steam Chat is now available for iOS and Android devices, Valve announced on the Steam Blog on Tuesday. The app functions similarly to the Steam desktop chat, allowing users to see which of their friends are online and what games they’re playing. The app also supports “Rich Chat,” meaning users can send GIFs, emoticons, tweets, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content