In recent news, Germany is reported to have passed a ruling that will prohibit the act of publishers and/or developers selling titles that offer pre-orders without a release date. In other words, German courts have ruled that retailers can no longer pre-sell games that are “coming soon.”
According to a new report that gamesindustry.biz posted, the Higher Regional Court of Munich has “banned retailers from offering pre-orders for products.” Of course, this relates to titles without a release date.
The publication site sourced the above information from German news outlet heise.de. Additionally, the ruling follows a “consumer protection claim” against Media Markt over pre-orders for a smartphone but now applies to all products, which includes, you guessed it, video games.
Furthermore, the website reads that stores (both physical and digital retails) must offer customers the latest date by which their purchase will arrive, meaning that they can no longer flaunt pre-sell products with a moniker hovering over it that reads “ready when it’s done,” “coming soon” or “available soon.”
We know this thanks to the site citing Düsseldorf Consumer CEO, Wolfgang Schuldzinski, saying the following:
“When consumers order goods on the internet, providers must specify by when the goods are delivered.”
Personally, I’m not sure what this will do in the long run, but according to GamesIndustry.biz, they think that it will have “a noticeable impact on video games” since publishers regularly announce new titles without a solid release date.
The website also makes mention that retailers begin “offering pre-orders almost immediately,” and think that this move by Germany could be very effective given that the country is “a sizeable European market.”
With all of that said, what’re your thoughts on all of this and do you think this move will do anything or no?
(Thanks for the news tip Hermione Granger)