Sections

Germany bans vague pre-order release dates

Retailers no longer to pre-sell games that are “coming soon”, courts have ruled

A new ruling in Germany will significantly affect the way pre-orders are handled in the country.

The Higher Regional Court of Munich has banned retailers from offering pre-orders for products without a solid release date, according to German news site Heise (confirmed by the Eurogamer.de team).

The ruling follows a consumer protection claim against leading German electronics chain Media Markt over pre-orders for a smartphone, but now applies to all products - including video games.

This means store must be able to offer customers a latest date by which their purchase will arrive. They are no longer allowed to pre-sell products with a "coming soon" or "available soon" placeholder.

Düsseldorf Consumer CEO Wolfgang Schuldzinski said: "When consumers order goods on the internet, providers must specify by when the goods are delivered."

This will have a noticeable impact on video games as publishers regularly announce new titles without a concrete release date and retailers begin offering pre-orders almost immediately. Germany is a sizeable European market, and therefore likely a good indicator of demand for publishers when targeting the region.

More stories

Outerverse publisher says NFT scammers targeted its game

Freedom Games says blockchain project using Outerverse name and assets has no connection to the actual game

By Brendan Sinclair

Legal trends for the games industry in 2022 | Opinion

Advant's Dr. Andreas Lober and Luca Guidobaldi shares their predictions for the Metaverse, European law and more

By Dr Andreas Lober and Luca Guidobaldi

Latest comments

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.