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Germany bans pre-orders for games without release dates

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German gamers will no longer be able to pre-order video games that have vague release dates in an attempt to safeguard them from putting money into something of which they do not know much about. According to a report from Heise, the Higher Regional Court of Munich ruled that vague release dates such as "coming soon" and "Q1-4" aren't offering enough information to the consumer and goes against the national consumer protection act. Thus, games without a set release date will no longer be listed online and available for pre-order. 

This comes after the group filed a complaint about a Samsung Galaxy S6 pre-order back in the day that raised a few concerns about putting money down for something which was without a release date. According to Wolfgang Schuldzinski, CEO of Düsseldorf Consumer, "when consumers order goods on the internet., providers must specify by when the goods are delivered". Yeah, this is not happening in gaming as most video games go up for pre-order and don't release for months to years after "cough-cough" Dead Island 2. 

While this verdict will benefit consumers in Germany, it also raises some concerns when it comes to pre-order incentives and stock allocations. A lot of games go up for pre-order with Collector's Editions and limited editions and these games are often without a release date. This means German consumers may miss out on these editions as they will likely sell out before the release date is set which allows the publisher to list the game in the country. It also means there will be a lot less to pre-order now as most games have no release date when first announced. 

Do you think this is a good or bad move? Let us know in the comments below.

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