Germany has decided to take a stance against retailers and video game publishers taking your money for something that doesn’t exist yet, and may well not exist for years, if ever. German news site Heise (translated by Eurogamer) reports that the Higher Regional Court of Munich has ruled that retailers can no longer accept any pre-orders for video games that do not have release dates announced.
Technically, the ruling covers all products, not just games, but we’re going to focus on games here and consider the implications. This means that as of now, in Germany, you can no longer pre-order Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Metroid Prime 4, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Halo Infinite, Gears 5, Cyberpunk 2077, and any game that doesn’t have a release date attached to it yet.
While this may to many seem excessive, there is precedent for pre-orders going wrong. For instance, someone who pre-ordered Duke Nukem Forever in 1997 would have had to wait 13 years for the game to come out. Crackdown 3 fans will have waited five years for the game by the time it is out. Don’t even get me started on Final Fantasy 7 Remake.