Germany bans pre-orders with non-specific release dates

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German authorities have banned online retailers from taking pre-orders for games which don’t have specific release dates.

As reported by German website Heise Online, a case was brought against the online retailer Mediamarkt in the Higher Regional Court of Munich, alleging that Mediamarkt had supplied “Illegal information” to customers who pre-ordered Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones in 2016.

The website described the Galaxy S6 as: “Available soon.” But according to Heise, the court ruled that: “This indeterminate statement regarding the delivery of online goods orders violates the legal duty of information of the seller.” As a result, new legislation is being introduced which applies across all online retailers operating in Germany, and applies to all goods, including videogames. Wolfgang Schuldzinski, CEO of Düsseldorf Consumer which took the case to court, said: “When consumers order goods on the internet, providers must specify by when the goods are delivered.”

No such law exists in the UK, so online retailers are still free to take pre-orders for games with vague release dates. As ever, we’ll keep you up to date with all the emerging news about release dates.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.