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German Court Outlaws Pre-Orders Without Specific Release Dates

Germany is cracking down on marketing gimmicks by changing the rules surrounding release dates. From now on, items up for pre-order need a release date or it's against the law.

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annoyedgamer34d ago

Can't companies just set random dates and push keep delaying them?

getbacktogaming34d ago

LOL ... What about kickstarter?

annoyedgamer34d ago (Edited 34d ago )

Not sure, maybe they wont persue kickstarter, or as is typical with these kind of broad laws, kickstarter will have to restrict its fundraising in Germany.

NecrumOddBoy34d ago

What about Nintendo who likes to do that, "said-game is released... now!"

Aenea33d ago

But Kickstarter is not a pre-order. You're not actually buying something, you're investing in the project and as a reward you will receive the finished product when it's done...

FinalFantasyFanatic33d ago

Which reminds me, I think that Muv-Luv physicals got sent out from Kickstarter recently, just saying.

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Muzikguy34d ago

This was my first thought too. Also, with it being against the law, how would this be monitored and enforced? Seems like a hard thing to do but maybe not.

Cobra95134d ago

How would it be difficult? When taking preorder money in Germany, businesses now have to provide the buyers with definite release dates. If those dates come and go with no product delivery, the law has been broken.

Muzikguy34d ago

Yes but would it be enforced? Here in America people get around the laws all the time for whatever reason

Cobra95134d ago (Edited 34d ago )

Pushing the date back after taking preorder money would constitute a breach of the law. I don't know what remedies the law provides, though. Compensation? Refunds? Fines? I should read more about it, because it is a really interesting bit of protection that I'd like to see spread worldwide.

Imagine Star Citizen in this context. Cloud Imperium Games would argue that crowdfunding is not preordering. It would then be up to the lawmakers to close or at least tighten up that loophole. I can see giving crowdfunded projects some leeway, say one extra year after their announced completion date.

Aenea33d ago

But crowdfunding is investing in the project, getting something in return is only a reward for helping to make the project become a reality, you're not actually buying anything. That's also the risk you take with Kickstarter, if there's nothing coming out of it you just lost your money, it was investment which contains some form of risk and you lost your money. Nothing to be done about that unless they want to completely ban that sorta thing...

rainslacker33d ago

Yeah. And it's easy enough to just delay a game I suppose. However, I suppose if publishers do that enough, then they'll aggravate the customers over time.

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Cajun Chicken34d ago ShowReplies(2)
PapaBop34d ago (Edited 34d ago )

I think here in the UK we do it best, with the exception of digital preorders, retail outlets only take our money either when we go in to buy it or online they charge our cards/paypal accounts etc the day the game is to be dispatched.

NecrumOddBoy34d ago

This is how Amazon works too. They don't charge you until shipping or release.

rainslacker33d ago

To my knowledge, in the US, of the major companies, only GameStop charges you a fee of $5 for a game preorder. $25 for collector's editions that are over a certain amount. One is free to pay the full amount if they want. They're also free to not pre-order, or cancel their pre-order at any time.

I really don't see why there needs to be a law to prevent pre-orders. It's not like the publishers get that money until they actually ship the game, at which time, the retailers will pay for the game.

joab77734d ago

That kinda makes sense. Who preorders a game without a release date?

SubZtx34d ago

If I have credit somewhere with an expiration date I like having pre-orders available even if they don't know know the official date.

Razmiran33d ago

There was that guy that preordered Duke Nukem Forever in 97

Christopher33d ago

This law is just going to result in them changing from calling it a pre-order to calling it a reservation and then, once it's confirmed, having you come back to 'confirm' your reservation to change it to a pre-order.

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