There’s currently plenty of commotion regarding micro-transactions in video games, and now a ruling by German courts means vague release dates for pre-orders of video games are no longer allowed.
According to Heise, and verified by Eurogamer.de, the ruling came after a local consumer protection group raised the issue with the courts. The case originally stems from when a claim was made against German retailer, Media Markt, over a pre-order of a smartphone in 2016.
It essentially means shops in Germany can no longer offer pre-orders if the phrases “coming soon” or “available soon” are associated. Now pre-orders must list the latest date by which a product will be delivered. This ruling applies to all products, including video games.
When consumers order goods on the internet, providers must specify by when the goods are delivered - CEO of Düsseldorf Consumer
This appears to be another step in the right direction, given the fact retailers are not always transparent when listing products ahead of release. It would be great to see other countries eventually adopt this rule, as right now, there are plenty of stores worldwide that make pre-orders for video games available as soon as announcements are made.