German Court Bans "Coming Soon" in Marketing 3 replies

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FileTrekker Über Admin

I'm spending a year dead for tax reasons.

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#1 4 months ago


So it seems like the idea is to stop game developers, or potentially any other type of product or software, from being able to cash in on pre-sales if there is no firm date of release set, likely because often products or games may turn into vaporware and the person selling it may not be able to refund the money should it be down to mismanaged finances, for example.

The interesting question though, would this affect, or could it, things like Kickstarter? This is a notorious place for this issue, give me money for the implied exchange of a product, or discount on said product, but with no actual firm product or release date given.

It may also mean games are not announced until later in their development cycle? Although I assume it is still okay to say "coming soon" as long as you are not taking pre-orders?

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RadioactiveLobster Forum Admin

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#2 4 months ago

You are correct, this affects Pre-Orders only.

You can still list a general "Coming Soon" in marketing and whatnot as long as you are not selling pre-orders for the game at the same time.

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MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#3 4 months ago

This is actually a ruling on delivery times in cases online-shops run out of items and display "available soon". This is too vague for German courts, so chances are shops will replace it with "currently not available" or "availalbe in 1-2 weeks".

Mr. Matt VIP Member


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#4 4 months ago

Incidentally, just because people treat Kickstarter like a glorified pre-order platform, that doesn't make it so.

It's an investment platform. You're making investments, with all of the risks that entails. Getting a copy of the game you've invested in afterwards is more like a dividend or a buyback than a purchase. The stakes might be lower than Wall Street, but the risks of losing the money you've invested are the same. 

If you dump some of your money into a game that ultimately doesn't pan out on Kickstarter, you don't really have a leg to stand on. It's not a shop. If you're lucky, the company making the game will still exist afterwards and will be decent (and liquid) enough to reimburse you. But if you're not prepared to potentially lose all of the money you've invested when a product doesn't make it to market, then don't invest - wait until the game is finished and buy it normally. 

If more people realised this going in, then it'd be a lot less 'notorious'. It'd perhaps also give people the foresight to realise that not all 'investment opportunities' are offered in good faith, and it's hard for people to detect those when they're treating the place like it's Amazon.

Last edited by Mr. Matt 4 months ago