Amazon Removes Listings For Game Pre-Orders Amidst Coronavirus Crisis

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Amazon Removes Listings For Game Pre-Orders Amidst Coronavirus Crisis

The continued spread of coronavirus around the world has led to a large degree of uncertainty. With the bulk of entertainment being delayed or outright cancelled, future video game releases are in doubt. Now, Amazon has delisted the vast majority of game pre-orders from their US website, sparking customer concern.

While popular games like The Last of Us Part II, Marvel’s Avengers and Cyberpunk 2077 are still available, many others are now listed as currently unavailable for pre-order including Ghost of Tsushima (scheduled for release June 2020), Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered (also listed for June 2020), Biomutant (December 2020) and more.

The reason for this delisting is currently unclear — although there are several reasons why game deliveries may be impacted. While Amazon US could have been contacted by developers in regards to stock or release issues, the delistings do not appear to be widespread and other retailers like EB Games and JB Hi-Fi are not currently impacted.

The second, more likely reason is to do with resourcing — Amazon is currently experiencing a global influx of traffic as people purchase essential goods online. This additional demand has forced them to de-prioritise non-essential goods delivery and delisting pre-orders could have the benefit of freeing up workers to concentrate on essential orders.

Kotaku Australia has contacted Amazon to determine the official reason for these changes. Should we hear back, this article will be updated.

Global supply chains are currently being widely impacted by coronavirus. In Australia, this has eventuated in some reduced services from Australia Post, which will now deliver letters every second day to ease the burden on local supply chains and increase delivery of larger essential parcels.

For video games, this epidemic has meant greater complications with manufacturing and shipping of titles and consoles. It’s also led to longer delays for games like The Last Of Us: Part II.

These changes do not appear to impact existing pre-orders on Amazon US or Amazon AU’s pre-order process. It’s likely that once the coronavirus curve stabilises and new cases drop, these titles will become available again. In the meantime, you can still check out other local retailers or Amazon’s Australian store for your game pre-orders.

Update 1:59pm: This article has been updated to clarify this ongoing situation currently impacts Amazon’s US operations only.

Comments

  • This actually already happened on Amazon Australia just before FF7 early released, but a couple of days later everything re-appeared on the website.

  • I wonder if it has anything to do with the backlash from that comic book store fella getting arrested and fined.

  • This additional demand has forced them to de-prioritise non-essential goods delivery and delisting pre-orders could have the benefit of freeing up workers to concentrate on essential orders.

    Not sure I follow the logic here… A preorder doesn’t really require their staff to do anything. They don’t have the product so it’s not like their staff have to spend any time processing, packing, etc. The order just sits there in the system doing nothing until the product gets released. If they were trying to reduce the load on their staff then they’d be delisting stuff they had in stock now, not stuff that may or may not need to be dealt with a month or two from now.

    • Yes, but what if this situation continues until those pre-orders become ‘orders’?
      Then you either have to immediately tell everyone “hey we took your money but we aren’t gonna post your items for ages”, cancel/refund the orders or delay other ‘more important’ stuff so you can post some games.
      Or like they are doing, you can stop pre-orders until you are certain of what the situation will be around their release date.

      Honestly i think they’ll probably come back sooner than later. But im just saying the above, because its how they’d have to think about the situation. What makes them look best/worst, what has the highest/lowest amount of work etc.

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