The events for midnight launches of games at GameStop are taking a break for a while, per an announcement from the video game retailer. Up first, the next two big releases of Animal Crossing and Doom Eternal will no longer get nighttime releases. GameStop has announced the plans amid the global panic over COVID-19 and its dangerous spread. A total of almost 210,000 cases have been confirmed as of writing, worldwide, and more and more are found each day. As of now, more than 8,300 people have died from the disease, making the roughly 4% mortality rate much higher than that of seasonal influenza.
The gaming company has also enacted various policy changes that should help stem the tide of infections in the public. GameStop will no longer have public demos in its stores, at least for now. The employees at all locations have been promised cleaning supplies and have been instructed to clean POS terminals and other contact surfaces regularly. And as some reports paint an unfortunate picture of a slow response by GameStop, like not getting enough supplies or not getting clarification on policy directives, the policy change seems pretty clear and is the right thing to do.
And in case it wasn’t clear, it’s not just a few games getting their launches canned, all midnight launches at the retailer have been canceled for the time being.
GameStop is one of many companies opting to sanitize, restrict occupancy limits or even close entirely. With some stores, it’s by government order or personal choice, companies are adapting to the spread of the novel coronavirus. As more and more public events like E3 2020 are shut down, we can expect more delays and closures in the coming weeks.
And sadly, not everyone is practicing common sense right now, especially in the US. Many tourists are flocking to Florida and Hawaii in a vain and dangerous attempt to shelter from the viral spread in comfort or to continue with their lives as if there’s no risk. The major problem with this is that these selfish ideas pose a major risk to those most at risk of deadly infection from COVID-19, the immunocompromised and elderly people that will inevitably become exposed due to reckless travel and gatherings. Your trip to Spring Break isn’t worth killing grandma.