GameStop cancels midnight launch events, but faces employee criticism over coronavirus measures


Workers take issue with retailer's handling of COVID-19 pandemic

Video game retailer GameStop has cancelled all midnight launch events for the foreseeable future - including late-night openings planned this week for Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal - in response to the ongoing COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.

In an internal memo obtained by Kotaku, the retailer told its staff "To maintain the health and safety of our guests and associates, it is best that we avoid situations where large numbers of guests are gathered indoors or standing in line." It is also stated that demo pods will no longer be active in GameStop locations and implemented a twice-hourly hand-washing rules.

GameStop has recently come under fire after a report published by Kotaku, in which several employees criticised their employer for its overall handling of the coronavirus crisis. According to the Kotaku report, the company has not been providing its store with adequate supplies of hygiene essentials such as hand sanitiser and toilet paper, leaving employees to purchase these items out of their own pocket. No easy task in the current "panic-buying" climate.

Perhaps one of the more controversial testimonies in the report states that workers who feel sick and choose to self-isolate, but cannot provide doctoral evidence that they have been officially "ordered" not to work are being marked by the company as "unexcused absences". No doubt leaving employees in a position where they fear self-isolation could lead to job loss.

This is the latest in a run of difficult situations for the long-time gaming retailers, following a huge decline in sales that has resulted in store closures and job losses. While COVID-19 continues to make its impact felt throughout the industry in many forms, these worrying accounts from understandably frustrated and concerned employees only add concerns to GameStop's future.

GameStop cancels midnight releases for Animal Crossing and Doom [Kotaku]

You are logged out. Login | Sign up



Chris Moyse
Chris MoyseSenior Editor   gamer profile

Chris has been playing video games since video games began... still terrible at them. Former Saturday Night Slam Master, rambles nostalgically like Abe Simpson. I ain't here to fight, so let's no... more + disclosures



Also on Destructoid: Doom Eternal   (79)   From our database:

  • Animal Crossing sees record-breaking sales, debuts at top of UK Charts - Chris Moyse
  • Review: Doom Eternal - Chris Carter
  • Doom Eternal guide: You need to use the whole arena to survive on higher difficulties - Chris Carter
  • Doom Eternal guide: What to unlock first and what to prioritize - Chris Carter
  • GameStop cancels midnight launch events, but faces employee criticism over coronavirus measures - Chris Moyse
  • Doom Eternal's decision to exclude 'eons old' Deathmatch explained by Bethesda - Chris Moyse
  • Doom Eternal will run at 60FPS even on base consoles, Stadia will not feature native 4K after all - Chris Carter
  • (Update) You kinda need a BFPC to run Doom Eternal at the recommended settings - Brett Makedonski
  • Doom Eternal is going to allow for all sorts of weird Slayer customizations - Chris Carter
  • More related stories
    Filed under... #Animal Crossing #Controversy #coronavirus #Doom #GameStop #Nintendo Switch #PS4 #retailers



    You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!