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   (108)   From our database:

  • Doom Eternal DLC trailer teases The Ancient Gods: Part 2 - Chris Moyse
  • Doom Eternal on Switch has optional gyro aiming support - Chris Carter
  • Slay bells ring as Doom Eternal hits Xbox Game Pass on PC this week - Brett Makedonski
  • Doom Eternal Switch is about 18GB, and with no physical release, good luck with space - Chris Carter
  • Doom Eternal on Switch isn't that far away after all, as it launches next week - Chris Carter
  • Doom Eternal for Nintendo Switch will be a digital-only release - Chris Moyse
  • Hell yeah, Doom Eternal joins Xbox Game Pass next week - Brett Makedonski
  • This Doom Eternal horde mode mod looks like it's to die for - Chris Carter
  • The Doom Eternal Mullet Slayer skin is now live - 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!