Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Texas-based video game retailer GameStop has canceled midnight release events at all their retail stores.
Cancelation for the ‘health and safety of our guest and associates’
In an internal GameStop memo obtained by Kotaku, the video game retailer states:
Until further notice, late night launch events are suspended. 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.
In addition to the cancelation of the midnight release events, GameStop is also closing the demo stations in their retail locations. The company is also mandating that employees wash their hands twice per hour and issuing instructions on how to thoroughly clean the Verifone payment terminals.
GameStop employees reacts to mandate
However, employees told Kotaku that the company has not provided all the necessary cleaning supplies to carry out the mandates, despite the fact that GameStop is telling customers that such cleaning procedures are being carried out.
Adding insult to injury, the company is asking employees to purchase said cleaning products locally if needed, which is not an easy task in light of all the public madness in securing supplies at local grocery stores due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The grip of coronavirus tightens
Around the world, more and more measures are being implemented to halt the spread of COVID-19. Production of TV shows is being canceled or being held without a studio audience. Companies are having employees work from home.
A number of prominent celebrities have caught the coronavirus, such as Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson (recently discharge as of this writing), Idris Elba, Game of Throne‘s Kristofer Hivju, and Kevin Durant.
In the United States, the city of San Francisco has issued a public health order requiring all citizens to stay in their homes. Movie theater companies AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas are closing all of their 1,173 cinemas.
Major conventions like E3 2020 and South by Southwest have already been canceled as well. Additionally, Major League Baseball (MLB) has pushed back opening day and suspended spring training, while the National Basketball Association (NBA) and NASCAR have suspended their seasons for the time being.
Latest video games still available digitally
While one can no longer enjoy the fellowship of other gamers at a midnight release event at GameStop, at least the latest releases can still be digitally downloaded from the comfort of one’s home.
After all, most gamers have been training for years to have marathon game sessions while being stuck in their home for days or weeks!
Featured image courtesy of GameStop / DOOM Eternal