GameStop has told Kotaku that it will be changing its preorder refund policy, allowing customers to request a full cash refund of their preorder within 30 days of a game’s release should they choose not to make a purchase. Those who exceed the 30-day limit will qualify for store credit.
“We have also empowered our stores with the extra capability of doing what is right for the customer,” the retailer added in a statement to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier.
In early 2017, a damning report revealed that GameStop employees were under constant threat of losing their jobs if they didn’t meet some rigid sales targets as part of the infamous “Circle of Life” program. Preorders played a significant role, with some employees noting that preorders were “some of the most largely emphasized and tracked stats” in the company. As a result of the push, GameStop saw a high number of preorders but a much lower pick-up ratio, adding to its liabilities.
More recently, GameStop came under fire for overselling Kingdom Hearts III PlayStation 4 Pro preorders, resulting in the company having to cancel many of them. As many have pointed out, pushing preorders seems to have been embedded in its culture.
Users have theorized that the new policy will help to reduce the company’s debts as it won’t be liable to issue cash refunds for preorders after the 30-day limit.
GameStop’s future is a big question mark at the moment as its recent attempt to secure a buyout failed. The company has been in financial trouble for a while now, and has been taking a series of measures to reduce its debts, including the sale of its Spring Mobile business.