GameStop is reportedly canceling midnight release events, including those planned for the hotly anticipated Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing: New Horizons and id Software’s Doom Eternal, according to a report from Kotaku. An internal memo, reportedly sent to employees this morning, details the cancellations. Reached for comment, a GameStop public relations representative was unaware that such a memo existed.
“Until further notice, late night launch events are suspended,” says the memo obtained by Kotaku. “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.”
The memo also reportedly orders in-store demo stations to be shut down. Both moves are being made in an effort to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.
News of the cancellation comes during a difficult period for the retailer, which has been publicly floundering for some time. Executives said in January that sales for the most recent quarter were down 25%. Company executives say the arrival of new game consoles from Microsoft and Sony will provide a boost, as should the addition of recently retired president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé to the company’s board of directors.