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EB Games under fire as new game gets released, prompting long lines

Last Updated Mar 20, 2020 at 11:30 pm EDT

EB Games Canada has come under fire for allowing the release of a new game, prompting long line-ups outside their Toronto store amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Toronto recommended all non-essential stores to close, including retail stores, in order to keep up with the practice of social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The video game retailed announced Thursday they would be closing stores to walk-in traffic, but would still allow those who had ordered the games “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” and “Doom” to pick them up. They would also be only limiting 10 customers to be in the store at a time.

However, that didn’t stop customers from lining up outside prior to the opening of the store at 11 a.m.

CityNews spoke with some of those people outside of EB Games’ Yonge and Dundas streets location near the Eaton Centre about their decision to wait in line despite all the recommendations.

“No amount of pandemic would ever come between me and getting this game. I’m out in public all day anyways so I’ll take the risk,” one person said.

Another couple said they were new users to the came and they were taking precautions, like keeping a distance from people, but said “you do what you gotta do for Animal Crossing.”

Premier Doug Ford was asked about the line-ups during a press conference Friday and called it “unacceptable.”

“It’s unacceptable. Please, please, please do not get in line. Practice active social distancing. This is exactly what causes the spread when they gather. It’s frustrating when I hear stories like this. I’m frustrated with the store owner who allowed this to happen.”

He was also asked whether he would consider fines for the store owners. Ford said they would be sending over bylaw officers or police to speak with store owners, but added “Isn’t it a shame that we have to go to this degree when we just over and over emphasize that we have to do this and some people ignore the advice. You are putting everyone else into danger. Please do not create these environments.”

Mayor John Tory also commented on the lines, calling it, “not a good act of good corporate citizenship.”

Several people online were criticizing EB Games as well as customers lining up.