So I went to my first midnight launch of a video game tonight. I’ve been wanting to go for a midnight release for a while, so I pre-ordered three games this year knowing one will have a guaranteed launch event, and relatively high hopes the others would have one as well. Out of he three games of Resident Evil 6, Assassin’s Creed III, and Call of Duty: Black Ops II, my local Best Buy only did a release event for one…and ironically, it was for a game whose series I’ve logged a grand total of about 90 minutes playing. I guess the other two didn’t get enough pre-orders to merit themselves a midnight launch at that store.
I was a little iffy about going to a midnight launch in the middle of November. It’s pretty chilly out, and it gets even colder, especially at night, and waiting outside (if you didn’t pre-order from a game vendor inside a shopping mall and/or an all night department store) for a lengthy period in this weather can seem like a rather daunting task. Luckily for everyone, it was rather warm outside during the day, and it didn’t get too cold at night. My girlfriend and I decided to play it smart, wait until about an hour before launch and hang out in my car until the doors opened.
There were a lot of people out for this game. Where I live, there are a number of places that sell video games within close proximity to each other. We went by the two Gamestops, Target, Walmart and Best Buy. The Gamestop in the mall had a number of people waiting in the food court at about 9pm, while the one less than a mile away had a pretty big crowd. And for the latter, it looked like the local authorities were around to make sure peace was kept, yet they didn’t say/do anything to the guys launching footballs at each other in the parking lot as cars were filing in. Going from Gamestop and Best Buy, we noticed a bit of an age disparity between the two vendors. GS seemed to have more of a younger/teenage crowd while Best Buy had more of the 20+ crowd.
Best Buy had a pretty good system set up, they allowed people who pre-ordered in first, and let them stand at a register to purchase their game and any related materials. I managed to be the first in line, and I managed to hold up the line due to a discrepancy on my pre-order receipt. It’s a bit ironic, that out of the three pre-orders I did at Best Buy, there were problems with ALL of them. Here’s what happened:
-Resident Evil 6 – Pre-ordered the Anthology Edition. Turns out Best Buy never got that version in for release date…even though I reserved it. Had to re-order it online.
-Assassin’s Creed III – Unable to find my reserve form from back in March, and they couldn’t look it up using my debit card since my bank change owners and I got new cards. Had to wait about 20 minutes to figure out how to bring it up. That, and we waited on the wrong line to pick the game up.
-Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Jen and I reserved two copies of AC III and we later realized it’s a game we can share, so I canceled one reserve and moved it over to CoD. Apparently the shift from one reserve to another didn’t really work in the system for some strange reason. Resolved by refunding my pre-order and applying the credit to my game.
At 11:40pm, my transaction was complete and the Hardened Edition was mine, but there was a catch…you couldn’t leave the store until midnight. So we waited up front while the crowd built up with people eager to bolt out the door and speed off home to play the game. It was only as people were leaving, the employees went to give out some free swag for people who went to launch, posters and patches. As soon as the guy placed the free stuff down, people went completely savage in hopes of retrieving wall decorations or a patch of a skull. I managed to get one of each, and as we headed out the door, it was almost like a Reverse Black Friday, people scrambling to get out of the store to rush home to start playing. It seemed rather treacherous going to the parking lot, not knowing if you would be accidentally mowed over by someone. All in all, it was a pretty fun experience.
I’d like to be completely honest. I’m not a huge fan of the Call of Duty franchise. As a matter of fact, I’ve spent more time making jokes about the series than I have actually playing it. I played the original Black Ops while I was out on the west coast (and it was the first time playing any of the games). Did I like it? It was alright. I don’t see why people hail the franchise as the second coming of Christ. I figured it’s something my brother and I can play since we live on opposite ends of the country.
Are there any games you’ve pre-ordered and/or waited/waiting for the midnight launch? Let us know!
Until next time, be excellent to yourself and each other!