With the latest Gears of War title being released at 12:01am, hundreds of fans waited patently outside Gamestop at the Swansea Mall in Swansea, MA. The excitement was in the air with fans just waiting to get their hands on the new release.
During the afternoon the day before, fans who pre-order Gears of War 3 received a text from Gamestop with instructions on picking up the title early Tuesday morning. The text instructed that anyone wanting to pick it up at 12:01am should arrive at their local Gamestop after 10:00pm to finalize their purchase. At 12:01am, they would be able to pick up their game.
Now, I’ve never went to a midnight release. But being a huge Gears fan, I had to go and experience it with my fellow fans. I arrived at the parking lot at 10:45pm and, to my surprise, the lot was already full. Over a hundred fans were already waiting in line. I had to wait in a short line to finalize my purchase before camping out in the main one.
The purchase part of my experience went pretty smoothly. One register could only except cash which caused a small hiccup but the staff was very friendly and made the wait manageable. I had enough credit on my Powerup Rewards card to pick Gears 3 up for $10 and ended up buying the season pass for $30. Still paid less than the sticker price of the title. Come on, it’s Gears, I had to get it.I made my way to the second line and, unfortunately, was near the end. The line was pretty quite with small groups discussing the new release and gaming topics. Others were playing games on their handhelds and mobile devices. Every now and then a staff member would bring out stickers, snacks and candy. It was a pretty cool gesture.
Finally 12:01am popped up on my phone and the line became a buzzed with excitement. Shouts let’s go and a count down came from the front of the line. Soon we were in line to pick up Gears 3. Retro lancers, limited edition XBOXs and special editions flowed past like a river. It was like Christmas for geeks. (yes, I was one).
It went really quickly. Within 10 minutes, I had Gears in hand and on the way to the car. It was an interesting experience and now on to sleepless nights.