March 9th is now upon us, and with it Final Fantasy 13. One of the most anticipated and controversial games of this generation is finally out. The reviews are all up and down the scale, but that didn’t stop people coming out into the wee hours of the night to get their hands on a copy. This midnight launch took place at one of the many Gamestops in Chicago. Here are some pictures from tonight:
The doors opened around 10:15 PM. At opening, around 13 people showed up. People slowly trickled in over the next hour. There were no raffles or Final Fantasy trivia games for swag or Gamestop gift cards. Just a long wait until the clock struck midnight.
Around 11:30, business picked up. The Gamestop employee said that store alone had over one hundred pre-orders. I know FF13 is a big game, but I didn’t expect so many to show up.
A few minutes before midnight, over 70 were there. The line wrapped around the store. People kept coming in too. The last midnight release I attended was for Metal Gear Solid 4. There were half as many people for that launch. The number of people for FF13 surprised me.
On a side note, the weather is crazy tonight. There is an incredible amount of fog outside. I thought we transported to Silent Hill. You couldn’t see a few feet in front of you. The fog blocked out the street lights. You didn’t see any cars until they were inches away. I felt like cranking up the car radio just in case a few whacked out monsters appeared in the road.
All in all it was a fun night with an amazing turnout. Judging by this midnight release, Final Fantasy 13 is going to do great in the sales department. It’ll be interesting to see the breakdown for each version. FF13 is sure to cause a few sick days and school absences this week.
[photos by Quarter Disorder]