It was a foregone conclusion that one of the most successful videogame franchises in the world would have a big opening day, but now it seems that it will have one of the biggest opening nights as well. GameStop has announced that 4,400 of the company's 6,500 stores will be hosting midnight launch events for the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops this Tuesday. In what may be the just the first of many records broken with the release of Activision and Treyarch's newest FPS, Black Ops will give GameStop the largest midnight launch in the Texas-based company's history.If the Call of Duty franchise will be remembered for one thing, it is breaking records. The series has reached a level of public awareness that few games have ever achieved, and seems to set a new definition of 'blockbuster' with every new title. Since millions are lining up to hand over their cash to get the game as soon as possible, it only follows that more and more retailers will see a midnight launch as a necessity more than a promotion.
With Gamestop's popularity among the gaming community, the company seems to recognize that the launch of Black Ops doesn't just have to be a monumental day for Activision. GameStop had sales of over $9 billion last year, but Senior VP of Merchandising Bob McKenzie doesn't see why the retailer should pass up an event like this:
"We anticipate Call of Duty: Black Ops will not only be the biggest video game event of the year, but the biggest launch in GameStop's history,"
It seems like years ago that the overwhelming sentiment for Black Ops was skepticism, and doubts that Treyarch would be able to produce a title equal to Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2. Treyarch stood behind their work, and with every new detail the game showed more and more promise. It remains to be seen if Black Ops will have the legs to outsell MW2's 15 million copies. It may be difficult, but given the accomplishments of the series it's far from impossible.
GameStop locations across the United States will begin the festivites at 9:30 pm on Monday, inviting fans to catch an early look at the game, enjoy some camouflage face-painting for the kids, and CoD trivia for the die-hards. Be sure to inquire at your local store about special events, since a Call of Duty launch party is as good a reason as any to spend a Monday night out.
If waiting in line, then rushing home to join your similarly sleep-deprived friends in one of the many multiplayer modes isn't for you, there are alternatives. You could also download a copy digitally, but where is the fun in that?
In the cold or on the couch, we'll all get a chance to see what Treyarch has in store for us when Call of Duty: Black Ops launches for the PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii this Tuesday, November 9, 2010.