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Fresno residents crowded the First and Shields Gamestop Monday night in anticipation for the midnight release of developer Respawn’s blockbuster debut, Titanfall.
“I’m excited because the gameplay mechanics are so different,” said Michael Massoudi, a 26 year old Fresno State student. “It’s done so well compared to what keeps getting put out every year.” he added.
Like Massoudi and many people that gathered Monday night, this is not their first time at a midnight release rodeo. Big titles such as the yearly installments of the Call of Duty franchise, or games like Halo or Assassin’s Creed have this expectation of midnight launches and become more of an event for the customers and retailers. Although there is huge buzz surrounding the game and the developers Respawn having a particular pedigree, This is the first time in recent memory of a midnight release for a new IP, and also one on a next-gen console.
Massoudi said that it has become an innate feeling to get the game at midnight, a sort of ritual.
“Maybe it’s just that instinct from when you were a kid and wanting to get that hot new toy you’ve been waiting for and needing to have it right away.” Massoudi said.
Titanfall has been labeled as the Xbox One’s much needed “Killer App”, and Microsoft’s previous consoles have had their own, with the first Xbox having Halo, and the 360 with Gears of War. I don’t expect Titanfall to reach that type of critical mass, however I think Titanfall fits more in tow with the 2006 Xbox 360 release of The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, for the simple fact that both games came out in the March following a Console’s release, where there are not as many blockbuster games coming out. And as Oblivion did with the 360, Titanfall potentially could push bigger numbers with hardware sells.
The weeks before the midnight launch, many gaming communities have been craving and searching for more data about the game since the beta, and after the NeoGaf leak of the game’s game modes, maps, and unlocks a few weeks ago, people have taken it upon themselves to compile all that data and conjure up a community prior to the game release.
One of these more active communities can be found on Reddit, with the group r/Titanfall, which already prior to launch had over 22,000 members. Posts consisting of streams and previews, group discussions, and of course, fan art. The Reddit group showcases a strong sense of sincerity and passion for the game, and hopefully after the games initial release, more people look them up.
Corey Means, a member of the Reddit group, said the beta and the first public trailer is what seal the deal for him.
“I’m extremely excited for Titanfall,” Means said. “Me and my buddy saw it at E3 2013, We were sold. Parkour, mechs, shooting, the whole nine yards for us.”
Although the last midnight release I attended had stronger numbers, which was for Halo 4 in 2012, there was a stronger sense of awareness about the game among the patient gamers for the Titanfall. They knew why they wanted the game, they weren’t there because its just another military shooter, and people were even talking about the Activision ordeal. An older crowd, granted (it is a Monday night after all) but, the gamers waiting for Titanfall had a passion for a game, and most importantly, a new IP. But who couldn’t be passionate about a parkour-jet pack first person shooter featuring giant two-story mechs?