Activision sets out to top the largest grossing game in history with their newest iteration. There is a pattern behind the CoD games, meaning, they alternate between studios to rely on an almost yearly release cycle. Treyarch, the studio behind World at War and who brought us Nazi zombies, has some pretty large shoes to fill with Black Ops.
Gamers have been given countless World War 2 shooters in the past and recent present so Treyarch set out to change that. For those that pick up the game, you’ll be fighting through the jungles of Vietnam and various Russian locals during the Cold War. But that’s the game, what about the party? It was very much a party alright.
Stuffwelike had the chance to attend the midnight launch party in West Hollywood at a Gamestop that was much bigger than any I had seen before. Apparently this was a new design for Gamestop and what better way to test it than to have a launch party? When we arrived there were already a number of people waiting in line to pick up Black Ops. The Gamestop employees were decked out in simulated military garb, camouflage face paint, and replica rifles. It was great to see plenty of spirit in these individuals who weren’t just “going through the motions”.
Inside the store there was a center console with multiple games to play instead of having them squashed into some back corner. A display table showed off tournament brackets for the prize of a Call of Duty branded Jeep. Towards the back of the store were tables set up for the development staff of Treyarch to sign, meet, and talk to fans who came to pick up the game. First in line was James C. Burns, voice actor of the main character in Black Ops. I’d never met a voice actor before, for a game even, so it was a great experience to get his take on the game and really see where all personality came from.
As time went on more and more people showed up, food arrived, the DJ played his music and the developers handed out various schwag items to those waiting in the cold. They even handed out signed Prestige Editions to the first person in line, after a round of rock-paper-scissors to determine the winner. Shirts were tossed out, XBL and PSN cards were raffled off, and those in costume were judged. Being in a smaller setting like this Gamestop really made the feeling of gamer camaraderie that much more present.
Midnight finally arrived and the first few people were allowed into the store. Cheers went up from the development team, happy to finally have the game in their eager customer’s hands, fans were smiling and having fun getting their prizes signed. Despite its small appearance on the outside, Gamestop and Activision put on a fun event worth waiting around in the cold for.