I’ve Seen Enough: It’s Time To Bring Back Midnight Releases

It’s the best time in the history of the world to be a gamer.

I mean seriously, just take a look around. Breathtaking cinematic experiences, compelling and mind-bending story-driven adventures, awe-inspiring Indies, blockbuster multiplayer games, and exhilarating esports titles that captivate the world’s excitement, attention, and competitive spirit. There’s something truly great out there for every type of gamer, and that’s exactly why it’s time to bring Midnight Releases back.

Now, before you tell me “Dom, GameStop still does Midnight Releases” (I truly don’t know if they do or not), but the fact that exactly zero people talk about them these days unless waxing nostalgic about their gaming heyday is enough evidence for me that they need to be fully brought back. And don’t even open your mouth to start telling me we don’t have the firepower to bring crowds outside, just think about the games on the slate this year!

Bungie’s potentially final expansion for the ten-year long Light and Darkness Saga of Destiny 2 – The Final Shape. The first college football game in over a decade in EA Sports College Football 25. Avowed. Indiana Jones. All your other annual sports titles. BLACK OPS 6! And next year!? Grand Theft Auto IV! Come on people!!!

As someone who worked at GameStop from 2007-2011, which was probably the greatest blockbuster era for video games we’ve ever seen, I was there for every major midnight release you can think of. Halo, Call of Duty, Madden, Skyrim, all of em. Despite the fact that I was basically paid in literal dogshit, I wouldn’t trade a second of those awful, terrible shifts if it meant not having the pictures and memories that I got in return.

We got barely any support from GameStop corporate in those days, and were encouraged to partner with local businesses to get free pizza, energy drinks, etc. in exchange for letting them hang some banners up so that we could draw people in. Lotta people didn’t do that, but I did. I relished in it. In hindsight, I probably could have done even more, and if I had to do it all over again – I would have.

Now, we’ve got games that release at three or four in the morning, or in Bungie’s case – 1 or 2pm in the AFTERNOON ON A TUESDAY(!?!?!!?!) instead of letting fans wait with bated breath until the game is playable just after midnight on release day. And even IF a game releases earlier than that, get ready for a fat 100GB update or day one patch.

I don’t know how, I don’t know where, but I do know who would support them if anybody really could bring Midnight Releases back. Even if it was in the form of a blockbuster Twitch stream with a bunch of creators talking up the game and then playing it just after midnight, people could tune in and wait for their digital downloads to complete so they can join in once the clock strikes.

If I’m talking Field of Dreams-level stuff here folks. If you Midnight Release it, they will come.

Papa Dom

Co-founder, lead blogger, graphic designer, and manager of WGG's writing team - Dom has been writing about video games for over ten years. Dom's work has been featured on some of the world's biggest gaming news outlets - including Dexerto, GameInformer, and IGN.

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