Warcraft: The Burning Crusade release at EB Games Union Square
Last night I went to the midnight release for Warcraft’s The Burning Crusade expansion at the EB Games at Union Square. There were two lines snaking away from the mouth of the store, and no signs or people explaining which line was for what. I jumped in the nearest line and hoped I’d gotten it right. As it turned out, one line was for people who had pre-ordered the game and the second, much longer line was for people who had verified with the sales clerks they had pre-ordered the game. Got that? It was confusing and it pissed off many people who queued up in the “verified” line who then had to go get in the other queue.
I arrived at eleven p.m. and it already looked the picture above. There were at least 200 people, 95% of which were proud owners of a Y chromosome. We all stood outside together in the near-freezing weather and there was a general boistrousness in the air. All across the line I could hear strangers asking each other what server they were on, what class was their main, did they play in beta, and so on.
This is the second line snaking around the corner past a psychic and a newstand and an irish gift shop. There was a 24-hour Starbucks across the street that was doing some brisk business off the assembled gamers.
At least two dozen homeless folks walked down the line asking for spare change. The gamers reacted with a mixture of jaded indifference, outright fear and generosity. Many of the gamers already had plans to go home and raid at three a.m. In front of me in line were six guys from a guild on Blackrock, some of whom had never met in person before. While behind me a guy in his late thirties was discussing which bags he needed crafted to upgrade his bank slots.
Aside from a bit of line chaos, the event went off without a hitch but also without any special fanfare or decorations. After all the hype I was kind of expecting more. The best part though was that after running to catch a Muni bus down market I saw a cute indie boy with a laptop on his lap looking around furtively who saw my copy of The Burning Crusade in my hand and grinned conspiratorily. He was loading the game onto his laptop on the bus ride home. Now that, dear readers, is efficiency.
Overheard in line:
“WTB pre-order ticket!”
“The only reason I bought the collector’s edition was to eBay it.”
First guy: “And so I called my mom and I was like ‘Mom! Two Hours!’ and she said ‘I know honey!’ ”
Second guy: “Is she still playing?”
[short time later.]
First guy: “Hey guys, this weekend my mom is going to make food for us and raid with us!”
A car drove by very fast with a blonde man leaning out of the passenger side window: “Fucking nerds!”