Community Review: Midnight Launches

Community Review: Midnight Launches

Let’s talk about midnight launches. Destiny is coming out, and I’m fairly sure a ton of you are heading to a midnight launch. I know I’m considering it.

Myself? I’ve been to a few. Some I enjoyed, others felt like a complete waste of time. All too often I’ve stayed up for midnight launches only to drive back home and literally go straight to bed. Like, what was the point of all that? Seriously. I reckon I’ve done that at for at least 50% of the midnight launches I’ve attended.

40% of the time, I’ve turned the game on for roughly 30 minutes and then fallen asleep on the couch.

The remaining 10% probably represents Halo 3, which I actually played until about 4 in the morning, because I had scheduled a day off work the next day.

I guess my point is that while midnight launches are fun, they rarely make any sense for me personally. 90% of the time it would have been more reasonable for me to just pick up the game the next day like a normal person.

But — and it’s a big but — how fun is it to get all excited? To leave the house, to get into your car and drive — the roads completely empty. You make it to Westfield. It’s completely empty. It feels weird. It feels like you’re breaking some sort of rule. It feels like you’re somewhere you shouldn’t be and that adds to the drama. I really love that.

In a lot of ways I feel like I’m too old for midnight launches, but I could never judge anyone for attending them. Maybe the days of attending them are over for me. I have a kid, I need my sleep. I can’t really justify staying up that late for a video game. In a strange way, that makes me mourn. It makes me mourn for those little butterflies in your stomach as head out to get that video game you’ve been anticipating for months, possibly years.

What are your thoughts on midnight launches? Do you go to them? Do you enjoy them? Let me know in the comments below.


  • I completely agree with the weird yet awesome feeling of being in an empty shopping centre. It’s almost like exploring a multiplayer map.

  • I’ve never done a midnight launch. Sleep is king for me. My ultimate game indulgence would be scheduling a day off work so I could sleep past my alarm rather than go without sleep for a midnight launch!

  • I’m too old and grumpy for them these days.
    That said, Saturday release games (thanks Nintendo) can make it a bit more viable – just as easy to wait up and make the night trip (then sleep in) as it is to get up early to be there opening time the next morning.
    Weekday stuff, nah, got work and stuff to worry about.

    • Yep – preordered Hyrule Warriors Limited Edition (I know…) in the city and didn’t realise the release date is a Saturday!

  • I’m lucky because all I need to do to get the next day off work is to not turn up!
    ( and before you make a joke about being fired, I’m serious 😛 )

    I actually love midnight launches. It’s a time where you can have mature discussions about videogames without hiding behind a forum throwing ad hominem attacks at each other in a desperate attempt to justifiy your hate.

    In a way I kinda wish I was excited for Destiny so that I could go to the midnight launch. My last midnight launch was GTAV and I was able to walk to the end of the line when I turned up 30 seconds before release. No real time to talk about it. Before that was Halo 4, so that night was tainted by that game.

  • Ergh, i just pre-order for delivery by EB Games, I got my copy of Destiny Collector’s Edition this morning 😛 you usually get things the day before they’re released and I never have to bother with midnight launches.

      • I have sadly been at work today 🙁 i just assumed the servers wouldn’t even be up yet, is there meant to be some crazy 50GB patch?

        • No idea. I’m not too fussed about the size myself (within reason obviously) but a mate who has only average download speeds is contemplating going to get his ps4 bundle at a midnight launch and if the patch is relatively large it might be the thing that makes him decide to do it

          • It seems to only be 230mb, i would love to go all digital this generation but yeah, the download speeds/bandwidth thing is an issue in this country, not that it’s particularly taxing to stand up, walk a meter and change discs 😛

          • It’s 230, plus update, then it installs the rest of the game behind the scenes. Mine totals 21GB atm

  • It’s horribly scheduled for Australia… Tuesday release… really?

    On the topic, this is probably why I feel like buying digital copies are much more viable now… No need to get out of the house and they let us preload it anyway

  • I have been to a few, GTA4, GTA5, xbone launch usually end up ruining the next day of gaming cos I’m tired, not doing it for Destiny me and mate have friday off so will prob start thursday night.

  • I’m basically with you – no matter how excited I am for something, it can wait till the store opens in the morning, because I’m not going to be playing it by the time I get home again anyway. And with stores like Big W opening at 8am on weekends, I effectively get to play at the same time.

    Only time I ever attended a midnight launch was for the gamecube. Train there at 11, wait around for a while, get a couple of posters (that sat rolled up in the spare room for a few years until being thrown out), train home again at 12:30, unbox everything, sleep. Bah.

    Also, like several have already stated, I’m obviously too old and grumpy for this shit.

  • I did a midnight launch for Xbone, I worked it nicely I thought. I watched The Hunger Games and waited about 30 minutes for JB Hi Fi to open in the shopping center to go and pick it up.

    My loving partner was falling asleep standing in the line, so for both her’s and I’s sake I went straight to be as well when I thought I could sneak in maybe an exhibition match on Fifa 14. Sleep is definitely king, I won’t be able to play tomorrow but I’ll be sneaking out early Wednesday morning and taking the day off to play 😛 HYPE!

  • For midnight launches, you will need the following: lots of caffeine, something to ward off the societies unexceptible people, loud music on your mp3 player (preferably really heavy metal), a car that is filled with petrol to go home in & plenty of others.

  • Never been to one and probably never will. I have a workers body clock so even if I did drag myself to one I wouldn’t be playing it when I got home.

    I was there waiting for the doors to open on PS4 launch day and WiiU launch day the next morning though.

  • The only midnight launch I ever went to was for the Gamecube. I was invited to the front of the line as I had pre-ordered it first. All the staff knew me as I’d been paying it off about $20 at a time for aaaaages. Ended up mixing and matching deals from two other places and got a great bargain. Plus they dropped the price prior to release so I had enough for an extra game!

    Sadly they no longer match console bundles.

  • I’ve always wanted to go to a midnight launch, just to say I’ve been, but the sensible part of me always reminds me that I wouldn’t have a chance to play it until the evening of the next day anyway. I’m also a patient person, I can wait another 18 hours to play a game.

  • Besides the fact that WA has stupid laws and i don’t think i have ever seen a midnight launch here for ANY game… I would rather go to sleep early, wake up at 8, go pick up the game and play all day if i can get the day off rather then go to a midnight launch.

  • I’ve only been to one and that was for Pokemon X/Y last year. It was pretty great because everyone was there having a blast, streetpassing the crap out of everyone, and just all excited about the same thing. I’m not looking at getting Destiny immediately (lacking a current-gen console) however I would like to go to another midnight release. Maybe Smash Bros later this year.

  • I feel like midnight launches are almost a hangover of the Gamer stereotype – kinda implies we are jobless, nocturnal layabouts and too rabid in our fandom to just go to the shops in the morning.

    • They have midnight screenings for new films so it’s not too unusual. Also all of the rabid music festival goers who camp out on the website so that they get first access to tickets before they run out.

    • Reading a little too much into it there? It’s a hangover of the date and time changing after midnight.

  • I go to a few every year, I like the atmosphere. Its exciting.
    Ive been to Call of Dutys Midnight Launch every year since Modern Warfare (7 years running) so thats like an annual thing for me (I known I’m gonna get needless hate for that admission).
    Then theres usually one huge game per year, like GTA 4 or 5, or Watchdogs.
    However I’m not going to a Destiny Launch, I’m just not pumped enough for Destiny sadly

    • I thought most people in CoD lines were kids and shouldn’t be up that late 😛

      Although I heard last year that Ghosts had very little midnight interests.

      • Yeh man, its pretty funny sometimes, You do see kids there with their mum or dad or whoever, and they look really pumped and the parents have this “What am i doing here?” look on their faces.
        Yeh, Ghost launch was a little dead. So was Watch Dogs actually, probably from all that last minute “Lets hate Watch Dogs” action that went on

  • Went to the PS2 midnight launch at Myer in Lonsdale street – was one of the first 10 in the queue, got my shiny nextgen system, drove home, plugged it in, played for 20 minutes then went to bed cos work at 8am.

    The next day was the slowest day in living memory because I was at work, dead tired and fucking excited to go home and play. Should’ve just picked one up after work on launch day.

    Nowadays I’m too old, and pick it up on launch day – or buy digital and preload. If it’s a game I’m ULTRA exciuted about – which is rare – Fallout NV was the last one (which was an unplayable bug-ridden mess at launch anyway) – I just take a few days/week off from launch day.

  • I went to the midnight launch Of TES:Oblivion. Only it was more like 10pm then midnight. Would I do it again? Probably not. All I managed to do was get home, install it, start it to make sure it actually loaded up the intro then went to bed.

  • Only one I ever went to I was dragged along by a friend. It was Zelda: Twilight Princess, for the Wii. He stayed up to play it, I went to sleep. Got up at 9am the next morning… he was still playing it. Some people can do it; myself, I value my sleep.

  • The movie thing’s fair, but movies are done in a couple hours – games you spend a hour getting it and then supposedly marathon it all morning?
    And limited quantity is not really an issue.
    But if you like the atmosphere I guess.

  • When I get a game home from a midnight launch I normally just use the time to in stall the game and download the inevitable launch patches etc. so I can get home after work that day and get straight into the game.

  • I’ve been to midnight launches for Halo 3 and ODST.

    Halo 3 was pretty big but I wasn’t buying a special version of the game so I felt like a bit of a knob.

    ODST was a really sad little affair where a bunch of tired people picked up their games and walked away.

    Now I don’t care. I hardly preorder anything (and my current order for Destiny was online so I’m awaiting delivery rather than going somewhere to get it).

    • Problem with ODST is that people judged the game before it came out. This was after the switch from expansion to DLC.

      • I disagree. The fact there was demand for a midnight launch indicated that a lot of people were excited for it. The bulk of the scrutiny came later when people were disappointed by it and started calling it a “full price expension pack” etc. I personally liked it a lot, and consider it my third favourite Halo after 3 and 1.

        I think part of the lacklustre midnight launch was just that there wasn’t a lot of hype other than “a new Halo game, sort of, yay” and the lack of special editions. It was literally just some people lining up to buy a game 10 hours earlier than usual. There was no real community engagement.

        • It’s interesting – I have ODST and Reach constantly fighting for my favorite Halo title. Don’t think I’ll ever (or want to) decide. ODST’s story telling was great. Loved trawling through the overrun city and playing the story of each event. Dark, oppressive – you actually felt outnumbered and behind enemy lines. Was a cool approach.

          I also enjoyed the ODSTs 10000X more than the Spartans. (Remembering ODST was before Reach, hence wooden Master Chief was all we had to that point.) ODSTs were awesome because they were just regular people, basically – not genetically engineered super soldiers. Easier to relate to.

          Not to mention the addition of Firefight. Highly underrated game.

          Then Reach is there fighting for place – awesome game, and finally Spartans with personalities.

          • Well maybe you’ll have a better idea once I work my way up to my ODST and Reach in-depth reviews.

  • I’ve worked midnight launches and really just felt like finding some corner in the stock room to fall asleep in. They’re not that fun if you’re working them and standing around for two hours while the time slowly passes, making awkward conversation with people sounds like a fate worse than death. I really rather waking up at whatever time I wake up, picking up my order then spending the day (fairly) well-rested and able to play without feeling like a zombie.

    • Agreed. From the other side of the counter it’s super awkward. My store had to open 11 – 2, and by 12:30 we’d generally have gone through all the customers and would be left standing around wanting to go home and play it ourselves.
      I really hated working midnight launches.

  • I went to PS4 launch and didn’t even buy one just moral support for friend and JB 20% off everything sale. Super friendly people though enthusiasm is infectious. GTA5 launch was not fun. Bullies there harassing people. Bad vibes almost fight level.

  • I used to like going to them. But with online requirements to activate most games to play, and servers not being available until most games releases in the US, I really see no point anymore.

  • The empty streets and mall, with only a horde of fellow Nerds who you know are similarly enthusiastic, is the only thing worth it about a midnight launch. There’s often advertised ‘events’, demos and things to try and get gamers involved in the launch, but I suspect it’s just to pep the morale of the staff, because 99% of buyers grab their copy, MAYBE some bonus promo merch, and ditch for home ASAP so they can rip that shrink-wrap off ASAP.

  • Midnight lunch is like waiting in front of Apple store before the product launches, MADNESS and waste of time tbh

    I rather order mine next day

  • Did one for GTA5. They didnt do anything fun it was just buying the game. Played it until about 4am then went to work. Felt like I was dying pretty rapidly.

  • I already have my copy and the servers go live at 9pm tonight AEST, hopefully there isn’t a huge server crash and I get to be one of the first in!

    ADD ME ON PSN/JOIN MY FIRE SQUAD! my PSN is shadowwarrior404

  • Completely fine with midnight launches, just skipping this one. I already have the Vanguard edition preloaded and ready, I’ll go pick up my limited edition for the extra stuff tomorrow and sell the disc to my mate straight away. Prob gonna try and stream for a while tonight also.

    With the GTA V midnight launch, I was home by 12:14 and installing a minute later. Then playing about 40 mins after that and playing till around 3:30.

    Sleep isn’t an issue for me really.

  • I’m going only so I can have to install finished by tomorrow afternoon. Wish I didn’t preorder so I could have already installed it from the Xbox Store. Sigh.

  • Ive only ever done Midnight launches for wow & It’s expansions and i love them getting to know other players who are local has given me a lot of RL friends. the only other Midnight launch i went to was the Xbone and that was awesome because i met Blunty (Aussie Youtuber).

    As far as working them… just ugh… I worked apple retail for the Launch of the iPhone 4, 4s, 5 and all ipads… not fun. and lots of suuuuuper creepy fanatics to deal with.

  • Midnight launches make absolutely no sense to me. Are people really so desperate to buy a game that they’ll que up at midnight to get it instead of just waiting a few more hours and playing it when they’re not dead tired? Maybe I’m just old but I can’t think of a single game that would excite me enough to buy it at fricken midnight.

  • I went to the midnight launch of the first WoW expansion before remembering I hated just about everyone who would be there. Longest two hours of my life.

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