GameStop store celebrates ‘Halo 4’ with midnight release party

“Wake me when you need me,” were the last lines heard from Master Chief John-117 as he was put into cryosleep at the end of Halo 3. Four years later, players find themselves on an abandoned, battered ship and see Cortana, an advanced artificial intelligence, awakening Master Chief with the words, “Wake up, Chief. I need you.” As fans waited anxiously for the game to be released at midnight, the crowd at GameStop’s midnight release party in Foothills Mall saw this introductory scene on the televisions outside the store.

For the party, Petros stayed open to sell drinks, and Buffalo Wild Wings was present, providing free wings for those that attended the midnight release. The excitement was evident outside the store as gamers lined up to receive the game. “Halo 4” is the first game in the current Halo story that has been released since 2007.

Although “Halo Reach” and “Halo ODST” were released between “Halo 3” and “Halo 4,” neither continued the narrative set out for the main character Master Chief from the final events of “Halo 3.” “I’ve played all of [the other Halo games],” said Wyatt Bryce, a 19- year-old Pellissippi student. “I’ve been waiting on it to come out for a while,” Neal Medley, 38, said that he had been playing video games for 15 years. “There are other games I like just as well, but I always come back to Halo,” Medley said. “The story is really crisp and fresh.” Customers were still filing into GameStop after 11 p.m. to purchase their copies of “Halo 4” before its release at midnight. Some were also buying the special-edition Xbox 360 that was released with the game.

A crowd surpassing a hundred had grown significantly by 11:30 p.m., and it increased as the midnight release approached. A minute before midnight, the crowd outside the store began counting down the seconds before the game was released. At midnight, GameStop opened its doors to start handing out games and consoles. According to the International Business Times, “Halo 4” sales were $220 million on the date of release, and had reached $300 million by the end of its first week of availability. Brett Anderson, 22, had purchased the special-edition console.

“I am always the first one for Halo,” Anderson said. It’s just something from when I was a kid. I just knew this was going to be something big.” Anderson was also impressed with the release party that GameStop had put on for the event. “Gaming has exploded into something so different,” Anderson said. He said that when one formerly pre-ordered a videogame, it would take hours of waiting to receive it, and no preview was available. “I’m excited to go home and play this now,” Anderson said. “I can’t wait. I’m ready.”

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