My favorite game launch experience was in 2011. I stood in a long line stretched through the dingy parking lot of a strip mall GameStop just off campus. It was nearly midnight. I was to finally behold the copy of Skyrim I’d preordered so very long ago. Having fallen in love with Morrowind and later Oblivion, I was utterly ecstatic to get my hands on this supposedly paradigm shifting entry in the series. I had even spent the past few months carefully upgrading my PC in anticipation of the demands of this imminent new era of gaming.
The doors opened on time, though it would be another hour before I stood on the threshold. Soon after, I finally stood at the counter, awaiting my prize. But just as my long-awaited turn began, I was vanquished:
“I’m sorry, we’re out of stock,” she declared.
“We just sold out, I’m sorry. We don’t have any more copies.”
“I have a preorder, though. I preordered it.” I clarified.
“I understand, but we don’t have any more copies in stock, we don’t have any more preorder copies,” she explained, becoming impatient.
“Do you have non-preorder copies?” I reasoned.
“No, we don’t have any copies, we’re all out.”
“I don’t understand, I preordered it at this GameStop!” I pleaded.
This went on a for some time and things became somewhat hostile, but my fate was sealed. In my ire I demanded my pre-purchase (yes, I had prepaid) be refunded right there, and then I went home. The next day, I went to Best Buy and bought the game.
I have not preordered a game or stepped foot in a GameStop ever since.