So, if you buy that new game at that actual, physical, right-there-in-front-of-you, OMG-check-it-out-it's-got-doors-and-windows-and-everything high street store you'll get a free pair of trousers for your characater which are GUARANTEED to make all the difference when you don't even notice them amidst a hail of bullet-time gunfire and laser eyes half an hour after you start playing.But you can only get itit atthat one particular store? Holy Robo-Christ on a hoverboard! That sh*tmust be worth getting! Exclusive is just another word for incredible after all, right?
Well now consider that this awesome free stuff the stores have secured from the publishers is often just arbitrary DLC or freely unlockable content that was already on the disc anyway. (Alpha Protocol for instance, just comes with some extra ammo and guns from later in the gameif you get it from certain stores)Suddenly the special content you're being enticed into the store with maybe isn't thatbig a coupat all. And also consider that these incentives to buy in a store rather than online are appearing more and more now that internet shopping and digitial distribution are becoming increasingly relevant.
Midnight game launches
"Ooh! Ooh! Let's go and buy that new game at midnight on the very early morning of its release so that we can play it nine hours before the rest of the world. It will give us solid gold hardcore points which we canSURELY trade in for a better view of the afterlife when we die. And besides, it will besuch an event!
Start eating the ProPlus now! My soul, it doth bleed with excitement!"
No. We're afraid not. What you'll actually get for your efforts is three hours of standing outside - probably in the rain - with a bunch of increasingly disinterested fellow shoppers, as levels of boredom, regret and social awkwardness grow like bacteria.
Above: Not what midnight launches are really like
You'll stand around doing precisely nothing, monotonously grinding through the hours as you build up to the bladder-detonatingly exciting momentthat a member of the game store staff actually arrives, unlocks the place and switches the lights on. And by that stage in proceedings, that one mundane event will feel like the highlight of your entire week.
Above: Depression era breadline or video game launch day?
And then you'll buy the game,go home, playit for eight miserable, eye-burning hours in an attempt to justify the fact that you've wasted an entire night - and by default the following day - and will have forgotten the entire miserable, uncoordinated, despair-spattered experience via the wonder of sleep deprivation by the time everyone else gets up and buys the very same game via an entirely more civilised process which will take twenty minutes, tops.