At the local Gamestop, there were two midnight launches on the same night. Both WoW and FIFA 13 were available on September 25th. As release time approached, there were about 15 WoW players and about 10 FIFA players waiting around for the games to go on sale.
The launch event was small. The one for Cataclysm, while not huge, was bigger than this one. A lot more people are opting for the digital download. As for me, as long as they hold launch events I’ll keep attending. I like to hang out with other people and share the excitement.
Also, I managed to win a raffle for a stand-up cardboard Pandaria store display. :)
As a humorous aside, the store clerks were able to profile each customer who came in as either a WoW or FIFA player. They were 100% accurate in their profiling (except for the one guy who came in to buy Dead or Alive 5). I tried to observe the people to figure out what gave it away.
I understand that this is a very small sample size, and so no broad judgements are valid. However, here’s what I noticed:
The WoW players as a whole were generally older than the FIFA players. There were a couple of early-20′s WoW guys, but most of us looked to be in the 30′s (and I’m in my 40′s). For FIFA, no one was over 25. I wonder if this is a general trend for console vs PC gamers.
Every FIFA player was male. Out of the 15 WoW players, 3 were female.
The FIFA players, in general, had nicely styled or combed hair. Often it was cut very short. The hair that was not short had gel or other styling products. It looked like they paid attention to their appearance.
The WoW group, fitting the stereotype, was more slovenly-looking. Its not that we were slobs, but there was a higher incidence of long hair, or hair that looked like it could use some combing. I don’t think any of us used hair gel or similar styling products. Also – definitely more facial hair among WoW players. I don’t recall a beard or mustache on a FIFA player.
FIFA players almost all had new-looking, brand name sneakers. WoW players generally (with some exceptions) wore old sneakers or sandals.
100% of the FIFA players were at a healthy weight. They all looked like they could go out and run a mile or actually play a game of soccer. The WoW group was more… diverse in their body mass.
Being in Florida, everyone wore shorts except the ones who came straight from work. The FIFA guys mostly wore athletic shorts. The WoW guys wore mostly denim shorts with some khaki shorts mixed in.
I noticed that there was not a single WoW-themed t-shirt among the customers. That surprised me. I expected some horde-vs-alliance arguments to break out. Conversation was generally civil and not even about gaming most of the time. Much of it was reflecting on past midnight launches and gamer lifestyle.
I felt out of place, to be honest. Most of the people there were true gamers. The conversation shifted from WoW to Skyrim to Borderlands to MLB: The Show in rapid succession. I couldn’t take part, because I just play WoW. Its truly the only game I play. (I dabbled in Diablo 3 for a bit, but only until I defeated Diablo on normal mode).
Of course, now that I own the game I won’t even get a chance to play until this evening. Getting there at midnight was for the fun of it, and not because I’m in a hurry to rush into the game.