FIFA 13: India’s first big midnight launch

Specialist retailers in India have been organising midnight launches for high-profile games for a few years now, but somehow, that excitement was never quite reciprocated by consumers. That changed last night with the launch of FIFA 13.

Arriving at Game4u’s 900 sq ft store at Mega Mall in suburban Mumbai, it was confusing to see cars double-parked outside.

Inside, the store was packed, with close to 200 fans lined up to buy the game, leaving barely enough room for a lucky few to get an early hands-on with the full game at the demo kiosks. As some satisfied customers left, more arrived.

The first customer to get his FIFA 13 copy, who also received a First to Own certificate from Game4u for his troubles, had been waiting in line since 5:30 pm. It was the sort of stuff we’d only previously read about happening in America.

The more patient buyers waited outside for the crowd to subside. I was one of them, and my patience was eventually rewarded; only it was 2:30 am by then.

A Game4u representative then showed me pictures of the line outside another branch barely 20 minutes from this one. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as this one, but impressive nonetheless. A similar turnout was witnessed at the Gurgaon store, I was told.

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