Just as a note to anyone on Oahu, the Kahala Mall Gamestop is having a midnight release on TUESDAY night.
That being said, I feel like it was very neglectful of Square Enix to keep the release date of the 22nd for North America. I'm sure they know full well that if they release a game on the 22nd, that translates into the 21st in the USA, yet they did not inform retailers that their servers would be going online at 6:00 PM of the 21st.
While there will no doubt be so much congestion that people won't get to play, it does bother me that this is not really a simultaneous release. I mean, yeah, the servers are open to the whole world, but we can't get the game. The Gamestop I went to says that they will not be giving the game out before the 22nd because that is the noted release date. I told him that it was in Japan time, but he said that his computer said the 22nd, therefore there would not be any handing out of the game until 12:01 AM on the 22nd. I've seen on Twitter that Amazon will not be shipping the game until the 22nd.
Having managed at Borders, where there were strict street dates for DVDs, music and books, I think that guy is being pretty wise. Breaking a street date is a great way to get fired, at the very least (not to mention that their system probably wouldn't even allow them to actually register the sales for that SKU before the release date any way). Sure, since it's an MMO, you can't play it til the servers are live, but that doesn't change their obligation to the distributor.
Any way, I sympathize with Mikhalia for being told that there would be a midnight release, but there's no way they ought to actually do a midnight release unless they've got 50+ pre orders, because a lot of those people aren't even going to show up at midnight. Good luck with Wal Mart though. Near me, the trend is more like Wal Mart not having a PC game on the shelf until several days after release at the earliest. Edited, Sep 19th 2010 10:50pm by KarlHungis Edited, Sep 20th 2010 12:58am by KarlHungis