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Grand Theft Auto V – The Midnight Launch Experience

Grand Theft Auto V – The Midnight Launch Experience


As I stood there waiting in the queue with a few friends, I check the time once more in what felt like an eterntity, only to find, to my dismay, that it had been five minutes since I last checked. The tension was high, I had started off at the back of a relatively small line of people at the time, which had now stretched out of the GameStop store and almost as far as one of the main enterances to the Millfield shopping centre. Unknowingly, I, and everyone else in the queue had started to move closer to the shop’s counter, cramming ourselves between each other before the game was about to be officially and legally released for the first time worldwide, with barely any personal room to ourselves.

Talking to many of the customers around me, we all ended up revealing our plans for the game. Some people intended on staying up through the night, braving a lack of sleep to enjoy a game they had waited so long for. Others revealed they would call in sick to work or school, something I believed quite a number of people would likely do, some people already having called in to take some time off. I myself am content with any time I get with it. Rockstar have already confirmed there’s over one hundred hours of content on the game, and that should people going until the launch of Grand Theft Auto Online, a free MMO-like mode built into the game, two weeks from the release of the standalone title. At this point, they’ve confirmed that the online aspect will feature over 700 constantly updating missions.

Unfortunately, a slight delay on Rockstar’s part meant the staff couldn’t hand the games out until almost five minutes after the highly anticipated midnight release time. But some people, myself included, had been waiting for this game for over a year, and five more minutes was almost nothing. The small crew of staff had ordered and handed out pizza along with some juice to tide the restless crowd over. Despite there only being four workers behind the counter, they were fast and efficient. I was ten or twelve places behind the first customer, but before I knew it, I was at the counter, handed my copy of the game, and was bustled along. I knew all the staff, but this wasn’t the time for small talk. The crowd was thinning fast, everyone eager to get their hands on to the game and get home to hopefully squeeze in some play time before having to sleep. At the time of writing this, the GameStop’s Facebook page states they got through the night in record time, faster than any of the other midnight releases they held in the past.

As I finish writing this brief summary of my experience of the Grand Theft Auto V Launch Night, the lure of the game is already calling me in. I suspect there will be quite a few people who will be pouring countless hours into this game in the coming days, and even weeks with the aforementioned Online mode being launched on October 1st. Just how many hours I shall be sinking into this game is unclear at the time, but I think it’s safe to say few people I know will see me any time soon.

[Words, Terry O’Neill]