So this weekend, two national electronics stores, Future Shop and Best Buy had a pretty good promo going on. It allowed people to take in a used game and trade it in for either Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, or Assassin’s Creed 4. The fine print was supposed to be one used game per new game, per store, per day. That meant you could hit three different stores in a single day to get all three games.
As you might expect, it was madness around most of the country starting Saturday morning. All three games were recent releases and all three were highly anticipated by a large portion of the gaming community. Some questioned why Future Shop and parent company Best Buy would put on such a promo. Most didn’t care and just got in line, and lines there were. Just reading some social media on Saturday morning, I saw that people were lined up before stores were even open. In some cases, those early birds, still waited almost two hours to get their games. The shortest wait I heard about was 30 minutes but that was far from the norm. There was plenty of reports of lineups that took more than two hours to get through, with some lasting over five hours. Five hours standing in line! Apparently in some isolated cases, people started to faint.
While both stores won over some of the buying public, the act of essentially giving away free and popular games actually pissed off a significant amount of people. Many reported that the rule of one new game per trade in was not followed at all. Some stores were giving away all three new games with just a single trade in of an old game. This caused store stock to deplete much quicker than it should have. This meant that many people who had lined up for hours got nothing for their time as the people at the front of the line got most of the stock. As you might imagine, if you had just stood in line for hours at the start of a long weekend, only to get nothing, you’d be angry too.
On a personal note, I was originally planning on trading in some games but I decided to monitor social media first before heading out. I was still battling my cold on Saturday morning and wasn’t feeling that great. The notion of standing in line for hours did not appeal to me. Once I read that some people I knew had been in line for hours I just decided to stay in bed. Then when I read that lines were taking up to five hours to clear, I knew it was time to do something else on Saturday. I may not be a millionaire but my time is worth way more than the $60 per game.
In the end, I didn’t get any of the games. Most of the stock across Canada was gone by the end of Saturday. Also, I can get Battlefield 4 from my EA friends for only $20. I’ll also be able to sign out Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed when it comes to the studio library at work. So in a way, I can play these games for nearly free anyways. I wonder if anyone standing in line for hours did the math on their time spent.