An estimated 2,000 RPG fans flocked on HMV’s flagship Oxford Street store last night to mark the release of one of this generation’s most anticipated titles – Final Fantasy XIII.
Such was the enthusiasm for the event that at one stage staffers were forced to close the store to other customers. HMV reckons the event was the biggest the outlet had ever hosted – not a bad achievement when you consider previous gatherings included product launches by names such as Paul McCartney and Take That.
In attendance at the event, which was hosted by DJ Alex Zane, was the series’ acclaimed producer Yoshinori Kitase, with some fans queuing for 17 hours to secure their place at the front of the line.
Front of line was Crewe’s Peter Allen, who stated: “It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the producer of the game, and it's a game we all love and we wanted to come down and show our respect.”
HMV’s head of games Tim Ellis said of the event: “Today's Final Fantasy XIII signing at HMV's flagship store on Oxford Street was the biggest game launch the store has ever seen. With thousands of fans queuing up round the block it even beats our stores previous best game launch event which was for World of Warcraft.
“They say games are the new rock and roll, and this incredible turnout certainly proves the point. We could organise album launches and DVD signings by major stars but I'm sure none would come close to attracting the size of crowd and enthusiastic response that we saw last night.
“It really was awesome and a lot of fun to boot, and to me it proves that nothing captures the imagination more than a brilliant game like Final Fantasy, and that there are no fans out there who are more loyal or dedicated than gamers. Big thanks to Square Enix, who did a brilliant job, and also to all our staff at 150 Oxford Street and head office for hosting such a great event.”