A week ago I was given to opportunity to attend the GameStop Expo that was held in San Antonio, Texas. As a writer and a fellow gamer, this was a great opportunity for me to take. There was some things I really enjoyed about it, and others that really irked me. This article is mainly about how organized the GameStop Expo was. There will be another article discussing the games I played.
To start things off, you need to know that this Expo was made for the gamers and anyone could go. That being said, people were given the option of two different admission choices. The first was of course “general admission.” This allowed you to go and enjoy all the games you could get your hands on. The second was “VIP” admission. With this, people were promised their own VIP lines (so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of waiting hours to play), admission to three VIP general sessions to hear developers talk about their upcoming game titles and last but not least, a goodie bag. Sounds great, right? As it turns out, being VIP at the GameStop Expo didn’t get you much.
The lines to register weren’t long at all. After registering, those who had VIP were allowed to hang out in the VIP room which let you gobble some cookies and candy and play some video games. I saw people playing Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Madden, and of course, Modern Warfare 3. There was a Lego Lord of the Rings booth set up in the room as well. The bag that VIP attendees received didn’t have much. It consisted of a Sonic the Hedgehog hat, a Rift mousepad, a Defiance T-shirt, a Skylander figure and a NOS lanyard. I’m not one to complain but these items felt like they were old pre-order items that no one picked up.
When it was finally time to enter the large room where the Expo was going to take place, VIP was allowed to line up on their own, away from general admission. It was at this moment that I realized that there was more VIP attendees than general. This baffled me some because well, isn’t VIP supposed to make you important? If there’s more VIP than general, that means the VIP lines are going to be longer than regular so what would be the point of waiting in a VIP line? This was just another way of GameStop to make an easy 100 dollars off those who chose to register as VIP in my opinion.
Upon entering the Expo, there was booths…everywhere. As soon as I headed to the Assassins Creed 3 section, it was revealed to me that there was no VIP lines at all. Everyone that paid for VIP had to wait in line with everyone else. Not only was there no VIP line at the Assassins Creed section, but also the Black Ops 2, Borderlands 2, Halo 4, Far Cry 3 sections as well. My point is that there was no separate line for VIP at any of the other stations. This was yet another disappointment. Thankfully, for the majority of the games the lines weren’t long at all. The longest I probably waited for a game was 30-40 minutes. Other games (Far Cry 3) had little or no line and allowed me to play multiple times.
I decided to attend the Ubisoft session. It was supposed to last only 20 minutes so I was curious as to what GameStop had planned. Ubisoft’s Jamie Keen, the lead game designer of Far Cry 3 came out to speak at the start of the session. He thanked everyone for making the time to come hear him speak and said he was going to show us pre-order content we would receive if we pre-ordered Far Cry 3 from GameStop. Gamers who pre-order the game would receive game content known as “Monkey Busniess” which is exactly as it sounds. While promoting his game, Jamie Keen also helped GameStop get some more business.
Although the Expo did disappoint me in many ways, it was a great experience as a gamer. It could have been more organized and if you attended as VIP it would’ve been nice to be treated as such. I do plead guilty of being talked into pre-ordering more games as well. Be sure to look out for another article discussing the marvelous games we all look forward to coming out this year!