Best Buy may be taking a page from Hollywood premiere events for big video game events in the future. The change is being led by a store full of ambling zombies and a chainsaw-wielding Dr. Salvador.
On March 13, the Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania Best Buy will convert part of their store into a haunted house. They will be dressing up employees as zombies, turning their bank of televisions to eerie no-signal snow and even putting a person in a potato-sack mask and giving them a chainsaw, all to celebrate the launch of Resident Evil 5... and maybe sell a few copies of the game.
"You want to get away from midnight releases, that's stale, that's old," said Dave Partenio, supervisor of gaming and media at the store. "We want to have a premiere game party for this game."
And Best Buy corporate offices are keeping a close eye on the event. If they go over well, and the store's sales reflect that, than we may be seeing more theme release nights for games in the future. The idea would turn a long night of waiting in the dark with other gamers into a sort of party.
"It's all about the experience," Partenio said.
The store has also been in talks with Capcom to try and round up some special giveaways and prizes and the local university to work out a deal to donate to a charity there.
The event will kick off at midnight on March 13, with employees leading small groups of gamers through the store's haunted house and eventually to pick up and buy their copy of the game.
Partenio said that the store has been open for about a year and includes a built in gaming center. The center has eight screens hooked up to four gaming systems — a PC, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 — so people can try out titles before they buy them.
The idea of bringing zombies into the store for the launch came from employee Drake Campbell, and then the store ran with it, he said.
Sounds like a neat idea and one that, if you like and live in the area, you should probably show up to, to support.