People Flip the Hell Out When the NCAA Football Demo Doesn't Show Up

Today, one of the year's most hotly anticipated video game releases was delayed with no word when it will come out. Frustrated gamers spewed anger over social media, some even vowing to cancel their preorders. This afternoon after a whole nine hours, the world finally got the NCAA Football 14 Demo.

That's right, a free, trial-size version of a sports video game due out next month. In my time here covering sports, I've seen neither this kind of anticipation nor this kind of fury for a delayed demo, certainly not for NCAA Football. EA Sports' college title isn't an insignificant series, but it isn't in the same tier of worldwide, trending-topic hype as NBA 2K, FIFA or Madden, and their demos come and go with relative indifference, probably because these games are taken for granted every year.

You couldn't tell it by what went on today with NCAA Football 14, until the game finally showed up after 2 p.m. Eastern time.

To be honest, this year's demo version doesn't even sound that special. I had to telephone someone in Florida late yesterday just to get the six teams playing in the three matchups offered, all played with 3-minute quarters. That's been the same format for the past few years.

Yeah, this year's NCAA demo will offer a look at how real-time physics—introduced in last year's Madden—play out in the college game, and the offensive line blocking is said to be strongly upgraded. Well, offensive line blocking is said to be upgraded every single year. So where this bated-breath anticipation and teeth-gnashing anger came from, I have no idea.

To think, the day began with such promise:

Gamers were expecting the demo to arrive at 5 a.m. When it didn't, and something for Painkiller: Hell & Damnation did, people went nuts. Evidently there were folks foregoing sleep or getting up early just to see 'Bama kick the hell out of VPI in Chick-fil-A's preseason showcase.

Now, to be fair, last night many EA Sports titles began featuring in-game advertisements declaring the NCAA Football 14 demo was "out now," and clicking on it would take you to the Xbox Live Marketplace in order to download it. People were, obviously, greeted by blank screens when they did so, which helped stoke the anger.

Later in the morning EA Sports tried to address the matter:

That didn't seem to help much.

Hell, this guy right here works at EA Sports' Tiburon studio, but on the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series. He also wanted to know WTF the demo is:

Meantime, this person tried to supply a lone voice of reason:

But as the minutes became hours and the hours became ... well, more hours, the anger mounted:

Lest you think this is purely a Twitter phenomenon, NCAA Football's Facebook page was not spared, either. A sampling (perhaps tongue-in-cheek):

People Flip the Hell Out When the NCAA Football Demo Doesn't Show Up

Microsoft was, of course, scapegoated (never mind the demo wasn't going to hit PlayStation Network until later in the afternoon).

Conspiracy theories were floated:

But morning turned to afternoon and afternoon to evening with no sign of the demo and no word when it would arrive. That called for an ultimatum:

Don't worry, it will be.

To contact the author of this post, write to owen@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter @owengood.