Microsoft’s retail stores are planning midnight launch parties for the release of the highly anticipated video game “Titanfall” next week.
Most Microsoft Stores, including the ones in University Village and Bellevue Square, will be hosting events that start at 9 p.m. Monday.
The parties will include food, prizes and giveaways. The first 25 people in line will receive Xbox Live Gold 12-month subscriptions, and the first 50 will receive Titanfall t-shirts.
[Update 3/7: Microsoft, which has partnerships with the Seattle Seahawks and the NFL, says Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman will be appearing at the U. Village and Bellevue Square stores sometime during the evening. Sherman is expected to appear at each of the stores sometime between 9:30 and 11:30 p.m. to take pictures with customers and play “Titanfall.”]
Those pre-ordering the game before Monday from either the online or a brick-and-mortar Microsoft Store can get a $10 Xbox digital gift card. (There’s also a Titanfall bundle for $500 that includes the console, game and a month of Xbox Live Gold membership.)
“Titanfall,” from Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment, is launching exclusively on Tuesday on Xbox One and Windows PCs. The Xbox 360 version launches on March 25.
Microsoft is counting on the game to boost sales of its Xbox One console, which launched November 22. Though it sold well through the holiday season, it fell behind sales of Sony’s PlayStation 4 (which costs $100 less than the Xbox One), reportedly by about 2-to-1 in January, according to NPD Group.
[Update 3/11: Here’s a fuller story about what the release of “Titanfall” means for Microsoft, running in the print edition of The Seattle Times March 11, 2014.]