As of right now, "Halo 2" is the most pre-ordered title in video game history. The Babbage's next to where I live has over 1,100 pre-orders for this title.
They also never get in any products on time.
Let me share a small tale of my night. Normally, I go to pick up my pre-orders at lunch, but since I was in Salt Lake City today wasting my time listening to a high-level overview of the .NET Compact Framework, I decided to go tonight at 7pm. I had two pre-orders to pick up. One was for "Tenchi Muyo! GXP" Volume 6. The other was for "Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude."
My wife got a call from Babbage's before I left saying that "Leisure Suit Larry" was in. Since I had pre-paid for the title in it's entirety a few weeks ago, I thought thay maybe, just maybe, they got it in. After all, they were calling to say that they had it in. It just seemed logical.
So, I head over to Layton Hills Mall. My plan was to go to Sam Goody and pick up "Tenchi," then go to Babbage's. (If I did things the other way, I'd get a bit of hassle at Sam Goody, as Babbage's does not deactivate the anti-theft tags.)
I went to Sam Goody, picked up my pre-order, and headed to Babbage's. The head dude working tonight then lectured me. He said that it wasn't in, and wouldn't be in until tomorrow. He wasn't sure if it would arrive in the 10am shipment or the 3pm shipment, so I should call before coming over. I was lectured for coming in to pick up a title...after I was called and told to come pick it up.
This makes me want to scream out at the top of my lungs, "BULLSHIT!!!"
(One other nice thing about leaving Microsoft...I can say words like "bullshit" in my blog.)
So, I've made a plan. I like the manager at that Babbage's, so I'm not going to pull any malicious bull. Instead, I'm going to go buy a full set of gear for a hockey goalie and a lawn chair.
Then, I'm going to take November 9 off, get suited up, and head over to the mall. I'll set up about two hours before they open their doors, and wait to see what happens when 1,100+ obsessed Halo fans show up demanding their copy of "Halo 2" and, for whatever reason, they don't have it in on street date.
I think I may be the only survivor.