"I just love the violence.” These are not the words of your typical teenage computer gaming obsessive.
Instead it is 78-year-old Doreen Fox, who was among hundreds of fans waiting to get her hands on the latest edition of Call of Duty, which was launched at midnight.
The gaming series has become a worldwide phenomenon, changing the face of computer gaming.
Obsessive interest in it clearly spans the generations – from fresh-faced teenagers to fleet-fingered grannies like Mrs Fox.
And the latest instalment of the incredible popular military combat series – Call of Duty: Ghosts – has hit the shelves, sending fans across the region into a frenzy.
CoD fans are widespread and it seems the thrill of bloodthirsty violence and war combat is behind the obsession.
At least that’s what pensioner Mrs Fox put her love of the game down to.
The Dudley Wood woman was there with the crowds at the Merry Hill Centre last night.
She accompanied daughter Vern Hughes and grandson Gareth Hughes to buy the £45 XBox 360 version of the game in the centre’s Game store.
And she revealed she is an avid fan of the series.
“I always look forward to playing the new games, I just love the violence,” Mrs Fox said.
“I can’t beat my grandson though; he’s just too fast for me these days.”
Hundreds braved bitter temperatures to queue up and buy the new game at midnight.
Like the previous nine, the 10th game in the series is expected to shatter sales records and dominate gaming charts and Call of Duty has already made more than £5billion worldwide.
The series’ earlier games were set primarily in the Second World War, but later versions have taken a darker military turn and the latest is set in 2023. Players join an elite military unit leading a fightback against a South American superpower that has destroyed the USA.
Paul Martin, store manager at Game in the Merry Hill Centre, said fans were queuing up for several hours before the doors opened at midnight.
“We have had a few late night launches of late, with this following on from the release of Grand Theft Auto and Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag,” Mr Martin said.
“So far we have taken more than 500 deposits for the new CoD game, and we are expecting between two and three hundred people through the doors tonight. There were people here tonight more than two hours before we opened.
“Console games seem to have taken over from music and film as entertainment items people just have to get their hands on as soon as they are released.”
First in line at the Merry Hill was Vincent Philips from Pensnett, who started queuing up before 10pm. “I just love the game and this could be the best one in the series,” said the 23-year-old who works at McDonald’s near the Penn Island in Wolverhampton. “Getting here first means I will get home quicker to play it.” ASDA in Wolverhampton went a stage further by setting up a themed area at the front of the store featuring sandbags, jerry cans and actors dressed as military personnel.
Daniel Lambeth, aged 19, from Ashmore Park in Wolverhampton and his friend Ryan Law, also 19, from Wednesfield, were early punters at the store on Jack Hayward Way. “As soon as we get back to play it there will be people all over the world involved in games online,” said Daniel.
Sales of the game’s predecessor Call of Duty: Black Ops II sold 2.6 million copies in the UK in 2012, making it the country’s best selling entertainment release of the year. But bosses at developer Infinity Ward warned initial sales could be slower this time around as gamers waited for new consoles to be released later this month.
Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Play Station 4 are due to hit stores on November 22 and 29 respectively.
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