(South African online retailer Kalahari.com recently held a midnight launch event to celebrate the release of the latest and greatest RPG from Blizzard, Diablo III.
The event took place at Gandalf’s in Observatory, Cape Town and Rashaad Abrahams was there for El33tonline to drink in the atmosphere and write about his experiences at the gathering.)
It was the evening of May 14th and I was walking down a street in Observatory. As the mist started rolling in, I could see a light at the end of the road – a bright yellow light that seemed like a glimmer of hope the night before the ‘Return of Evil’ was set to dawn upon us.
Fellow gamer Abz and I entered the abyss and as we heard some great music being played, we decided to stay a while and listen:
I was at the Kalahari Launch party for Diablo III. I myself have been to quite a few gaming launches, but this was way different to any other. From the door, we were escorted in and shown exactly what was going down in a room fitted with décor that suited the occasion perfectly.
As I turned the corner a wave of pizza aromas hit me and I realised that there was something happening everywhere: There were cosplayers in the back, while an open bar sat in the front. A massive amount of people were all around, waiting in anticipation for the hour to arrive – the hour when Diablo would make his return after more than a decade of waiting. About 30 mins here, we were asked to proceed upstairs, but what awaited us there was something I did not expect.
They had a full stage setup with ‘Tombstone Pete’ who opened up quite skilfully as a one man band. He rocked us with a couple of tracks before he stepped aside and the prizes were announced. Then, Strident took the stage and proceeded to rock even harder. They played quite a decent set and I could feel the whole crowd enjoyed it immensely.
As the riffs died down it was give-away time ‒ yay! Before the prizes were handed out some Diablo T-Shirts were tossed at random into the crowd, but my spider senses were unfortunately taking a break so I missed getting one. Thereafter came the main prizes which consisted of a Diablo III Collector’s Edition and a Diablo III SteelSeries headset (which looks totally awesome I might add). The organisers also had some mousepads to hand out.
After the prize-giving was completed, we moved downstairs where Kalahari proceeded to give all the pre-order folk their copies of the game. As the gamers received their games, many stared at the box as they walked away from the counter and, in the blink of an eye, they were gone [No doubt to prepare for Diablo III! ‒ Ed]. Some attendees grabbed the posters and signage that was displayed at the event, and we ended up being the last ones standing: until we were removed off the premises. But that’s just what we do.
I was blown away by this Diablo III launch event. It was clear that Kalahari pulled out all the stops and went for the ‘go big or go home’ approach. It was a great gathering, everything ran smoothly and there were smiles and pizzas all around – I can honestly say everyone at the event had a good time.
Full credit and thanks to Kalahari for bringing Diablo III to Cape Town with a (head)bang, while not forgetting the awesome cosplayers (KomboKitten is the only one I knew) who looked great at the event and made it even more spectacular.
I will definitely look forward to what the team has in store with future big releases!