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So What’s Going On With Midnight Releases for ‘Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’?

Screenshot from title announcement trailer of Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom

We know. You want to play The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom the exact second it turns midnight on May 12. You will be spending the evening of Thursday, May 11 pacing around your living room to the soundtrack of various battle themes from throughout the Zelda franchise, psyching yourself up. We know. I personally feel it in my bones. Every time I see an ad for Tears now, I literally get a case of the shivers. We are so close.

And now that we’re this close, the obvious question is: How can you can your hands on Tears at midnight? Many will tell you that buying it through Nintendo’s eShop is the easiest choice, but that’s no fun! What if—like me—you want a physical copy? For collection’s sake? And/or because it appears as if Tears is going to be a hefty game, and you’d like to save some thinking space on your Switch? Are there any retailers doing midnight releases?

The answer is—sort of! The most obvious example for North America is the Nintendo Store in New York City, which is indeed having a midnight release party, but that event is long “sold out.” However, a far more accessible outlet is opening some of its doors: GameStop. Some GameStops are hosting midnight releases—the key word here, I must stress, is “some.”

Tears of the Kingdom midnight releases at GameStop

If you’re lucky enough to be Canadian (jealous), there’s a landing page where you can easily figure out whether or not your local GameStop will be open at midnight. However, because everything in the U.S. must be unnecessarily difficult and stressful, there is no such landing page for U.S. stores.

That doesn’t mean that zero stateside GameStops are having events, though. Anecdotal tales of local U.S. GameStops deciding to throw midnight release parties are popping up throughout the internet, and GameStop even seems to have ads for midnight release parties that direct you to call your local store:

GameStop ad for Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom midnight release parties.

Clicking the ad just brings you to the Tears of the Kingdom product page on GameStop’s website, but the ad itself features shortcut buttons to call your local stores, so that really does seem like the way to go here.

It’s all exceedingly local and exceedingly up to each individual store’s manager. My advice would be to call your local GameStop and ask what’s up, even though being on the phone is awkward and not fun. Just think of all the fun you’ll have playing Tears, though!

No other major chains have announced midnight releases, so GameStop does seem like your best bet—if their website would allow you to do in-store pick-up for your Tears of the Kingdom preorders, which it does not, which makes me very sad. You should probably ask about that during your phone call, too.

(featured image: Nintendo)

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Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.