Gamers set their alarms and brave the cold in Akihabara.

In Japan, most people’s day-to-day lives are structured around work or school, as society puts a tremendous amount of pressure on people to excel in their educational and professional lives. Luckily, Japan provides its people with a much-needed break twice in November, on the public holidays Culture Day and Labor Day.

Neither of those fell on Tuesday, November 29 this year, though. Nevertheless, enough people weren’t at work or school that morning for a large crowd to gather in front of electronics megastore Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood.

So what had people clearing out their schedule? The launch of Final Fantasy XV, the long-awaited newest installment of video game developer Square Enix’s role-playing franchise, which had people standing out on the cold concrete streets as early as 6 a.m.

▼ After posing for this photo, we wonder how many of these people faked a coughing fit while calling work to say “Sorry, I just don’t think I’m going to be able to make it in today.”

▼ Oddly enough, Final Fantasy XV has a spokescar, this Audi R8, which was featured in the game’s Kingsglavie CG movie tie-in.

Of course, in the modern age of online shopping and digital distribution, there’s really not so much need to get up at the crack of dawn to secure a copy of the latest titles. There’s a comradery you just can’t get by placing an order on Amazon or clicking a download button, though, and to make the morning an even more special memory for fans, Final Fantasy luminaries such as Hajime Tabata, the new game’s director, made an appearance, and also counted down the final 15 seconds until the game went on sale.

▼ Tabata addressed the crowd.

And so, after a decade of restarts, side projects, previews, and demos, gamers can finally play Final Fantasy XV.

Source: Jin