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Watch Dogs is most preordered next-gen game in GameStop's history

Video game retailer also announces that it will hold launch parties at 3,500 stores across the US on the evening of May 26.

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Ahead of Watch Dogs' much-anticipated release next week, video game retailer GameStop announced today that it will open 3,500 stores in the United States the night before to mark the release of Ubisoft's open-world game. On the evening of May 26--Memorial Day in the US--GameStop will hold launch parties where attendees can participate in contests and giveaways, and also get a look at new footage from the game. In addition, if you attend a GameStop midnight release party you can play Watch Dogs on PlayStation 4 starting at 9 p.m. on May 26.

GameStop is going to such lengths to support the release of Watch Dogs because, according to GameStop's senior VP of merchandising Bob Puzon, the game is "proving to be the highest preordered next-generation console game" in the company's history. He didn't say what game previously held that record.

Watch Dogs is not only breaking preorder records for GameStop, but also Ubisoft itself. Earlier this month, Ubisoft said Watch Dogs is the second most-preordered game--last-gen or current-gen--in the company's history. The company also says Watch Dogs is on pace to become the most successful new IP in video game history. If that sounds familiar, it's because Activision also contends that its upcoming shooter, Destiny, will be the most successful new video game IP ever.

Watch Dogs will be available May 27 across Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PS4, and PC. The Wii U version is coming later. Reviews from games critics aren't available yet, but comedian Conan O'Brien reviewed the game and gave its a thumbs-up, though he questioned why protagonist Aiden Pearce's jacket looks so funny.

If you preorder Watch Dogs at GameStop, you'll receive the Palace Pack DLC, which includes a single-player mission, an "investigation bonus," and an ATM hack boost. The PS3/PS4 version of Watch Dogs includes 60 minutes of "exclusive" gameplay content.

GameStop is also offering various sales promotions around Watch Dogs. If you purchase a PS4 console, Watch Dogs for PS4, and a 12-month PlayStation Plus subscription, you can save $10. You can also save $25 when you purchase Watch Dogs for any platform and a preowned smartphone. In addition, GameStop PowerUp Rewards Pro members ($15/year) will receive a 40 percent bonus on any games or accessories traded toward the preorder or purchase of Watch Dogs. Lastly, if you need an Xbox 360 or PS3 controller, GameStop will be offering them for $10 off.

We recently got to play the first hour of Watch Dogs, and you can watch a replay of our live-stream right here.

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