Many businesses are closed or operating with reduced hours as a way to encourage social distancing. Some countries and US states have even mandated that some types of businesses and public spaces close for the next few weeks. GameStop stores are still open, which seems inadvisable at best. However, one upshot is that the company has decided to release Doom Eternal today, one day early, in an effort to avoid crowds.
Doom Eternal is the sequel to 2016’s rebooted Doom title. It once again follows the Doom Slayer as he does battle with the forces of hell. However, this time the demons have invaded Earth. Developer id promises a new multiplayer experience, enhanced graphics, more player upgrades, and returning classic demons.
Doom Eternal’s official release date is March 20, which happened to be the same day as the hotly anticipated Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If you’ve spent enough time online lately, you might have seen the Doom-Animal Crossing memes celebrating this coincidence. By moving Doom Eternal availability up to today, GameStop hopes it can thin the crowds and reduce the chance of coronavirus infections.
To ensure we adhere to CDC-recommended social distancing guidelines, we will be selling DOOM Eternal a day early on Thursday, 3/19 as a safety precaution for our customers and associates. Animal Crossing will release on Friday 3/20 to further help separate the crowds.
— GameStop (@GameStop) March 19, 2020
GameStop will stick to the street date for Animal Crossings, probably because Nintendo wasn’t keen on releasing early. Bethesda was apparently more flexible. So, you can head out to GameStop and pick up a copy of Doom Eternal right now. Although, public health authorities would recommend you don’t do that. COVID-19 infections are still rising dramatically, and social distancing is widely considered the best way to slow the spread and help hospitals keep up.
There are numerous ways to get Doom Eternal without leaving the house and potentially exposing yourself to coronavirus. It’s available on Steam or directly from Bethesda. You can even order a physical copy with shipping to your door, just like the old days. Yes, you’ll have to wait slightly longer to play, but the digital version unlocks in less than 12 hours as of this posting.
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