GameStop starts selling Doom Eternal today — 1 day early — to limit crowds

GameStop is allowing players to purchase Doom Eternal starting today, one day ahead of its official release, due to coronavirus concerns and to adhere to social distancing recommendations.

The latest first-person shooter from Id Software officially launches Friday, March 20, but GameStop is looking to adhere to social distancing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The health organization recommended canceling all gatherings of more than 50 people last week, and President Donald Trump later said groups should be limited to no more than 10 people.

With Animal Crossing: New Horizons also releasing on March 20, the chain decided to separate the crowds by putting out Doom Eternal a day early. Game Stop specified that  Animal Crossing will not be available for pickup prior to March 20 despite many fans pleading on social media for just that.

Doom Eternal, which carries a Mature rating, will be available from outlets other than GameStop on its official release date of March 20. It is compatible with PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Google Stadia.

It serves as the follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2016 reboot of the iconic shooter series, which helped popularize the FPS genre back in 1993. Digital Trends’ review of the latest Bethesda title says it’s “better than the already-excellent 2016 game, and its spin on old-school shooter gameplay is unique among modern shooters.”

Id Software focused on maneuverability for the sequel, which introduces several new movement mechanics, such as the ability to wall climb and swing from horizontal bars. Other new additions include additional melee weapons beyond the chainsaw, including an energy sword and retractable arm-blade. The protagonist’s super shotgun now has a grappling hook attached to it, which gamers can use both in combat and for exploration.

GameStop made waves online earlier this month when it announced that former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime was joining its board of directors. Fils-Aime tweeted out that the gaming industry needs “a healthy and vibrant GameStop,” and that he looks forward to making this happen in the future. The company has faced uncertainty in recent years as the industry has moved more toward digital releases.

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