Doom Eternal arrives early at GameStop to avoid coronavirus crowds

With Animal Crossing also coming out Friday, the video game retailer is hoping to spread out its launches.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal
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Doom Eternal

Doom Eternal is getting an early release at GameStop. 

Bethesda/id Software

Gamers looking forward to Doom Eternal will be able to play a day early from GameStop thanks to the coronavirus

On Thursday the game retailer announced on Twitter that in a bid to prevent too many people coming to its stores it will be releasing Doom Eternal today. The intense shooter's official release is Friday, when another hotly anticipated game, the latest installment of Nintendo's Animal Crossing, is also due to be released. 

Per the tweet, Animal Crossing fans will still have to wait as that game will be released as scheduled. 

The goal is to help separate crowds and use what is known as "social distancing" to help stop the spread of the highly contagious virus. A number of states have limited the number of people allowed in the same location as one measure to curtail the spread, with others such as San Francisco enacting shelter-in-place orders as a way to get people to stay home as much as possible.

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GameStop did not immediately respond to a CNET request for comment on if it would be limiting the number of people allowed in its stores. 

The latest in the Doom franchise, Doom Eternal takes place during an unspecified amount of time after the previous game. Available for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC, the latest game in the iconic franchise features the same fast-paced shooting as 2016's Doom but adds even more weapons and upgrades that make for, as CNET's Oscar Gonzalez put it in his first look, potentially "the most metal game ever."

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