Gamestop is now selling Doom Eternal (opens in new tab) a full day ahead of its scheduled March 20 release date.
The decision to sell the game early was driven by CDC-mandated coronavirus guidelines. With Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons (opens in new tab) both scheduled to release this Friday, the combined crowd for the two games could have been enormous. As you've probably heard, the CDC has advised against large crowds of people in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, so Gamestop is selling Doom Eternal a day early in order to split up the two fandoms.
There's little doubt that the combined Doom and Animal Crossing crowds would've been huge. Both Doom Eternal and New Horizons are highly anticipated games, even more so after they received glowing reviews pretty much across the board. And the fact that both games were scheduled to release at the same time has only been emphasized by months of fan art featuring the Slayer and Isabelle (opens in new tab). It's not unreasonable to assume that this mutual excitement could've led to an above-average turnout on Friday, especially if Animal Crossing fans with delayed pre-orders (opens in new tab) decided to head out to try and pick up a copy instead.
It's a shame to see that happy, unlikely pairing broken up, especially given the circumstances, but if it means getting Doom Eternal early, I don't think many people will complain - except Animal Crossing fans, of course, since they have to wait another 24 agonizing hours.
In any case, you can now purchase physical copies of Doom Eternal at your local GameStop. Be sure to wash your hands before and after you pick up your copy.
At least neither of these games were too affected by the coronavirus. Final Fantasy 7 Remake (opens in new tab), on the other hand, may be hard to find physically (opens in new tab) due to production and distribution complications caused by the virus.