Though DOOM Eternal is slated to launch worldwide tomorrow, the same day as Animal Crossing, GameStop will begin selling id Software’s newest shooter today. This staggered release will ensure the retailer adheres to “CDC-recommended social distancing guidelines” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
GameStop announced the news last night in a brief post on its official Twitter account. See the tweet in question below:
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
The retailer had already taken steps to curtail health risks by cancelling previously planned midnight launch events for both DOOM Eternal and Animal Crossing. Other titles’ launch events are also being nixed for the foreseeable future. For a time, however, such drastic measures weren’t being taken as seriously across all aspects of the retailer’s business.
Earlier this week, GameStop’s subreddit became flooded with messages from employees who alleged the retailer wasn’t adhering to health guidelines. Because schools and some business are closing during the crisis, GameStop has been experiencing unusually high sales of late. Unsurprisingly, corporate wants stores to remain open, despite the unprecedented access GameStop gives customers to its inventory and electronics. One Reddit post notes the following,
This means people, that could be carrying, but not exhibiting symptoms, could be contaminating our entire stores.
Corporate responded by saying they’ve supplied us with sanitization supplies and hand sanitizer for “high-touch” surfaces, but most stores have seen nothing. Our entire stores are “high touch,” it’s how we brand ourselves as being superior over so many of our competitors. They sent a message out via email, and show a message on GSTV several times a day to reassure guests that we’re doing our best to prevent spread.
They’re lying to everyone at this point. All corporate cares about is making up for those missed sales earlier in the year, and buffing for what we’re going to miss later. I can’t clean anything in my store. I can’t ensure my team isn’t carrying it right now. I can’t guarantee I won’t accidentally contribute to some of my favorite regulars, who are highly susceptible, and end up making them sick.
With these claims in mind, GameStop’s decision to stagger a couple of release dates doesn’t seem cautious enough. After all, the individual launches for DOOM Eternal and Animal Crossing will bring in an extraordinary number of costumers on their own. Hopefully, this will at least mitigate some of the risk.
[Source: GameStop on Twitter]