Metal fans hoping to rip and/or tear as the Doom Slayer this November will have to wait a few months longer, as Doom Eternal has been delayed until March 20, 2020. The announcement was made earlier today on the game’s official Twitter profile, and while the reactions were mostly memes and trolling, several people were quick to point out that March 20, 2020 is also the day that Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes out.
“Throughout the development of Doom Eternal, our goal has been to deliver a game that exceeds your greatest expectations across the board,” the announcement reads. “To make sure we’re delivering the best experience — for Doom Eternal to live up to our standards of speed and polish — we’ve made the decision to extend our launch date by a few months to March 20, 2020. We know many fans will be disappointed by this delay, but we are confident that Doom Eternal will deliver a gaming experience that is worth the wait.”
Further down, the announcement carried a little extra bad news for Nintendo Switch owners: “Doom Eternal for Nintendo Switch will release after the other platforms. We will announce that date in the future.” Likewise, the game’s Dark Souls-esque “Invasion Mode,” where players control demons in someone else’s game, will also arrive sometime after March 20.
To make up for it, id Software also announced that Doom 64 is coming to the rest of the modern platforms on March 20, 2020, and that everyone who pre-orders Doom Eternal will get it for free. Doom 64 was re-released earlier this year as part of the franchise’s 25th anniversary celebration, but only on the Nintendo Switch.
I’m not sure what id might mean here when it says that the “speed” of Doom Eternal needs additional work. It could be talking about the Doom Slayer’s literal in-game movement speed I guess, but it could also be talking about load times, or the game’s average framerate, or combat speed in a more general sense. In any case, id feels that its important enough to push the game to the end of the fiscal year, in what is shaping up to be one hell of a month for video games.
In addition to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, March of next year is also when Final Fantasy VIII Remake, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 hit store shelves. This isn’t the first time March has been surprisingly crowded either; you may recall that last March contained Devil May Cry 5, The Division 2, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and Dead or Alive 6.
This happens because most corporations operating in North America use a fiscal year that starts on April 1 and ends on March 31 of the following calendar year, for reasons that no one on this planet has ever been able to adequately explain. This means that in order for all of those Doom Eternal pre-orders to turn into the actual cash that Bethesda has projected for this year, the latest it can release the game is March 2020. Any later than that, and all of those Doom Eternal sales will get pushed to the next fiscal year’s record keeping, which could wreak havoc on Bethesda’s bookkeeping and taxes.