‘DOOM Eternal’ or ‘DOOM sooner-or-later’? Writer Kieren Platts keeps us to to date with what in Hell is going on with the Bethesda title’s release date

Huge loser, passionate about computer games and audio dramas, lives with three beautiful housemates who don't want to talk about either.
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The highly anticipated sequel to DOOM (2016), DOOM Eternal, has been delayed until 20 March, 2020, nearly four months from its original release date on 22nd November. The official DOOM twitter account released its statement on the matter on 8th October, explaining the delay was due to the gaming living up to “standards of speed and polish”. The announcement also highlighted an “Invasion Mode”, similar to Dark Souls, as a free update sometime after launch. In addition, DOOM 64 (1997) will be distributed as a free pre-order add-on to DOOM Eternal, also re-released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Switch upon the game’s release. 

DOOM Eternal’s Nintendo Switch release date was also announced as unconfirmed.

In an industry that’s always been open about delays, the climate around such announcements has been steadily tempered

The delay has already been received with various anticipated types of feedback, some pleased, some angry, some more excited than before, some heavily disappointed. In an industry that’s always been open about delays, the climate around such announcements has been steadily tempered. It is now a given that game development is a tedious task at best, and complications can arise at any given stage, be it technical or completely revising content. This year, Nintendo famously announced that Metroid Prime 4 scrapped two years (minimum) of development, switched over to new studio, and fan reception was overwhelmingly supportive.

Wish somebody’d look at me the way Doom Guy (presumably) looks at his helmet

Similarly, Animal Crossing: New Horizons recently took on a delay, also releasing now on 20th March 2020 – anyone wishing to balance out their demon-slaying with fruit-picking is in luck – with President of Nintendo Doug Bowser attributing the delay to avoidance of crunch time. President of Bethesda Todd Howard has also remarked on crunch, stating that while crunch has happened in the past at various Bethesda studios, the company in his opinion promotes work/life balance.

id Software’s DOOM Eternal has the tough role of redeeming Bethesda, following divisive releases Fallout 76 and Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and a lukewarm E3 presentation this year, so it may be that the entire publisher’s reputation holds out on this single game’s release. DOOM Eternal may as a result have a bigger task ahead of it than simply proving as a worthy successor to 2016’s DOOM – the fate of franchises and of Bethesda may depend on its reception.

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