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Doom Eternal delayed to March 2020; Switch version coming after that

We have some bad news for those who've been looking forward to Doom Eternal. Id Software — by way of its various social media channels — announced a delay to the game this morning, pushing its release on most platforms to March 2020.

"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," id said in a statement. "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."

A few other announcements came with the delay, too; some good, some bad.

The most important, perhaps, is that the Nintendo Switch version of Doom Eternal is coming out after the game's release on other platforms. This could be something related to development, and a desire to give the Switch version a little more love prior to its launch. It could also be related to the fact that Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes to Switch on March 20, 2020, as well. You don't want to compete with an Animal Crossing game on a Nintendo system. You just don't.

Doom 64 was originally going to release on the Nintendo Switch this fall, but now that Doom Eternal is being delayed, the team behind the game has decided to make Doom 64 a free pre-order bonus instead. If you pre-order Doom Eternal, you'll get a free copy of Doom 64, regardless of what platform you play on. Unfortunately, you'll also have to wait until March 20, 2020 for Doom 64 now, too.

And finally, it was announced that the highly touted "Invasion Modein Doom Eternal won't be ready for launch. It'll come "shortly after" as part of a free update instead.

A rare delay

The delay to Doom Eternal is a rare thing to see from a Bethesda-published game, especially with the way the company's been closely guarding its announcements the past few years. It's tough to find an instance of a Bethesda title that's been unveiled, given a release date, and then delayed afterward. And we scoured the company's past decade-plus of releases — everything from 2007's Fallout 3 to the more recent Wolfenstein: Youngblood – and were unable to find an example of a game with a release date being pushed back.

It's almost become a hallmark of Bethesda in recent years. The company waits until the games are good and ready, announces them at E3, and then ensures fans aren't waiting all that long to play them. So you know something about Doom Eternal's original Nov. 22 release date didn't sit right with the folks at Bethesda and id Software. Either the date itself wasn't optimal, or the game just wasn't going to be ready in time; at least not in a state that either Bethesda or id Software would be happy with.

And in Bethesda's case, it really doesn't need another buggy release to its name. Fans aren't going to be letting that company forget about Fallout 76 for a very long time.

Who knows what's next

As for what Bethesda has in store next, well... that's anyone's guess.

We know a little bit of something about each one of the company's tentpole franchises. For instance, we're aware that The Elder Scrolls 6 is a game that will happen at some point, because Bethesda said so. We can probably count on the company continuing to support Fallout 76 (if only to keep its reputation intact), and can also assume there will be another mainline Fallout game at some point, too. The Wolfenstein series could theoretically keep on rolling thanks to the introduction of the Blazkowicz twins. And then there's Starfield, the mysterious space-based adventure Bethesda has been cooking up these past few years. We know that's in the works, and could even arrive before we get the next Elder Scrolls title.

But when, exactly, will any of these future games come out? We really don't know. One or more of them could come next year with the launch of the PlayStation 5 and next-gen Xbox. Or they could all be years away. The uncertainty of Bethesda's release schedule makes it all the more crucial for the company — by way of id Software — to make sure Doom Eternal is running on all cylinders. And that could have also played a part in the delay of the title.

Should we uncover more news on the reason behind the Doom Eternal delay, we'll be sure to let you know.