GameStop reportedly canceled launch plans for two huge games

Despite all that's happening in the world, this is a big week for game releases. DOOM Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons are both slated to launch on the same day: Friday, March 20th, and there's a lot of anticipation for both titles. If you're looking to buy either, don't plan on attending a midnight launch event at GameStop, as it seems the retailer won't be hosting them.

So says Kotaku, which obtained an internal GameStop memo confirming as much. It isn't just the midnight launches for Animal Crossing and DOOM Eternal that are cancelled – it's the launch events for all games for the foreseeable future.

"Until further notice, late night launch events are suspended," the memo says. "To maintain the health and safety of our guests and associates, it is best that we avoid situations where large numbers of guests are gathered indoors or standing in line."

Of course, it's probably best to avoid going into a GameStop altogether if you can help it. With directives from health organizations like the CDC and the WHO to exercise social distancing in communities where coronavirus is spreading, buying games digitally until the worst of the outbreak is over is almost certainly the way to go.

Unlike a number of other companies, GameStop is staying open during the coronavirus outbreak, which is a decision that has drawn criticism from employees and customers alike. Yesterday, Kotaku published a separate report in which numerous GameStop employees anonymously called into question the company's efforts to keep workers and shoppers safe. Needless to say, it's probably for the best that you avoid GameStop stores (and any other retail stores where people tend to congregate) as much as possible in the weeks ahead.