20th March, 2020, marks this year’s International Day of Happiness. For many gamers out there, that makes a lot of sense. After all, it’s the day that ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ and ‘Doom Eternal’ debut on their respective consoles. Having these two games come out on the same day puts them in direct competition with one another. However, rather than taking aim at each other, fans of the two franchises have instead come together to support their rival releases.
It’s been a long time coming
Anticipation for these two games has been off the charts for a while now. It’s been years since either series has produced a mainline release, with ‘Animal Crossing’ fans particularly starved. ‘New Leaf’ debuted back in summer 2013, meaning nearly seven years have passed since players were able to make a new town. Sure, there have been spin-offs in the form of ‘Happy Home Designer,’ ‘Amiibo Festival’, and ‘Pocket Camp.’ However, aside from not being main releases, fans were disappointed by these games due to lacklustre content and microtransactions.
As for the ‘Doom’ series, there’s only been one spin-off since the game of the same name launched in 2016. That was ‘Doom VFR,’ which was little more than a virtual reality adaptation of the same title. As great as the game was, it wasn’t enough to satisfy fan demand.
The dream team
With fans chomping at the bit for these new games, you might expect there to be a lot of rivalry between the two sides. After all, gamers get pretty passionate about their favorite series at the best of times, let alone when they’re in direct competition with something else. However, for the most part, fans have been extremely civil in the lead-up to 20th March. More than that, they’ve become friends.
For months now, people have been posting art online that showcases a growing relationship between ‘Animal Crossing’ players and their ‘Doom’ counterparts. These creators have taken Isabelle from the former series and Doomguy from the latter and drawn them as fans of one another. There’s been artwork of the two fighting together, buying one another’s game, and generally just fangirling over their gaming rival. We would never have expected these two to make such a good team, but somehow, the combination works.
Better together than apart
The pairing of Isabelle and Doomguy is one of the most wholesome things we’ve seen in a long time. Sure, some of the memes are a bit violent, but that doesn’t take away from this budding friendship. ‘Animal Crossing’ and ‘Doom Eternal’ are two series that we’d never have put together because they’re such different entities. However, in being paired up on the release schedule, they’ve shown the world that sometimes opposites really do attract.
Considering that gamers often get accused of being rude and disrespectful to others in the community, this level of support is exactly what we need more of. ‘Animal Crossing’ players are pledging to try out the new ‘Doom’ title and vice versa simply because of the friendship that’s blossomed between fans. That’s bound to improve sales for both games, something that will ensure the series continues pumping out new content for years to come. That sounds like a win-win situation to us.
When 20th March comes around, we’re going to be planted firmly on the sofa enjoying everything that these new games have to offer. We know there are going to be thousands – maybe millions – in the exact same position as us celebrating International Day of Happiness in style. We hope that you’ll be one of them.