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Coronavirus: how does it affect the video game industry?

time 03/27/2020

The coronavirus crisis directly influences technology companies. The disease, which has spread from China, is adding new cases in Europe and has also landed in the United States. Given this situation, video game companies have opted for prudence and some have decided to cancel their presence at specialized fairs. All in all, the picture that opens is of some uncertainty, since the virus affects the production of hardware and accessories.

What about PS5 and Xbox Series X?
Like other technology manufacturers, the Kyoto company manufactures its devices in China. In the case of Nintendo, production is carried out in that eastern country, although the process is also taking place in Vietnam. It was the company president himself, Shuntaro Furukawa, who recognized that the coronavirus crisis was altering the plans of the Japanese. As a consequence, the distribution of the Nintendo Switch in Japan has suffered delays, as has Ring Fit, an accessory that is made in China. To date, the shortage has only had consequences in Japan.
Not surprisingly, one of the victims is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, whose new themed console will be available on schedule, but only in Europe and the United States. At least, this will be the case in the short or medium term, since neither Nintendo nor any company in the sector has publicly reflected on what will happen if the crisis worsens.

The fairs, very affected
The coronavirus is taking its toll on fairs specializing in video games and technology, to the point that many of the big publishers have decided to cancel their plans and not attend. To date, none have circumvented E3 2020 for this reason, but Boston's PAX EAST and GDC 2020 are suffering numerous casualties. Sony Interactive Entertainment, who ruled out going to E3 in Los Angeles for other reasons, decided to get off the PAX ship, and that was going to present a playable demo of The Last of Us Part 2. The words of the city mayor asking that they reconsider the decision has not had the desired effect, since the company has not rectified. Similarly, CD Projekt RED (The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077), Square Enix and Capcom also chose to say goodbye to the fair or limit their presence, as appropriate.
The Game Developers Conference had a presentation planned by Hideo Kojima, which will not finally be materialized, since Kojima Productions has announced that it will not travel due to the coronavirus. Although it is not a Death Stranding, Electronic Arts has already confirmed that it will not be seen by San Francisco either. "Having closely followed the global coronavirus situation and the recent escalation of chaos in new regions, we have decided to take steps to protect the well-being of our employees, including restricting them to non-essential travel." The last to join has been Microsoft, which has explained that after consulting with the health authorities, they have preferred to stay out of the GDC.

How to avoid it?
Given the fact that there is still no vaccine for the virus, the best thing we can do is follow the instructions that you have surely heard everywhere.
Wash your hands well.
Avoid physical contact.
Get out of your house for what you need and stay indoor.
Avoid going to crowded places.
Do not go to concerts or conferences.
STAY STRONG! We can fight back this virus! Let´s fight together as the gamer family that we are!

(Contributed by Salazar.Cien; Edited by Hermes_Fang)


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