An outbreak of a new virus in China has escalated into a health crisis. With over 40,000 infections this month and 1,000 deaths in China, the impact of the coronavirus is spreading across the globe and games are no exception. More specifically, the coronavirus epidemic has also affected the gaming industry.
Based on US Gamer intelligence and our own information, we have collected in one place everything that links games and the coronavirus outbreak.
2019-nCoV, now commonly known as the "coronavirus," began in China's Wuhan region and spread throughout China and other countries. It belongs to the family of viruses that commonly attack the respiratory system, and although it is known how it spreads, it is difficult to control.
Meanwhile, the disease has affected games both directly and indirectly.
The Outer Worlds on Nintendo Switch is on hold
The Outer Worlds was created by Obsidian as the spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas. Albeit in a hypercapitalist cosmic future, not in an apocalyptic wilderness. Although it has already been released on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, development of the port for the Nintendo Switch has been shifted due to the coronavirus.
It was announced last week that Virtuos, the developers of the Switch port, would be temporarily closed due to health concerns. It is currently expected to announce a new release date and development timeline.
Some speculate that the release of games on cartridges could cause additional problems with third-party manufacturing plants in the region, although the situation with Virtuos has not yet been repeated.
Problems with Nintendo Switch
Even bigger concerns were raised when Nintendo announced that shipments of Switch peripherals to Japan would be delayed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in China. While this does not affect the rest of the world, industry analyst Daniel Ahmad told CNBC that cancellation of shipments could be a problem both in the United States and in the west in general.
In a statement to Kotaku, a Nintendo of America spokesman said that while production of Nintendo products for the Japanese market has been delayed due to the outbreak, Nintendo itself, quoting, “does not expect significant impact on the global supply chain of their accessory systems.”
However, problems can arise not only for the console with a large N, but also for the nextgen. Quite a lot of parts for both Xbox and Sony are made in China, and if many factories don't work as usual, it could really affect a large market.
The show will not continue
Due to problems with the virus and its spread from person to person, a number of events in the industry are either postponed or will not take place at all. The Taipei Game Show in 2020, scheduled for February 6-9, has been pushed back to summer due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus problem.
Given that mass events such as the Taipei Game Show increase the likelihood of cluster infections, the organizing committee decided to avoid such unthinkable risks, the organizers announced in January.
The Global Game Jam 2020 in Shenzhen has also been canceled in its traditional form for the safety of attendees and spectators. “We are looking for alternative solutions that will allow guests to potentially participate in GGJ remotely. Usually we don’t do that, but due to extraordinary circumstances we have to make such decisions ”- the organizers write.
Other events have followed suit, either hosting their event online or canceling altogether.
Even Disney closed its Shanghai park site for Lunar New Year in response to “outbreak prevention and control.”
The coronavirus outbreak has also impacted esports, with the national league suspended a number of matches scheduled in China for February and March to “protect the health and safety” of players and spectators.
The opening of the League of Legends Pacific Championship Series was also postponed indefinitely, and the Pokemon competition in Hong Kong was canceled altogether.
At the same time, literally immediately, as the outbreak began to acquire massive proportions, the game Plague inc. unexpectedly became the most downloaded application. It gives the player the opportunity to create their own virus that should spread throughout the world and kill the entire population of the globe.
Despite such a deplorable scenario, the developer, responding to the new surge in the popularity of the game, said that people use their game as a clear example of the spread of various viruses and diseases, transmission routes and evolution. They originally made it realistic. However, this is still a game and cannot be used as a tool to fight the real coronavirus.
At the same time, in the Chinese network, people argue that the game is a kind of psychotherapy for citizens, which simply helps to calm down, as it allows you to face the threat face to face, even if it is purely conditional in the game.
While some people believe that games dedicated to deadly diseases can help people cope with stress, others seem to think it is inappropriate. So, at the end of last month, Epic Games, which continue to distribute games for free on their site, were going to give users a disease-control simulator Pandemic. However, they soon decided to discard the idea for unknown reasons and share it another time.
The studio told Video Games Chronicle about this decision. The site suggested that this move was made due to an epidemic. At the time of this event, there were about 17 thousand sick people in China.
As you can see, the impact of the coronavirus on the gaming industry and gaming is significant, but to a greater extent this applies to esports and China itself. Fortunately, there were no large-scale problems, for example, such as the postponement of the release of new generation consoles, and we hope there will not be.
The Topic of Article: Postponed games, canceled events, gaming therapy - how the coronavirus epidemic affected the gaming industry.