The COVID-19 pandemic has had extremely disruptive effects on a personal, social, communal and economic level. The gaming industry has certainly felt the effects, with employees working from home and supply chains affected. In a move to provide clarity during these times, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have all released some statement regarding how the pandemic may or may not affect their business.
Nintendo’s statement came at the beginning of their Nintendo Direct Mini last Thursday. It was a simple and short message noting the fluidity of the situation and how it might affect release dates. Any updates regarding specific games would be relayed through official Nintendo channels – social media and their website, for example – and that of the publishers.
A GameSpot report quoting Head of Microsoft Studios Matt Booty noted Microsoft’s similar approach to the COVID-19 situation. Prioritizing the health and safety of the development teams, Booty acknowledged the extreme variance of the situation, committing to providing the high quality gaming for Xbox gamers while allowing individual Xbox-affiliated studios to make the call on how to approach the situation for themselves.
The most detailed report was released by Sony, but most of this was focused on the entire company’s approach to the pandemic. In the gaming section, the company noted that there “will be no material impact on this business for the current fiscal year” and that the company has been monitoring their partner studio situations. The writing, however, makes it vague on how this will affect the next fiscal year (fiscal years in Japan start in April) when the PlayStation 5 is set to be released or if they meant the fiscal year to align with the calendar year.
Overall, these companies and their subsidiaries have been feeling the effects of COVID-19. It is unclear when the pandemic will ease up, but hopefully these statements are a reaffirmation that these companies are working in the best interests of their developers and staff as well as their communities.
For more information on COVID-19, please see the CDC website.