How coronavirus is affecting the gaming community



With Covid-19 becoming more and more of an issue with every week, we see the toll it has taken in the many corners of the entertainment sphere, one of the most impacted being the gaming industry and community. With China having taken the biggest hit from the disease, the tech industry has ceased it’s production, which includes gaming almost entirely. But it doesn’t end there.

With quarantine taking effect, many events, conferences and even just the physical contact of working on upcoming games have been cancelled until further notice. The cancellation of E3 2020 was met with strong responses, many finally realizing how severe the whole situation has become. The Entertainment Software Association has cited Covid-19 for the cancellation, fearing that continuing with the annual event would leave many, attendees and employees alike, open to catching and spreading the virus. With the news of E3’s cancellation, it’s been speculated that the major companies who attend and hold events there will turn to the internet to host a digital form of their own personalized “E3”. It is likely that companies such as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony will be holding their own streams, or something of the like, where they will showcase upcoming games, updates and other announcements originally planned for E3 2020.

Gaming events such as Blizzard’s “Overwatch” League and “Call of Duty” League along with Electronic Art’s esports events have all been cancelled. Nintendo Switch production has been delayed for the Japanese market, meaning games like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” no longer has an official release date in the country and won’t have one for the near future. Along the topic of Nintendo, production and release of the “Fighters Pass Vol 2” for “Super Smash Bros Ultimate” is also likely to see major delay, with the development teaming most likely opting to slow down the creation of the upcoming new fighters and have the employees work from home, thought a direct statement hasn’t been released by Masahiro Sakurai, Ultimate’s game director and creator.

Luckily, games like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” “Doom: Eternal,” and “Half Life: Alyx” were able to reach physical and digital shelves before all of this, giving anyone with a Switch, PS4, Xbox or PC plenty to play around with during quarantine.

Unfortunately, titles such as “Final Fantasy VII Remake” and “Persona 5 Royal” are left ambiguous of their status, with other games like “Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition,” “The Last of Us Part II,” “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga,” “Marvel’s Avengers” and “Cyberpunk 2077” likely to see some delay or complete cancellation, depending how the Covid-19 pandemic is further handled.

It’s very disappointing to see all of these games get affected so negatively, but it’s important to hold onto the ones we have and keep hope that everything will go back to normal soon. What’s also important is the safety of those who make and play these video games. Everyone’s health needs to be top priority, so if a whole game needs to be put on the back shelf till further notice, then that’s what needs to happen to help ensure the flattening of the curve and the containment of the virus.

Gaming is about community, and right now, we need to prove the strength of that community in support of keeping everyone safe.