The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting many aspects of our everyday lives, including our habits like video games. Beyond the problems that the Coronavirus can create for our friends and family, this global disease is creating multiple hurdles for the biggest companies in several ways. Community outreach, public events, and product production issues have all become significant problems for the gaming industry.
Conference Cancellations and Rescheduling
At the root of any major video game company is the gamer. Without some community outreach, players would not know what to look forward to playing. Of course, that outreach is also essential to video game developers. They also have to understand what is going on in the industry to help create the next best thing using the newest technology.
Conferences like Facebook's F8, Game Developers Conference (GDC), and NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) have all rescheduled or shutdown in one way or another.
Facebook's F8, which includes Oculus, has decided to cancel all physical event meetups for an online event with videos. NVIDIA's GTC has decided to follow that same mantra while shows like GDC have postponed with no date locked in yet.
Since GDC is a third party conference event, they must account for other companies to take part in their production. Sony, Facebook, Epic, Unity, and Microsoft have pulled from the show, so it would have been foolish for GDC to continue their programmed activities.
Other canceled events include:
Epic Fest (4/29-5/1)
Games First London 2020 (4/1)
Google I/O (5/12-5/14)
At this time, the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2020 (E3) is continuing with their planned show from 6/8 - 6/11. The show will be happening in Los Angeles, which may change since they have recently declared a State of Emergency for the Californian city.
Community Shows and Public Event Changes
Another major issue with the spread of Coronavirus is the public being unable to meet up for their favorite games. ESports have almost halted in response to the range of Coronavirus.
As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, League of Legends Pacific Championship was initially planned to take place on 2/8 and has been postponed indefinitely. The Pokemon Video Game Championship planned initially on 2/2 in Hong Kong has also been put on hold until further notice. Even the Overwatch League has delayed its event for March. The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive WESG Asia-Pacific Championship in Macau is also canceled.
No matter where you are in the world, Coronavirus will affect you in some way, directly or indirectly. Let's hope that for many of you, it is indirectly by not being able to get your hands on some new hardware this year.
Due to so much of the world's product production in China - where the original outbreak has been linked - gamers will experience a lot of hardware constraints. Production of the Nintendo Switch, Microsoft computer components, and even Apple's iPhones have slowed down.
Nintendo's Switch Joy-Cons and Ringfit accessories will be in short supply starting in April. Nintendo's Chinese suppliers have had to give most of their workload to smaller manufacturers in Vietnam, which has created a bottleneck in production. Nintendo may be in trouble when Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes out on 3/20.
Microsoft's More Personal Computing division is expecting a decline in its profit numbers due to the slowdown in supply. Microsoft told their investors that their initial financial projection of $10.75 Billion to $11.15 Billion might not come to pass. Apple also had to give their investors some similar lousy news with their numbers initially projecting $62.45 billion.
The Coronavirus has spread rapidly in many ways through people. Entertainment has also seen some decline with a Sonic the Hedgehog movie delay in China. At this time, we ask that everyone stay safe, wash your hands, and follow the information given to you by the CDC and WHO.