The coronavirus outbreak continues to have a substantial impact on economies and industries worldwide, including those related to gaming. With a death toll of over 2,200 at the time of writing and several thousands of new reported cases, only the years to come will reveal just how badly the coronavirus damaged the gaming circles. For now, the following are some of the major happenings that have taken place out of fear of the infection spreading.
Taipei Game Show 2020 was cancelled
Originally scheduled to kick off earlier in February, the Taipei Game Show will now try to take place sometime in the summers due to the coronavirus. However, without a clear date, chances of the event happening will most likely be based on how widespread the outbreak will be in the months to come. CD Projekt Red was reportedly set to showcase new Cyberpunk 2077 footage at the Taipei Game Show. Sony was also rumored to be bringing Elden Ring along.
Nintendo Switch production was disrupted
The ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus greatly disrupted both production and shipment of Nintendo Switch and related peripheral devices such as the Joy-Con controllers and the Ring Fit Adventure game in China. Nintendo noted earlier in February that the coronavirus situation will continue to be monitored but delays are to be expected. The company also stopped taking any further pre-orders for the new Animal Crossing themed Nintendo Switch variant. Stock shortages in the United States and Europe are already said to happen in April.
Oculus Quest production was disrupted
Oculus Quest was impacted by the coronavirus outbreak as well. Availability of the popular virtual reality headset will see to a further shortage as ensuring safety protocols meant a disruption to production. Oculus Quest remains out of stock in most territories with a large amount of unfulfilled pre-orders.
The Outer Worlds Nintendo Switch port was delayed
The Outer Worlds was previously scheduled to land on Nintendo Switch in March. However, Singapore-based Virtuous — developer working on the port — decided to close down its offices due to the coronavirus outbreak. Take note that the developer has experienced no health issues and the closure is just a precaution. In the end, though, the promised port of The Outer Worlds will now be delayed by at least several months.
Sony skipped PAX East and GDC 2020
PAX East 2020 was where Sony was preparing to reveal an hour-long playable demo of The Last of Us Part 2. There were also rumors about the company making announcements and reveals regarding PlayStation 5. However, a week before the event, Sony decided to cancel its participation in light of the coronavirus threat. “The health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern,” read a press release issued by Sony on the matter.
The company also decided to abandon GDC 2020 as well, alongside Facebook, while citing the same fear of the coronavirus infecting attendees. With two cancellations, it remains to be seen as to when Sony will be hosting its highly rumored reveal event for PlayStation 5, which was previously tagged between February and March. If the coronavirus threat remains to be active, Sony may consider dragging its schedule to the summers.
Valve Index production was disrupted
The global coronavirus health crisis impacted production schedules for Valve Index. As a result, far fewer units will be available for sale in the coming months. Valve will be monitoring the situation and pump up production as soon as possible. The company will not be taking any pre-orders for the time being.
Esports events were delayed or cancelled
Blizzard ended up cancelling all Overwatch events that were scheduled to take place in China, while League of Legends events proceeded without a live audience. PUBG events set to take place in Europe were cancelled as well. New dates and locations, where needed, will be shared with the public in the future.
Capcom and Square Enix skipped PAX East
Capcom and Square Enix joined the list of companies cancelling all plans to attend PAX East. Both cited the coronavirus outbreak as the reason of absence but did state that certain panel appearances will be scaled back since staffers coming from Japan will no longer be travelling.
Kojima Productions skipped GDC 2020
Hideo Kojima was originally set to do a panel covering Death Stranding at GDC 2020. He and Kojima Productions will, however, not be attending the conference due to increasing concerns related to the coronavirus.
This piece will be updated as more information arrives.