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Coronavirus (COVID-19): The Negative Impact of the Virus on Video Game Industry


      The COVID-19 virus has caused more damage than any other bad economic policy, and if this lingers, it may be the worse event that has hit the world economic scene since the global recession. As it is, no section of the economy escaped the effect of the virus, from entertainment, banking, automobile, aviation, and even our dear video game industry, e.t.c.

 This is a video game blog so we are not going to talk about any of these sectors, we are going to assess the number of damages it has coursed in the video game industry, but before that, let’s look at few things you need to know about the COVID-19. Coronavirus is highly contagious and can kill in a matter of minutes if not treated ASAP, some of its common symptoms are runny nose, sore throat, difficulty breathing, cough, and fever. Currently, there is no cure for the virus but there has been tremendous improvement in getting a cure. Now to business.

People standing in the street of Wuhan wearing Coronavirus mask
Source: CNN 

How has the Coronavirus Outbreak Affected the Video Game Industry?

The fact that China, the United States, and the United Kingdom are the video game headquarters of the world, and a majority of video game companies are located there, there is no way the video game industry won’t be in a bad shape. Currently, companies are either suspending production, promotion or changing their marketing strategy all in a bid to make sure they survive this outbreak.

Currently, the E3 2020 event has been canceled till further notice, the E3 event has been on since the 1990s, but due to the scourge of this virus, the Entertainment Software Association have canceled this year’s event. In a public statement by the organization, the cancellation was necessary to ensure the safety of employees as well as the attendees. As it stands, top game companies like Microsoft, Devolver Digital, and Ubisoft are getting ready to hold press conferences to make an announcement on the development of their latest trailers which is probably suspended at the moment.

Again, the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) is postponed, their reason was quite obvious: to prevent the virus from spreading. According to the organizers, the conference will be rescheduled to summer, also all the supposed attendees are expected to get a refund. According to their announcement on their website “After close consultation with our partners in the game development industry and community around the world, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the Game Developers Conference this March…..”. The decision to postpone this year’s event came as a result of a mass withdrawal of top game studios like Microsoft, Sony, and EA.

In Japan, the production of Nintendo Switch has been delayed for the Japanese market, this has coursed a mass shortage of the product thus, making the few available ones expensive. From the look of things, the pre-order for the newest switch version - the Animal Crossing: New Horizons will sure be delayed.  Currently, the Orders of Ring Fit Adventure is out of stock in Japan, and from the way things are going, it won’t be stocked up any soon. According to an announcement by Nintendo, some of its accessories were affected too. According to Nintendo America spokesperson, as reported by Digital Trends, they do not expect delays in order regions like North America and Europe. The hardware production for Japanese players is produced in China where it has killed thousands of people and had many industries short down.

Oculus before the outbreak has been enjoying some reasonable amount of patronage on their Quest product. But since the outbreak, orders have been terribly slow, according to the company’s spokesperson, “…..“Oculus Quest has been selling out in some regions due to high demand, like other companies, we’re expecting some additional impact to our hardware production due to the coronavirus. We’re taking precautions to ensure the safety of our employees, manufacturing partners, and customers, and are monitoring the situation closely. We are working to restore availability as soon as possible.”

As for the company Activision Blizzard, they have finally decided to cancel their much-expected esports event - Overwatch League scheduled to hold on March 11. According to their statement, the reason behind their action is to reduce the possible risk of further infection for attendees and players alike. But the company has also made it known that they are likely to continue with the event when the situation has been declared safe. Also canceled is the Call of Duty League events which have moved all their matches to an “online-only format” for the rest of 2020.

Though the cure they say is achievable, the likely time is not insight. This is definitely a trying moment for the industry, and we hope the management of these top video game companies will continue to handle the situation until a permanent solution is found by the science community. Let us use this opportunity to appreciate all the doctors all over the world especially in Wuhan for their continuous effort to contain the virus, thus making the world safe again. Cheers!

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