The novel coronavirus pandemic has left a mark on pretty much every industry in many countries – and has disrupted life for billions of people all over the world. People are now stuck in their homes with little more to do than streaming movies, cooking, working out, catching up on their reading list of books about gambling, business, and – hopefully – science.
One of the areas where people may not expect disruption is video games – after all, many people (especially children) forced to stay home will likely spend time playing them on their phones, computers, and consoles. But the video game industry has felt the effects of the pandemic, too – for one, its major events (like the E3) have been delayed or cancelled already. Apparently, trade shows are not the only things affected by the disease – some games are likely being delayed because of it.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Video game designer Masahiro Sakurai, the game director behind the Smash Bros. and Kirby series, has announced that work on the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC “Fighter Pass 2” will likely take longer than expected due to the ongoing pandemic. The DLC was announced in January – it will have six new characters, and was set to be released before the end of this year.
With the ongoing epidemic, the company may be forced to reduce the work hours dedicated to the project – and this will likely translate into a delayed-release.
The Last of Us, Part II
Naughty Dog’s third-person action-adventure game was a major success for publisher Sony, and fans are eagerly waiting for the second part of the story to be released. The game has already suffered a delay, though – the original release date (February 2020) was pushed back to May – and now, due to many developers being forced to work from home due to the ongoing pandemic, the production is expected to slow down further.
While there is no official word on this, there are rumours circulating about a possible delay already.
The Outer Worlds (Switch)
The Outer Worlds was one of the most critically acclaimed role-playing games of last year. Publisher Private Division has announced a Switch port for the game to be released shortly after its original release on Xbox. But the Singapore-based studio Virtuous working on the port has seen its offices closed – even though it didn’t report any health issues – which makes it likely for the game’s Switch version not to see the light of day this month.
On a positive note, it has been announced that the game will also be released as a physical cartridge, not just a digital download.
Last but not least, it’s worth mentioning that games may not be the only things delayed by the coronavirus. Some analysts expect the production of the two major upcoming consoles – Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 – to slow down due to the disrupted supply lines across Asia. This might easily mean that the two consoles will not hit the shelves during the holiday season.