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What effect has the coronavirus had on the gaming industry?

A whole lot apparently.

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Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

The impact of coronavirus or COVID-19 as it is professionally known as has grown massively in recent weeks and it is affects gaming companies from all around the world as interruptions and delays have occurred. The virus began in China and daily life there has been put on hold with professionals trying to contain it and find a cure.

Whilst time clocked up spent on video gaming has been a surge, this has also been the case for other online activities like playing bingo games for free online. Many bingo sites report a massive increase in traffic due to people across Europe and the UK being told or advised to stay at home. The tech industry is suffering very badly and as the virus is spreading around the globe, more concerns have risen when it comes to hardware, games, and conferences.

E3 2020 Cancelled

For over 20 years, E3 has been the main go-to place for the annual occurrence in the online video game world but organizers have had to cancel it this year because of the coronavirus outbreak. This virus has totally ruined plans and the event will not be going ahead because the safety & health of attendees/employees are a priority. With this being said, a digital version of the even could occur and there are talks about, companies such as Ubisoft and Microsoft have already shared their thoughts on it.

Game Developers Conference Postponed

It has been officially announced that the Game Developers Conference 2020 is to be postponed in order to help prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The popular conference is set to be rescheduled for the summer and everybody who bought tickets to attend will be receiving a full refund.

A statement on the GDC website reads:

“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 was made after various different high-end studios decided to drop out of the event. This included Sony, EA & Microsoft. There are talks for GDC to upload talks onto their youtube channel as well as streaming selected events through the popular Twitch platform.

Nintendo Switch production delayed for the Japanese market

The Nintendo Switch console has become increasingly popular over the past year but the production of it in Japan is now due to be delayed. The coronavirus lead to shortages of the console as well as games and also accessories. Certain models in Japan now no longer have a release date and Nintendo has stated that this is one of the worst problems they have faced in recent years.

Oculus Quest Back-Ordered

The immensely popular Oculus Quest VR headset is now back-ordered and it seems that this will remain the case for quite a while now.

A spokesperson for the company said:

“Oculus Quest has been selling out in some regions due to high demand,” an Oculus spokesperson told Digital Trends in an email. “That said, 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.”

Unfortunately, Oculus Quest is not available on Amazon, Best Buy or even the company’s online site.

Overwatch League Events Cancelled

It was officially announced on March 11th that all of the Overwatch League events will be canceled so that attendees and players would not have an increased chance of catching the coronavirus. This is certainly a huge shame for everybody who was excited to attend and participate but the safety of people is what comes first. Hopefully, the event shall be rearranged for a new date.

Call of Duty league events canceled

Activision Blizzard has chosen to cancel all C.O.D events whilst also moving all matches to online only for the rest of the year. This decision came after the cancellation of Overwatch league events. The remainder of the matches shall be shown live to fans and the plan at the moment is to move the matches to a city-based format which will hopefully improve everything for the future.

EA suspends live gaming events

The world-renowned gaming development company EA has chosen to suspend all competitive live events for their games, this includes Apex Legends and sports games too. This will hopefully prevent the spread of coronavirus and the events should resume when it is safe to do so.

Plague Inc. dropped from Apple’s App Store

Plague Inc, the online mobile app game which is based on a worldwide pandemic has been dropped from the Apple app store. Since the coronavirus outbreak, sales of this game have increased massively but there have been negative reports about it with many complaints too, so Apple has taken the decision to remove it until further notice.

Outer Worlds port for Switch delayed

People who play on the popular Nintendo Switch console will now have to wait even longer to play on the highly anticipated Outer Worlds game. Private Division has said that the game is delayed and the developers are trying their hardest to release it as quickly as possible but the coronavirus has caused severe complications. On the positive side, players can now get a physical copy of the game, even though it was initially announced that only a downloadable version would be available.

TurboGrafx-16 Mini Delayed

The release of new consoles is always highly anticipated, and this was the case for TurboGrafx-16 Mini from Konami which is now going to be postponed with the release date being longer than expected. With more than 15 pre-loaded games and other top features, this console had lots of hype surrounding it but it will now not be released on the 19th or March. Konami has not released a new date so the best thing you can do it just keeps an eye out for updates.

EVE Online’s annual Fanfest canceled

The popular EVE online fanfest which takes place every year has officially been canceled. The event was meant to take place in Iceland with April the 2nd being the date it would kick-off but with the country now having its first case of coronavirus the event will now not be happening.

A spokesperson for the event said, “We realize that the situation a month from now could be very different, but the way events are developing both globally and in Iceland’s neighboring countries, an in-depth and serious review has made it clear that this is a necessary step to take”.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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