8 Surprising Ways the Coronavirus Is Affecting the Gaming Industry

March 12, 2020

Gamers are understandably distraught over the recent news that E3 2020 has been canceled due to the coronavirus. But that’s not the only way the coronavirus has affected the video game industry. Here are eight surprising and unfortunate ways the coronavirus has impacted gaming.

Nintendo’s Switch production is delayed in Japan

After the lackluster performance of the Wii U, the success of the Switch has been a godsend for Nintendo. At times, it seemed like their main hurdle has been making enough systems to keep up with the demand.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus has complicated that issue quite a bit. Thanks to the Switch being manufactured in China, the sales of the Switch are delayed in Japan. This means that Nintendo’s original core demographic may soon have a Switch shortage on their hands.

As near as we can tell, though, the delay is only in Japan. Nintendo even promised that sales and pre-orders in North America and Europe would be unaffected by this shortage.

The Outer Worlds for Switch is delayed indefinitely

While Nintendo can promise that their own products won’t be delayed in most areas, they can’t make that promise on behalf of third parties. And it looks like the virus has already affected the Private Division port of The Outer Worlds to the Nintendo Switch.

The new release date for the game is unknown, and the company now plans to release the sci-fi hit on cartridge. With any luck, this will give them time to polish the features that much more.

Plague, Inc. app gets banned in China

Like a little dark humor in your life? Apparently, many gamers do! As the coronavirus fears intensified across the world, one app shot to the top of the charts: Plague, Inc. What is this game about, you ask? Simple: the spread of diseases through the world!

That may be morbidly funny, but China wasn’t laughing one bit. As the viral spread got worse and worse, China yanked the game from their app store. Outside of China, though, you can still download the game and see if it is worth the hype.

Oculus Quest production is delayed

For gamers, virtual reality has looked like the future for a good, long time. The surprising success of the PlayStation VR helped solidify that VR had a place among consoles. And more recently, the Oculus Quest has introduced VR to gamers on the go with a modestly-priced headset that doesn’t require connection to a powerhouse PC.

Sadly, the coronavirus may be halting the momentum of the Oculus Quest. The system was already selling out in certain areas due to high demand. Now, the virus has further delayed the production of these headsets.

With any luck, gamers will again be able to escape from reality via Oculus Quest very soon.

PGS: Berlin is postponed

One unsurprising casualty in the world of competitive gaming has been gaming tournaments. Many of these events are held in areas of the world where the coronavirus runs rampant, and gathering everyone together seems like a very unnecessary risk.

One example of this is PGS: Berlin. This is an eSports event centered around the popular game PlayerUnknown: Battlegrounds. While organizers are still hoping to hold the event later in the year, the postponement of this European event shows how the coronavirus effects have extended well beyond China.

Game Developers Conference is postponed

Many major pop culture gatherings have been canceled or postponed in recent days, not least of which is E3, which was to take place in June.

But another major gaming event, which was to take place even sooner, has also been affected. The San Francisco Game Developers Conference, scheduled for March, has now been postponed.

Many big names had already backed out, including Sony and Microsoft, but the delay of this event is still a major blow for gaming.

EVE Online Fanfest is canceled

The effects of the coronavirus are truly felt all over the world. Don’t believe it? Just ask the gamers over in Iceland!

Reykjavik, Iceland was going to play host to the annual EVE Online Fanfest. This early April event was intended to bring together gamers from all around the world, but it has now been canceled thanks to coronavirus worries.

And while canceling it was certainly the safest move, many gamers are now left figuring out if they can get money back for things like airline tickets and hotel rooms. Hopefully, this event will be back and better than ever next year.

TurboGrafx-16 Mini is delayed indefinitely

For gamers of a certain age, this last one is going to hurt. Following the success of retro systems like the NES Classic, Konami was planning to release a TurboGrafx-16 Mini. This little system was going to bring classic games like Bonk’s Revenge, Splatterhouse, and Snatcher to the world of modern gaming.

While that’s still the plan, the release of this little system has been indefinitely delayed because of the coronavirus. And many can’t help but wonder if the coronavirus could eventually delay the biggest gaming releases of the year: the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X.

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