It goes without saying that the effect of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the video games industry has been far-reaching, with multiple game delays, event cancellations, and what have you, and in their recent quarterly financial briefing, Nintendo talked more about how that impact will continue to materialize. Essentially, everything from production and sales to development schedules and online services are likely to be affected.
Nintendo states that delays in production in shipping are gradually recovering, but acknowledges the possibility of issues with procurement of product parts for the same. “If the impact of COVID-19 is prolonged or worsens further, it may disrupt the product supply,” the company says.
Nintendo also expects consumption activities to be impacted. “There are restrictions on sales channels in each country due to measures to prevent the spread of the virus including restrictions on movement outside the home and closure of retail stores, and this effect may be prolonged,” the company says. It also notes that if physical distribution of games is suspended, that would affect business conducted through e-commerce as well. The company further adds that services offered by itself online – such as Nintendo Switch Online – may be affected if “[they] are no longer able to maintain the stability of [their] network systems.”
Development schedules of games might also suffer delays “if the effects of COVID-19 are prolonged or worsen further” due to “the difference in development environments between working from home and in the office.”
“In particular, the impact to overseas subsidiaries and other affiliated companies involved in development is anticipated to be even more difficult to predict than within Japan,” Nintendo adds. “As a result of these factors, we may not be able to proceed with the release of Nintendo products and the start of services as planned. This is also true for other software publishers, so it may not be possible to provide game content on Nintendo platforms as planned.”
In all, Nintendo states that “there are concerns that COVID-19 will lead to a global decline in production and consumption” that might affect their financial projections for the current fiscal year (FY 2021). The company adds that it anticipates being able to release games currently in development as per schedule, but also acknowledges that the uncertain and unpredictable nature of the situation might mean that things might change quickly.
Recently, reports emerged that due to remote work requirements, the development of Nintendo first party titles had suffered delays, and that as such, they would not be hosting a Nintendo Direct this June either.
Nintendo have also released updates sales figures for the Switch and various Switch games, including Pokemon Sword and Shield and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Read more about both through the links.