The gaming industry, much like the rest of the world, was impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Events have been cancelled, games were delayed and schedules pushed back. There was a period where it seemed like every article I wrote here had at least something to do with COVID. But, all things considered, this year has stayed relatively on track. Next generation consoles are still looking to launch this year, and even more games that’s been delayed have not been delayed that significantly, such as The Last of Us Part 2. But if Phil Spencer is right, we may not be so lucky next year.
In an interview with Business Insider, Phil Spencer said he wasn’t too worried about games coming through the summer and up until the fall (though he has said delays are still possible). He thinks, by and large, the schedule on a lot of those titles will be fine. But 2021 he’s less sure about, especially titles in the early part of the years. He says that certain parts of game production have just outright stopped, pointing to mocap as an example, and it will impact release schedules the most.
“Mocap is just something that’s basically stopped. We’re not going into mocap studios,” Spencer said. “If you had all your animation captured and you’re doing touch up in more individual art production and in areas like textures and other things, you’re in a better position. If you’re waiting for a lot of either large audio work — when it’s with symphonies and other things — or mocap, you’re held up right now and you’re making progress in areas that you are.”
While Spencer is only talking about games, 2021 is still looking unsure for major events such as PAX and E3, too. While some countries are looking to return to normal, we just aren’t sure yet. Right now there’s little a lot of us average joes can do but just wait it all out. But it does look like we should expect game releases to also be up in the air.