Sony and Microsoft have made vague statements about how Covid-19 affects their games

Mar 28, 2020 3:05 AM ET

Christian PetersenIn a press release on his websiteSony announced that it does not expect part of its gaming and networking services business to be affected in the current fiscal year ending March 31. At the same time, the company did thisDon’t rule out that things might change in the future. Sony and Microsoft issued overnight statements answering questions about how the ongoing pandemic will affect their future game development plans. None of the statements contain much substance, but they can be an omen of things to come.

“Although there have been no issues so far, Sony is carefully monitoring the risk of delays in game software production schedules in both its first-party and partner studios, primarily in Europe and the United States,” the company wrote.

Sony added that it reopened previously closed manufacturing facilities in China. However, three more plants – two in Malaysia and one in the UK – will remain closed until April 14th. The company also confirmed that employees work from home in some of its offices in Europe, the United States and Japan.

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios director Matt Booty shared a much shorter statement With Gamespot Late yesterday. “Each studio faces unique challenges and limitations depending on its location, and many of our external development partners around the world are affected in a similar way,” it says in part. “We support our studio managers in making the right decisions for their teams and their individual games in this challenging time.”

The message from Booty came a day after 343 studios posted a blog post saying that while the development of Halo Infinite and Halo Master Chief Collection On the PC, the studio stayed on the right track. The studio had to “take into account our current limitations and understand that the coronavirus situation may worsen before it improves.”

No major games have been postponed yet, but Bethesda has announced its massive Wastelanders expansion for Fallout 76 had to be pushed back a week Based on home work policies that affect the company’s ability to stop testing the update.

Other publishers have also started to prepare fans for the possibility of delaying publication. Yesterday, Capcom announced possible bottlenecks or late delivery for physical copies of Resident Evil 3that comes out on April 3rd. Today Square Enix told fans that while Final Fantasy VII remake will continue to be released on April 10th as scheduled, physical copies may not arrive on time as Amazon and other digital retailers have not delayed significant deliveries. “This does not mean that boxed copies of Final Fantasy VII remake will not be shipped,” Square said. “It just means we can’t control the date the game arrives.”

To date, the United States has overtaken China in the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases. Experts remain divided when the current outbreak could peak.

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