The COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus has been slowing down travel and leading to the cancellation of events and the gaming world is no different. Coronavirus gaming convention cancellations and game delays are being announced every day or two.
We've put together a list of all of the notable coronavirus gaming cancellations event canceollations and delays in other areas like game development and hardware manufacturing. This list will be updated as new events emerge. ff
- What is the Coronavirus?
- What is the Coronavirus Effect on Gaming?
- Coronavirus Convention Cancellations
- PAX East Coronavirus Cancellations
- GDC Coronavirus Cancellations
- E3 Coronavirus Cancellations iru
- Overwatch League Coronavirus Cancellations
- League of Legends Coronavirus Cancellations
- Other Coronavirus Gaming Event and Convention Cancellations
- Coronavirus Game Delays
- Other Coronavirus Gaming News
What is the Coronavirus?
My knowledge of medicine pretty much stops at "put the bandage on the ouchie part", so I'm going to let the World Health Organization do the heavy lifting here.
To summarize, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause illnesses in both animals and humans. Previous coronaviruses that made the news were Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is the most-recently discovered coronavirus.
COVID-19 most commonly causes fever, tiredness, and a dry cough. Most people recover from the virus without any major problems, but roughly 1 in 6 develop severe enough symptoms that they have difficulty breathing.
How is this latest coronavirus spread? Scientists and doctors are still evaluating the disease, but the best data shows that it can be spread through droplets from the nose or mouth which are expelled when a person coughs or even exhales. It's best to stay at least 1 meter (3 feet) away from people who are sick and sanitize or avoid any surfaces that may have been contaminated by these droplets.
Read the World Health Organizations Q&A on coronaviruses for more details from people who know their stuff.
Update: The World Health Organization characterized the COVID-19 novel coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
You can read more about how to be prepared for the coronavirus at the WHO's website.
What is the Coronavirus Effect on Gaming?
You'll note in the preceding section that it's advised for people to stay at least 1 meter (3 feet) away from people who may be sick with the coronavirus. As anyone who has been to a gaming convention can tell you, people get packed in pretty tightly.
Factories, too, often have a lot of people operating close to one another. In both cases, a lot of people are touching many different objects in a short amount of time. Essentially, any place where large numbers of people gather and touch a lot of stuff could potentially turn into a vehicle for spreading the virus.
As a consequence, some gaming companies have pulled out of conventions. Some game developers are opting to work remotely, resulting in delays in game development. Finally, factories and other manufacturing facilities in some areas have been affected one way or another, further slowing things down.
Coronavirus Convention Cancellations
Gaming conventions have anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of attendees in close quarters, making them prime territory for spreading disease. "Con crud" is well-known in the gaming community, but the coronavirus is on another level.
As a result, there have been several coronavirus gaming convention cancellations. No major conventions have been outright canceled just yet, but a lot of developers and companies are pulling out of some pretty big trade shows.
PAX East Coronavirus Cancellations
PAX East 2020 is taking place from February 27, 2020–March 1, 2020. Unfortunately, a number of gaming companies — some of them quite large — have announced that they are pulling out of this year's show over concerns about the coronavirus.
PlayStation had intended to go to PAX East 2020, but they've decided to keep their Japanese staff at home and avoid traveling. Unfortunately, this also means that the planned demo of The Last of Us Part II won't be making an appearance at this year's show. The demo was to give players a chance to play an entire hour's worth of content from the game.
Sony's backing out of the event brought pleas from Boston's Mayor asking the Japanese company to re-evaluate its stance, but no such change has happened.
PAX East is Taking Preventative Measures to Prepare for 2020
Although PlayStation has pulled out of the show, PAX East will still be going on as planned. The convention released a statement detailing the preventative measures that they were taking for the show:
"PAX East 2020 will take place as scheduled with enhanced cleaning and sanitization across the show, including adhering to the recommendations set forth in the U.S. EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants effective against the COVID-19 virus. We are working closely with the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and following local, state and federal public health guidelines, including those issued by the CDC. For more information on those measures and the virus, please visit the PAX East travel page and the MCCA website."
CAPCOM's Monster Hunter Dev Team Will Not Attend PAX East
The Monster Hunter developers had planned to attend PAX East, but they will not be doing so due to the coronavirus gaming crisis.
"An update on MH Festa: Boston 2020:" began the tweet from CAPCOM USA. "Unfortunately, our guests from the MH dev team will no longer be able to attend the event. We will no longer have an autograph session but are still planning to share #Iceborne news. Our sincere apologies for [the] inconvenience!"
Square Enix Reduces presence PAX East
Square Enix was one of a batch of major companies that also pulled out of PAX East 2020. The following planned events are canceled:
- Panel Session: The Artwork of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Look Behind the Screen
- Developer Signing Sessions & Photo Op
- Fan Gathering
PUBG Corp. (PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS) and CD Projekt RED (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Cyberpunk 2077) have canceled their plans to travel to PAX East 2020. Neither company had major events planned, but PUBG Corp. had a "happy hour" event at a bar planned and the CDPR staff were simply going to attend the show.
Sky: Children of the Light Developer 'That Game Company' Stays Home from PAX
Sky: Children of the Light developer That Game Company (yes, that's their name) has made the decision to keep their "small international team" home from PAX East 2020.
"Due to COVID-19 concerns, we’ve made the difficult decision to no longer attend PAX East," read the tweet from That Game Company. "As a small international team, we want to put the health of our team first & take every precaution to avoid risk. Thanks for your understanding & we hope to meet everyone at later events!"
Celeste Creators Staying Home from PAX East 2020 and GDC 2020
Extremely Okay Games (EXOK) announced in a tweet that it would not be attending PAX East 2020 or GDC 2020, nor would any of its employees.
"For the record, no one from EXOK will be at GDC or PAX East this year," read a tweet from EXOK's Matt Thorson. "Sorry to everyone looking to meet up, have fun!"
GDC Coronavirus Cancellations
The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is a show hosted in San Francisco every year where game developers get together and host "sessions" that talk about game development. While there are occasional game and tech announcements, most devs are going to the show to talk shop. This year's show is slated for March 16–20, 2020.
Update: GDC has made the decision to postpone this year's conference.
Facebook & Oculus Back out of GDC 2020
Facebook (and its virtual reality gaming subsidiary Oculus) have both announced that they are not going to GDC 2020 this year. Here's Facebook's statement:
GDC is always a highlight of our gaming event lineup, however the health of our employees and the wider games community comes before anything else. Due to the evolving health concerns surrounding COVID-19, Facebook’s AR/VR and Gaming teams will not be attending GDC this year.
Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, released a similar statement of their own which effectively communicates the same message.
Sony Cancels Participation in GDC 2020
Following their cancellation of PAX East events, Sony later announced that they would also not be participating in GDC 2020. Here's their announcement:
"We have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus). We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern."
Several Kojima Productions staff (including Hideo Kojima himself) planned to go to GDC 2020, but they have since backed out. Mr. Kojima's session "DEATH STRANDING's Design Philosophy" and Eric Johnson's session "AI Summit: 'Death Stranding': An AI Postmortem" are both canceled as a result.
Electronic Arts relayed a message to their employees that they would be canceling their official participation at GDC and advising employees not to travel to events. Furthermore, they stated that they are limiting their attendance to other events. Here is a statement EA provided to TechRaptor regarding GDC 2020:
"Having closely followed the global situation with Coronavirus and with the recent escalation of cases in new regions, we have decided to take additional steps to protect the wellbeing of our employees including the restriction of all non-essential travel. As a result we are also [canceling] our official participation at GDC and limiting attendance to other events. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will adjust guidelines to our employees as we feel is appropriate."
Global Video Game Investment Fund Kowloon Nights Pulls Out of GDC
A gaming investment fund called Kowloon Nights has announced that they're pulling out of GDC this year, although they still plan to attend PAX East 2020.
"Hi everyone! We wanted to give an update about GDC," the company's tweet began. "As a team, we have decided to pull out of GDC this year. With international travel concerns on the rise due to COVID-19, we want to do our best to care for ourselves and others."
"We have [canceled] our in-person meetings and will be taking them remotely another time - thank you for your understanding and we hope everyone attending has a great (and safe) GDC!"
GDC 2020 Will Go On as Planned
Despite some pretty big names backing out, GDC has stated that the show will go on as planned.
"The Game Developers Conference will take place as planned in March, and we are watching closely for new developments around the Novel Coronavirus (COVID19 or 2019-nCoV) situation in China to keep the GDC community appraised of the latest updates. This page will keep you posted on new information, as well as our approach to keep our attendees healthy and safe."
PUBG Corp 'Cancels [Its] Presence' at GDC
PUBG Corp is another company that is pulling out of both PAX East 2020 and GDC 2020. Here is their announcement:
"In an update from the recent invite, PUBG Corporation has decided to cancel [its] presence at PAX as well as GDC 2020 due to the continued spread of coronavirus.
Unfortunately, this means that we will not be hosting the planned happy hour at Rosa Mexicano this Friday.
We will be rescheduling this plan for an upcoming event, once the coronavirus is under control and travel returns to normal. My apologies, as we were looking forward to seeing you in Boston. Hope we can count you in for our next happy hour – which I will share details on soon."
Unity Makes 'Difficult Decision' to Pull Out of GDC 2020
Unity is one of the biggest supports of GDC, but they've decided to not go to this year's show. Here's their announcement:
Unfortunately, this year, after much thought and deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to pull out of GDC 2020. While we did not make this decision lightly, the current conditions with COVID-19 (also known as Novel Coronavirus) present too much risk. We take our employees’ wellbeing very seriously. We do not want any Unity employee or partner to compromise their health and safety unnecessarily.
Notably, Unity’s offices are very near the actual location of GDC in San Francisco. Presumably, their lack of attendance is more about avoiding the crowds of people more than anything else.
Pixeljunk Games Developer Q-Games 'Unfortunately Not Attending' GDC 2020
Q-Games is the developer of the Pixeljunk franchise and they've canceled their plans to attend this year's GDC.
"Sorry folks. By now many of you may have already heard from other sources that work at Q-Games," read a tweet from the company. "We will [unfortunately not] be attending GDC as was previously stated. Kinda sucks, but we have to look after our staff, make sure they’re fed and watered, fresh bedding and all that."
Microsoft Game Stack Moves to Digital-Only Event in Lieu of Attending GDC
Microsoft Game Stack is changing its GDC plans "out of an abundance of caution". Having reviewed the advice given by global health authorities, they've made the decision to avoid showing up in person and present a digital-only event.
You'll be able to see all of their planned content during this digital event from March 16–18, 2020, on microsoft.com/gamestack.
Women In Gaming Halts Attendance, Cancels Planned Events
Xbox's Women In Gaming team have followed suit with their company partners over at Microsoft Game Stack and announced that they're staying home from this year's show.
"It’s with regret that Xbox won’t be at GDC in 2020," the tweet from Women in Gaming announced. "This unfortunately includes our [community-focused] events, such as our @WomenInGaming Rally, that we were so excited for."
Xbox Games Preview and [email protected] Events Also Canceled
Epic Games have announced that "uncertainty around health concerns" has caused them to back out of this year's show.
"Here at Epic we were excited about participating in GDC 2020," a tweet from the company stated. "Regrettably, uncertainty around health concerns has made it unviable to send our employees, and so we have made the difficult decision to withdraw attendance."
Kotaku's Jason Schreier Backs Out, Suspects Show will be Canceled by End of Day on Feb. 27
Kotaku's News Editor Jason Schreier has publicly announced that he's reversing his plans to attend this year's show. Moreover, he doesn't have high hopes for GDC 2020 happening at all this year.
"Sad to say it, but I'm [canceling] my GDC trip," Mr. Schreier said in a tweet. "I suspect that the show will be officially [canceled] by the end of the day"
Motion Capture Company Vicon Withdraws Due to Fewer Companies Attending
"Regrettably, due to the number of partners and customers withdrawing their attendance from GDC 2020, Vicon will not be attending this year," stated a tweet from motion capture company Vicon.
As far as we can tell, this is notably the first company backing out because there will be fewer partners and customers attending this year.
SpeedTree '[Reschedules] Meetings', Cancels GDC Attendance
SpeedTree is another tech company that's going to be backing out this year. Primarily, they focus on software that lets game and film makers create 3D vegetation with ease.
"In light of the current COVID-19 conditions, SpeedTree won’t be attending GDC 2020," a tweet from the company stated. "This was a hard decision and while we were excited to attend, safety is our top priority. We will be rescheduling meetings and making some exciting announcements soon, so stay tuned."
Killer Instict Dev Iron Galaxy Studios Stays Home
Indie game developer Iron Galaxy Studios have canceled their travel plans for this year's GDC. Like many others in here, the company made their announcement via Twitter.
"As you’ve probably heard by now, a lot of game companies have canceled travel to GDC this year due to concerns about Coronavirus / COVID-19. Based upon our desire to put everyone’s safety first, we have also made the decision to officially pull out of GDC."
Bithell Games' Alexander Sliwinski Giving Away 'A Few Hundred' Copies of The GameDev Business Handbook to Affected Developers
Author, producer, and wearer of many hats Alexander Sliwinksi is giving away "a few hundred" copies of Michael Futter'sThe GameDev Business Handbook to developers who are missing this year's GDC.
The offer is pretty straightforward according to the tweet:
- Email [email protected], subject GDBH GDC
- Attach GDC 2020 receipt and snail mail address.
If you had no plans to attend GDC 2020 but you'd like to get the book anyway, you can pick it up on Amazon for $19.99–$29.99 or your regional equivalent.
Disclosure: Amazon works with TechRaptor for affiliate partnership, and TechRaptor earns a small commission off purchases made from some links in this article.
Wooga Won't Go to GDC
German game developer Wooga has canceled its plans for going to GDC 2020 due to the coronavirus gaming crisis.
"This is a precautionary measure as your and our employees' health is very important to me," said Wooga's Founder and CEO Jens Begemann in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz.. "I also don't want employees to be caught out and away from their families, as the risk of getting temporarily stranded increases. I am very sorry for any inconvenience this causes."
GDC Insists the Show Will Go on Barring Further Health Concerns
The Game Developers Conference released a short update on the coronavirus gaming situation and how it would affect this year's show.
"We are closely monitoring the COVID19 (coronavirus) situation and want to assure everyone that your health and safety are a top priority. If our assessment of the situation changes, based on new and evolving developments or updated information, we will promptly update this statement regarding the status of GDC 2020 accordingly."
Celeste Creators Staying Home from PAX East 2020 and GDC 2020
As mentioned above, Extremely Okay Games (EXOK) announced in a tweet that no one from the company would be attending PAX East 2020 or GDC 2020.
Polygon is a No-Go for GDC 2020
Polygon has joined the list of industry professionals skipping out on GDC 2020.
"Sadly, Polygon won't be attending GDC this year," read a tweet from Polygon Editor-In-Chief and Co-Founder Chris Plante. "We prioritize our team's health and wellbeing above everything else, and don't want to take unnecessary risk. We'll see y'all in SF next year!"
"AWS has made the difficult decision to withdraw from the 2020 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco due to continued concerns over COVID-19." read a statement from the company, adding one more big name to the list of cancellations.
Amazon backing out leaves only Google, Intel, and Nvidia as the only remaining Diamond Sponsors who have not yet pulled out of GDC 2020.
GDC 'Animation Exchange' Canceled, Creators Looking for Other Opportunities to Present Talks+
The "Animation Exchange" — a sub-event run by AnimState with a focus on interactive animation — will be canceled. The creators are seeking other avenues for making their planned content available elsewhere.
Sabotage Studio & Chainsawesome Games Staying Home
Developer of The Messenger Sabotage Studi has stated that they're staying home from GDC in a tweet.
"Due to the current situation, Sabotage will not be attending GDC this year," stated the company's tweet. "That being said, we are still announcing our next game on March 19th for the Spring Equinox. We look forward to seeing our industry friends next year. In the meantime, stay safe[.]"
Additionally, Laurent Mercure of Chainsawesome Games (Knight Squad, Aftercharge) replied that they have also decided to not attend.
GameInfomer Won't Attend GDC Due To 'Health Concerns'
Another game journalism outlet has bowed out: Game Informer isn't going to GDC.
"Was waiting for confirmation from the team, but it is now unanimous so I thought I should share that due to health concerns, @gameinformer will not be attending GDC 2020," read a tweet from Game Informer EIC Andy McNamara. "We love the show and our [heart] breaks to back out, but we feel taking this precaution is best."
Blizzard Entertainment & Activision's 'Growing Concerns' About COVID-19 Cancel Their Plans
Blizzard and Activision each announced that they're pulling out of the show.
"Blizzard will no longer attend this year’s @Official_GDC due to growing concerns related to COVID-19," read a tweet on the official Blizzard Entertainment account. "The health and well-being of our teams is our highest priority."
"The conference is and has always been an important event for our developers, so we look forward to participating in the future."
Activision shared a similar message.
"The health and well-being of our teams is our highest priority, and due to growing concerns related to COVID-19, Activision is asking employees not to attend this year’s Game Developers Conference as we continue to monitor the situation. 1/2" read the first of two tweets. The second followed shortly thereafter:
"This was not an easy decision to make, as the conference is and has always been an important event for our developers. We look forward to participating in the future. 2/2"
Austin Indie Developer Certain Affinity Nixes Mixer at GDC
Austin-based indie game developer Certain Affinity had plans to run a mixer on March 17, but those plans are now a no-go.
"We regret to announce that alongside the concerns of our peers and partners surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19), we have decided to cancel our GDC mixer originally planned for March 17th," read a tweet on the company's account. "We do plan to reach out and continue conversations with those that signed up individually, but our overall staff welfare is our top concern. Our employees are evaluating their individual participation at GDC which includes panels, summits, and co-development meetings."
Gearbox Asks Employees To Stay Home, Cancels Scheduled Presentation
Borderlands developer Gearbox is responding to the coronavirus gaming crisis pretty much just like their contemporaries.
"Gearbox today notified GDC organizers that our team will not attend GDC or be able to give their scheduled presentations," read a tweet from the company. "Our employees' health and wellness is our primary concern. (1/2)"
"In the development of Borderlands 3, we broke new ground and, in keeping with the spirit and mission of GDC, some of our developers still want to share that innovation and we will support that through digital presentations. More details will be released on that soon. (2/2)"
Intrepid Studios' Ashes of Creation Team Follows Suit
Intrepid Studios' team for the upcoming MMORPG Ashes of Creation is, much like everyone else here, is no longer attending GDC 2020due to "public health concerns."
hyprMX Cancels, Too
You can throw mobile brand advertiser hyprMX onto the big ol' pile of cancellations according to a tweet from the company that reads much the same as everyone else's thus far.
Game Publisher Modus Ain't Goin' to GDC No Mo'
Modus (A publisher of many fine indie games like Trine 4) has also backed out of the show.
GDC has made the decision to postpone this year's conference. The organization released a statement on the postponement.
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.
Having spent the past year preparing for the show with our advisory boards, speakers, exhibitors, and event partners, we're genuinely upset and disappointed not to be able to host you at this time[.]
We want to thank all our customers and partners for their support, open discussions and encouragement. As everyone has been reminding us, great things happen when the community comes together and connects at GDC. For this reason, we fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer. We will be working with our partners to finalize the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks.
For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page: www.gdconf.com/faq
As the above statement notes, GDC will be hosting some sort of similar event later in the Summer of 2020.
Global game developer conference GameDev.World has announced that they'll be running a fundraiser for developers who may not be able to recoup their travel costs.
Here is a statement from GameDev.World's Executive Director Rami Ismail:
Even in the early stages of organizing these efforts, we can tell from the response to the initiative that the entire industry is concerned about the repercussions that current events have had on marginalized developers in our international community. As we continue to organize these efforts, we’re heartened by the solidarity and excitement amongst all layers of the industry to support those who are affected most by the heartbreaking cancellation of such a central event in our industry. While there is no way to replace all the opportunities of the Game Developer’s Conference, we hope to help alleviate and minimize the loss of opportunity and the financial damage to those that had hoped to attend.
Said fundraiser will be taking place from March 27, 2020–April 3, 2020. Donations will go towards the GDC Relief Fund and the marginalized developers who are most affected by the postponement of the conference. You can find out more at gamedev.world/relief.
IGDA Partners With GameDev.World to Help Out Devs
The International Game Developers Association has announced that they are going to work with GameDev.World to help out developers who have lost out on travel costs with the postponement of this year's show.
Here is a portion of IGDA's statement:
The IGDA is partnering with GameDev.World’s online event and fundraiser to alleviate the financial burdens on developers affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. In addition to providing financial relief, this event will supply education opportunities via free talks about important game development subjects. Attendees across the globe will be able to hone their expertise and knowledge.
The IGDA is also partnering with Take This, a trusted leader in mental health practice in the game industry, to develop new materials and standards of support and professionalism to ensure the success of developers. This partnership will provide trusted resources for sustainable development practices by improving human resource practices and leadership development across the game industry.
The Wings GDC relief fund has been set up by a team of mostly indie game developers to assist developers who may be facing financial burdens from non-refundable costs incurred from GDC 2020's postponement. The fund may reimburse the following costs:
- Non-refundable flights
- Non-refundable accommodation
Relief awarded through this fund may be prioritized for "people who belong to demographics that are historically less amplified or given less space in the games industry."
mod.io Moves Meetings Online
The cross-platform mod API has moved all of their planned GDC meetings online according to a tweet.
In light of GDC cancellation - we shall be continuing all meetings online and would be delighted to talk to devs about their UGC needs - emails always open [email protected]— mod.io (@modiohq) March 9, 2020
Game Stack Live will Stream Microsoft's Axed GDC Sessions Online
Microsoft Game Stack might have canceled their GDC appearance (before the convention itself was ultimately postponed), but the show must go on! That's why they've created "Game Stack Live" and will be streaming some of their planned panels over the Internet.
GDC to Stream Planned Talks on Twitch
A number of GDC presenters have gotten together and provided the conference with videos of their planned talks. This session content will be streamed on twitch.tv/GDC from March 16–20, 2020, between the hours of 12:00 PM–8:00 PM Eastern (that's 9:00 AM–5:00 PM Pacific).
Additionally, The Independent Games Festival (IFG) and Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) will take place on the same Twitch channel starting at 8:00 PM Eastern/5:00 PM Pacific on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
Google For Games Developer Summit Revives Planned GDC Talks
Google has announced that they are packaging all of their planned GDC content into their own digital event called the Google For Games Developer Summit.
You can sign up to stay informed about the event at g.co/gamedevsummit.
After the disappointing cancellation of GDC, the conference's organizers have cooked up a solution: GDC Summer.
GDC Summer 2020 will feature a mix of developer talks, roundtable conversations, microtalks, and fireside chats. Networking opportunities and other events will also be available.
GDC Summer 2020 is scheduled to take place from August 5–6, 2020, in San Francisco.
The GDC Relief Bundle has arrived! You have until April 3, 2020, to pick up over a hundred games (and some neat game dev tools, too) for whatever price you'd like to pay. The proceeds will go towards benefitting indie game devs who were stuck with non-refundable travel and hotel costs.
gamedev.world Raises Over $80,000 for GDC relief
The GDC Relief Fundraiser tally is in: gracious gamers have come together to donate $81,636.13 for game developers in need. The funds will go towards helping out game devs cover nonrefundable travel and lodging costs following the convention's cancellation.
GDC Summer Registration is Open
The GDC Relief Fund has been a success, so much so that the fund has found itself with much more sponsorship than it needed. As such, the organizers have created Elevate 2020, a 15-week incubator course for indie devs that will provide development guidance, mentorship, and more to indie devs in need.
E3 Coronavirus Cancellations
E3 2020 has been under threat from the coronavirus, and it has unfortunately been canceled in light of the possible danger. However, things aren't as grim as one might think — we're still going to get some kind of show this year, and the ESA says that E3 2021 is still very much on.
E3 2020 is 'On Track' While ESA Monitors Coronavirus Gaming Situation
Vice's Patrick Klepek shared a statement from the ESA, the organization behind E3. According to them, the show is still very much on, although they are keeping an eye on how things are progressing with the coronavirus.
"Everyone is watching the situation very closely. We will continue to be vigilant, as our first priority is the helath, wellness[,] and safety of all of our exhibitors and attendees. Given what we know at this time, we are moving ahead full speed with E3 2020 planning. Exhibit and registration sales are on track for an exciting show in June."
E3 2020 is Still On, but ESA Urges Caution
The ESA has released an update on the coronavirus gaming situation. The city of Los Angeles — home to the convention and many other such events — has issued a state of emergency due to the ongoing crisis.
Consequently, E3 will be posting reminders throughout the show floor reminding attendees of the following items:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough by flexing your elbow or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Avoid handshaking or cheek-kissing as greetings – use the elbow or fist bump.
Furthermore, the LA Convention Center is stepping up their cleaning plans along with their response to any medical situations, including:
- Increasing the number of hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility.
- Increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
- Enhancing their ability to address any attendees who become ill while on site.
After so many other gaming conventions have fallen like dominoes, E3 2020 has finally tipped over the edge. E3 2020's physical show is canceled.
That's pretty rough for gamers and the gaming industry professionals alike, although it's not all bad news — the ESA is working on making an all-digital show for this year.
"After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our fans, our employees, our exhibitors and our longtime E3 partners – we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles."
"We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3expo.com."
Microsoft and Ubisoft have both independently announced that they will be running all-digital shows in place of their usual E3 conferences this year.
While the news of their digital shows is surely welcome, it's unclear as to whether or not these will be taking place under E3 2020's umbrella or if they'll be some kind of standalone events.
Warner Bros. Games Planned on Doing First-Ever E3 Conference
If there was a measure of what makes a "big" game developer, it is surely whether or not they have their own E3 conference. Warner Bros. Games was about to take things to the next level at E3 2020, but the coronavirus gaming problems have put those plans in Jeopardy.
Kotaku's Jason Schreier notes that they had planned to talk about a new Harry Potter game, a new Batman game, and an unspecified new title from Rocksteady. It's unclear what will happen to the show now.
More news from me: Warner Bros. Games was planning to do an E3 press conference this year for the first time, to talk about Batman, Harry Potter, and Rocksteady's game among others. Remains to be seen what they'll do now https://t.co/OIry5zgB6p— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 11, 2020
Devolver Digital Debuts Devolver Direct
Devolver Digital has always had interesting E3 presentations. They certainly show some of my favorite stuff every year, and worry not: the show must go on.
The week of E3 has always been a big part of what we do and are genuinely bummed about the cancelation of the event itself.— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) March 11, 2020
Lots to juggle but right now we plan on having a livestream Devolver Direct / press conference and possibly more. pic.twitter.com/nGDAEsIzUs
Square Enix 'Exploring Other Options' for E3 Presentation
Square Enix has announced that, much like other major game publishers, they will be exploring options for showing off their planned E3 content to the world.
An important E3 2020 update from us pic.twitter.com/Ma23eWfHTM— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) March 12, 2020
Those of you were were looking forward to #BE3 are going to be disappointed: Bethesda's Pete Hines has announced that they won't be running a digital showcase in June around the time that E3 2020 was supposed to take place. Instead, there will be more information released about the upcoming games "in the coming months."
IGN Hosting 'Summer of Gaming' Event
IGN will be hosting a "Summer of Gaming" event around the time that E3 2020 was supposed to be going on according to a press release. IGN will be working with the following partners and others:
- Bandai Namco
- Devolver Digital
- Square Enix
- THQ Nordic
Online E3 2020 Canceled
The Online E3 2020 experience has been canceled. Here's a statement from the ESA given to PC Gamer:
"Given the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be presenting an online E3 2020 event in June. Instead, we will be working with exhibitors to promote and showcase individual company announcements, including on www.E3expo.com, in the coming months," the rep said. "We look forward to bringing our industry and community together in 2021 to present a reimagined E3 that will highlight new offerings and thrill our audiences."
Individual presentations are still in the works.
Overwatch League Coronavirus Cancellations
This was the first year that the Overwatch League had "Homestand" games where each team would get a chance to play in their home city. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has put a damper on many of these events.
In late January 2020, the Shanghai Dragons and the Guangzhou Charge announced that they were temporarily relocating their teams to South Korea for the safety of their players. Additionally, the planned Shanghai Dragons Homestand game for February 2020 was canceled.
Overwatch League South Korean Matches & Seoul Dynasty Homestand Games Canceled
The Overwatch League put out a tweet announcing the cancellation of another block of events planned for Asia, this time in South Korea.
"In order to protect the health & safety of our players, fans, & staff, we are canceling plans to host #OWL2020 matches in South Korea in Weeks 5, 6, and 7, including the
@SeoulDynasty home event," the tweet stated. "We’ll share more info about when and where matches will take place at a later."
Paris Eternal Homestand Games Canceled
The Paris Eternal's home arena has announced that they are canceling their planned homestand games later this year.
⚠️ I N F O ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/rOkgQ6lOay— ZenithParis (@Zenith_Paris) March 10, 2020
It should be noted that the London Spitfire host their games just over the channel. Considering the geography, they may end up making the same decision themselves.
Overwatch League Cancels Events for March and April 2020
The Overwatch League has made the decision to cancel all events for March 2020 and April 2020, citing the coronavirus gaming crisis as the reason.
While this is certainly not the best news for the first year featuring worldwide travel of teams, the league is putting player and audience safety above all else. They'll be working to ensure that all scheduled matches are played "when it's safe and logistically feasible."
Overwatch League Matches Move Online
Following the cancellation of the Overwatch League matches for March and April 2020, the league has announced that they will be moving their matches to an online format. This new format is expected to begin on March 21, 2020.
League of Legends Coronavirus Cancellations
League of Legends esports events are also being affected by COVID-19.
The second week of the League of Legends Pro League was suspended, originally scheduled for February 12–14, 2020. That suspension has reportedly been extended until at least April 2020.
League of Legends Japan League (LJL) Closed to the Public
The League of Legends Japan League (LJL) had events planned for March 1, 2020, but those events are now closed to the public due to the coronavirus gaming crisis as reported by The Esports Observer.
League of Legends MSI 2020 on Hold
In addition to the LPL postponement, the MSI (Mid-Season Invitational) 2020 event has been put on hold.
"I know many of you are waiting for the details of the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational — and we are eager to share them," read a statement from Riot's Global Head of Esports relayed via Reuters. "However, as countries around the world respond to COVID-10, aka the Corona-virus, we’ve had to adjust our plans and delay announcing the timing and location of MSI 2020. While we remain committed to making the event happen, the health and safety of [players] and fans comes first and foremost, with the integrity of the competition a close second."
League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) Reportedly Goes on Indefinite Hiatus
The LCK is currently wrapping up Round 1, and the fate of Round 2 is uncertain. According to Inven Global, Riot is indefinitely postponing Round 2 (and all associated events) while the monitor the coronavirus gaming situation.
2020 LEC Spring Finals Moved to LEC Studio in Berlin
A finals series for League of Legends esports is being moved from Budapest to Berlin according to a news post from the esports organization.
"After carefully assessing the situation, we believe that holding the event in a smaller setting and a more controlled environment is the right call. While we currently plan to host a live audience in the Berlin studio, we will continue to monitor the situation and work with local health officials to ensure the safety of players and fans, and will revisit this decision if necessary. "
Riot Moves MSI to July
Riot Games have announced that the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (which was previously postponed) has been moved to July, ESPN reports.
"After discussing with our leagues and other stakeholders, we've made the decision to move our annual mid-year global tournament event from May to July this year," said Riot Games' Global Head of League of Legends Esports John Needham. "Shifting the tournament to the summer offers the best chance to see travel restrictions lifted, allowing teams from leagues around the world to travel and compete safely."
Riot Cancels LoL Mid-Season Invitational
Riot Games has canceled the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational for the year. The Esports Observer reports that Riot will be shifting its focus to the 2020 Woirld Championships.
Other Coronavirus Gaming Event and Convention Cancellations
Other events aside from big conventions and esports tournaments are also being affected by the coronavirus gaming crisis.
It should be mentioned that numerous small events in China, Japan, and South Korea are being delayed or entirely shut down due to the coronavirus gaming crisis; this is far from an exhaustive list.
The 2020 Taipei Game Show was supposed to run from February 6–9, 2020. Unfortunately, this event was scheduled for a time when the coronavirus was just starting to spread in China. The event has been subsequently postponed.
Nioh 2 Store Experience Events in Japan canceled
Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad reported that some planned "store experience" events for Nioh 2 have been canceled.
PUBG Global Series (PGS) Berlin Korea Qualifier Changed to Online Competition
The PUBG Global Series (PGS) Berlin Korea Qualifier has been changed to an online competition as reported by The Esports Observer. All teams will remain indoors to participate, and those without a place to play from will move to the AfreecaTV internet bar. The organizer will be sending a referee to observe each team.
The Berlin Korea Qualifiers run from February 27, 2020–March 14, 2020, with the top four teams qualifying for PSG Berlin.
Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Premiere Delayed in China & Japan
DualShockers reports that the Chinese premiere of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie is delaying its release. It originally intended to debut on Friday, February 28, 2020, in the country. The film has already been released in other territories.
Update: The Japanese premiere has also been delayed.
Bandai Namco Canceling Events through March 14, 2020
"Bandai Namco is [canceling] multiple events through March 14th due to worries over the Wuhan Corona Virus.
This includes Tekken Pro Championship which, while not [canceled], is going to be stream only."
Intel Extreme Masters Katowice Bans Audience at the Last Minute, Refunds Tickets
There were plans to hold a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports event at IEM Katowice in Poland. Unfortunately, Gouverneur of Silesian Jarosław Wieczorek has removed the ESL's approval to hold a public event as reported by HLTV.
The tournament is going on as planned with the players and production staff, but the audience will not be allowed inside the venue. The ESL states that tickets will be fully refunded.
Square Enix Cancels Final Fantasy XIV and NieR Concerts in Tokyo
Square Enix has canceled all performances in Tokyo for a pair of concerts they had planned. A NieR show was going to be taking place from March 28–29, 2020, and a Final Fantasy XIV show was to take place on April 14–15, 2020.
EVE Fanfest 2020 Plays It Safe and Cancels Convention
The biggest worldwide gathering of EVE Online players won't be taking place this year. CCP Games "[feels] absolutely compelled to follow the most responsible course of action" even though the show wasn't planned to take place until early April 2020.
"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," stated the article on the cancellation of EVE Fanfest 2020.
CAPCOM Pro Tour Cancels Some Events
CAPCOM Fighters has announced the cancellation of several events for the CAPCOM Pro Tour. The following events are canceled:
- Brussels Challenge 2020
- Norcal Regionals 2020
- April Annihilation 2020
Points that would have been awarded from these events are being removed from the pool. All other events will continue as planned.
NVIDIA GTC 2020 Changed to Online-Only Event, Refunds Offered
NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference was intended to take place at the San Jose Convention center from March 22–26, 2020. Now, Nvidia has announced that they are shifting this to an online-only event.
Refunds will be offered to those who have registered for a pass to GTC 2020. Nvidia will also plans to schedule availability with their researchers, engineers, and solution architects to answer any technical questions that attendees may have had.
Tokyo TEKKEN Masters Tournament Postponed
Bandai Namco has announced that they are postponing the Tokyo TEKKEN Masters Tournament via a press release.
Stemming from a position of caution and in an effort to safeguard the health and safety of competitors, event staff, and live tournament audience members from possible exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19); BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. has made the difficult decision to postpone its Tokyo TEKKEN Masters Tournament to a later date in 2020.
Notably, this was supposed to be the first major event of the 2020 TEKKEN World Tour.
'No Plans' To Cancel EVO 2020
Fighting game fans don't have anything to worry about when it comes to the coronavirus gaming crisis — at least for now. EVO is very much still on.
"There are no plans to cancel or postpone Evo 2020," read a tweet from EVO President Joey Cuellar. "See you in Vegas! #Evo2020"
Google I/O Event at Shoreline Amphitheatre Canceled, Full Refunds Being Issued
Android Police reports that a planned Google I/P event near the company's headquarters is being canceled. Here is a portion of Google's statement regarding refunds and next year's event:
"All guests who have purchased tickets to I/O 2020 will receive a full refund by March 13, 2020. If you don't see the credit on your statement by then, please reach out to [email protected]. Guests who have registered for I/O 2020 will not need to enter next year's drawing and will be automatically granted the option of purchasing an I/O 2021 ticket."
Google is "[exploring] other ways" to evolve the show, and their statement implies that they may be doing some kind of digital presentation to make up for the lack of this year's show.
Ontario's Student Game Designers Lose Out on Showcase
LevelUpTO is an organization that showcases student gaming talent in Canada. Unfortunately, they've decided to halt an upcoming event.
"We deeply regret to inform everyone that due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 Level Up Showcase 2020 has been cancelled," stated a tweet from the organization. "We sincerely apologize to all involved, this is disappointing news for those of us organizing, schools and students alike. We thank you for your support!"
Emerald City Comic Con Still Happening, But Big Names are Pulling Out
Update: Emerald City Comic Con is now postponed until Summer 2020.
Emerald City Comic Con is expected to be taking place in Seattle on March 12–15, 2020. The organizers have said that the show is still going on as planned, but they will be suspending their "no refunds" policy for anyone who feels uncomfortable about going to this year's show. More information will be made available via the convention's official website.
Notably, their announcement about the temporary change in refund policy also takes care to mention that the show could very well still be canceled depending on how things are on the ground in Seattle:
"We are commiמּed to following the enhanced cleaning guidelines, precautions and procedures that we recently deployed at our PAX East event in Boston and C2E2 in Chicago. We also insist that all fans, guests and exhibitors adhere to good sense and all protocols as suggested by the CDC. We are fully prepared to adjust our plans as the situation in and around Seaמּle develops. We are following – and will remain in compliance with – all city, state and federal guidelines. If the direction from federal, state or local official public health authorities does change between now and the show, we will adhere to that guidance, act upon it immediately, and update you."
Polygon has noted several big names have already dropped out of this year's show:
- DC Comics
- Dark Horse Comics
- Del Rey Books
Notably, Dark Horse comics make their fair share of graphic novels and similar media based on gaming properties. A running list of other ECCC cancellations is also available.
Additionally, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan has issued a Proclamation of Civil Emergency in the city.
Prague's Unreal Fest Europe Cancels This Year's Show
Update: Here at Epic, we were excited about hosting Unreal Fest Europe 2020 in Prague. Due to uncertainty around health concerns and travel, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year's event.
We are working with this year’s speakers to bring select presentations to other conferences and virtual events, so stay tuned to our channels for more information. We are also making plans for Unreal Fest Europe 2021 and look forward to sharing details at a later date.
First gamescom 2020 Exhibitors Announced
Despite the coronavirus gaming crisis causing cancellations all over the world, gamescom 2020 have announced its first batch of exhibitors.
Big names like Microsoft and Nintendo are going, but Sony is notably absent. A number of game developers and tech companies are also coming to this year's show.
Rocket League Season 9 World Championship Canceled in Texas
Rocket League esports fans will miss out on one of the game's biggest events. The Rocket League Season 9 World Championship has been canceled in Texas.
Anyone who has purchased tickets or parking passes should receive an automatic refund. If you don't, you can get in touch with ETIX to get your refund sorted.
The remainder of Season 9 will play out as scheduled, although the weekly broadcasts for RLCS and the Rival Series are going to be broadcast "completely online".
Minecraft Festival 2020 Postponed, Minecraft Live Still On
Mojang has made what is perhaps one of the most aggressive moves in protecting their fans: they're postponing the scheduled Minecraft Festival all the way in September.
The team at Mojang can't say whether or not the coronavirus gaming problems will be solved by then, but they note that it takes a lot of preparation to organize such a massive event. Due to the uncertainty of the virus' impact on the world, they're making the decision to postpone now.
On the upside, Minecraft Live is still going to happen over the Internet. More details about dates & times along with other announcements will be coming soon.
2020 Pokemon Europe International Championships Canned, Other Events May Follow
The Pokemon Company has announced that the 2020 Pokemon Europe International Championships have been canceled.
"The 2020 Pokémon Europe International Championships have been canceled out of an abundance of caution and pursuant to the current recommendations set forth by public health officials," read a portion of the statement from the company.
Furthermore, they caution that other events may also be canceled in the near future.
TwitchCon Amsterdam is Off
TwitchCon has put out a tweet announcing the cancellation of their European convention.
Information about refunds will be sent out to attendees.
altGDC Moves to Online-Only Event
Indie-focused event altGDC has its fate somewhat intertwined with GDC (as you can tell from the name). The postponement of GDC 2020 has caused them to reevaluate their plans.
Here are the changes that are coming according to an announcement on their homepage:
The altGDC talk track is going to be streamed on Twitch, but will not have a physical presence for non-speakers. For speakers who will still be in San Francisco, we’ll be providing a semi-professional video recording studio you can use and hang out in.
The altGDC hallway track will be a mixture of Discord chat channels, Discord voice channels, and the Twitch chat. We’re going to find ways to make it feel as close to in-person as possible, including having speaker drop-ins and organizing special virtual events. We’ll also share information about altGDC watch parties as we hear of them.
The altGDC party track will happen in the evenings with all the parties we can find or throw, and we’ll be sending out more details as they emerge.
Hearthstone Esports Moves Los Angeles Masters Tour Online
Blizzard has announced that a Los Angeles Hearthstone event is being moved entirely online.
"Upon further review of the coronavirus situation given the broad international nature of our event, with invitees from more than 40 different countries, we have made the decision to hold Masters Tour Los Angeles entirely online," read a statement on the game's official website. "After initially relocating from Indonesia, we were excited to host the Masters Tour in Los Angeles, but the safety and well-being of our community will always take precedence over hosting a live event."
Reimbursements of up to $1,500 will be offered to players who have qualified for the tournament and already booked their travel.
Emerald City Comic-Con is Now Postponed
Emerald City Comic-Con previously announced that the show would go on, but they have since indicated that they are going to be postponing the show while Seattle handles the coronavirus gaming crisis.
"We have been closely monitoring the situation around the COVID-19 virus in Seattle, and, after many hours of conversation internally and consultation with local government officials and the tourism bureau, we have decided to move next week’s Emerald City Comic Con to Summer 2020 with date and detail announcement forthcoming," read a statement on the convention's website. "We did everything that we could to run the event as planned, but ultimately, we are following the guidance of the local public health officials indicating that conventions should now be postponed."
Refunds will be automatically issued to all fans within 30 days.
Final Kombat 2020 Kancels Live Audience Attendance
A last-minute announcement from NetherRealm Studios has stated that Mortal Kombat tournament called Final Kombat 2020 will not have an audience.
Refunds will be issued to fans who purchased General Admission and Last Chance Qualifier tickets. Fans impacted due to travel costs can reach out to [email protected].
SXSW 2020 Cancels Show with One Week Left
CNET is reporting that SXSW 2020 has been canceled. The event's website has not yet been updated with information on the cancellation.
It's pretty big to see SXSW canceled in terms of the sheer scale of the show. Last year's event brought in well over 417,000 attendees.
Unfortunately, the cancellation of this year's show also axes two pretty cool gaming panels:
Convergence Keynote: Reggie Fils-Aimé
Today, video games are the largest force in entertainment … bigger than movies … bigger than music … bigger than television. But video games are more than just entertainment. Playing games can help you acquire and sharpen a wide range of skills and abilities that drive success in all areas of life. Especially in your job and career.
Reggie Fils-Aimé is the retired President and Chief Operating Officer for Nintendo of America Inc. and is revered in the gaming industry by business leaders and fans alike. He is currently Leader in Residence at Cornell University’s Dyson Undergraduate Business School and Managing Partner for Brentwood Growth Partners. Join this informative talk to learn which games to play and the personal development areas to focus on. Take yourself to the next level!
Sonic the Hedgehog is back at SXSW! Join special guests from SEGA and Sonic Team as they talk about the latest for the blue blur and his next steps for 2020 and beyond. There’s almost always a special announcement or two to be had, so be sure to stay tuned!
EA Esports Events Mix Cancellations and Postponements (But Some Are Still Happening)
A number of EA's competitive events have been canceled, but some will still be going on.
- FUT Champions Cup Stage V | Bucharest | April 3 - 5 | Cancelled
- PlayStation Licensed Qualifying Event | May 2 - 3 | Cancelled
- Apex Legends Global Series
- Major | Arlington | March 13-15 | Postponed
- EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series
- CONMEBOL eLibertadores Online & Live Event | Postponed
You can read more about this in the news post on EA's website.
Sonic the Hedgehog Panels Coming April 2020
There was supposed to be a Sonic the Hedgehog panel at SXSW, one of many conventions that was unfortunately canceled. Now, Sonic's official Twitter account has announced that this content will be somehow delivered to fans in April 2020.
We're sad to see SXSW cancel, but we respect the call and we're working hard to bring our Sonic Panel content to you all in a new format this April!— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) March 7, 2020
Pixels Camp Pushes Back Convention to November 2020
Portuguese tech convention Pixels Camp has pushed their planned convention back pretty far into the future. It's been a challenge, but various vendors and planned panelists have come together to help them make it happen.
"This was a difficult decision, but we hope you understand that it was the responsible one, not only in terms of public health prevention and security but also when it comes to making sure everyone’s interests and expectations are protected," Pixel Camp's Celso Martinho stated in a blog post.
"We will still have Pixels Camp this year, after all."
Niantic Postpones Pokemon Go 'Safari Zone' St. Louis Event
Pokemon Go is a game that can quite literally bring people together, and that's something that's not a good idea during the coronavirus gaming crisis.
As such, Niantic has decided to postpone the planned "Safari Zone" event that was to take place in St. Louis. Ticket refunds can be requested by fans who had planned to attend through in-app support.
Those who do not request a refund, however, will be able to keep their tickets for a future event. Niantic is even adding a pretty big incentive: those who keep their tickets will have access to Safari Zone encounters and Special Research anywhere in the world for the time the event was originally suppoed to happen.
Game Professional Event 'Game Connection America 2020' Cancels Live Show, Pushes Ad-Hoc Virtual Meetings
Game Connection America 2020 is an event reserved largely for gaming industry professionals and it looked like it was going to be happen in spite of the coronavirus gaming crisis. Unfortunately, the showrunners have decided to heed the advice of health officials and cancel their show as reported by GamesIndustry.biz.
Still, they'll be making use of "Let's Meet" to allow attendees to create virtual locations for meetings.
"Let's Meet will stay open for all five days as planned (March 16-20). We encourage those of our participants who will not be in San Francisco to use the 'Custom Virtual Location' to schedule meetings on Let's Meet. For those who will be in San Francisco please use the 'Custom Location' to re-schedule your meetings at the location that suits your business partners and yourself the best."
Funko Creates Virtual Convention to Make Up for Emerald City Comic Con
Funko is creating a "virtual convention" for people who were going to Emerald City Comic Con in the hopes of scoring some sweet new vinyl statuettes.
While Funko sells hundreds and hundreds of these figures on store shelves, some are only available during special, in-person events. As that would be a bit silly in the midst of the coronavirus gaming crisis, Funko was stuck with stock that they couldn't move without getting creative.
Now, Nintendo Wire reports that the company will be hosting a three-day virtual convention/ If you want to try to get some limited-edition Funko Pops, you won't want to miss it.
CMON Expo Tables Their Convention
CMON Expo focuses on tabletop and miniature gaming. Unfortunately, they've decided to respond to the coronavirus gaming crisis by canceling their 2020 convention.
CMON Expo is the few days each year that our diehard fans can come to Atlanta to meet, discuss, play CMON all weekend long. It lets our fans take a glimpse into all the exciting projects we’ve been working on and spend the entire weekend with us. This kind of celebration is part of our DNA since the company first started.
This year, we had a very difficult decision to make. The Coronavirus pandemic is spreading at an alarming rate, and most governments are asking their citizens to refrain from big public gatherings. With a heavy heart, CMON has decided, for the safety of our employees, our guests and our attendees, to cancel CMON Expo 2020.
We look forward to see you again soon. In the meantime stay safe and happy gaming!
HTC Moves Developer Conference to VR
In a rather appropriate move, the maker of the HTC Vive is moving an upcoming conference completely to VR as reported by GamesIndustry.biz. Billing it as "the world's first fully virtual industry conference in VR", the company will be hosting the conference via Engage.
#V2EC: As industry events are being cancelled WW, we’ll hold the world’s first fully #virtual industry #conference in #VR! 3/19 via #Engage. Access in 6DoF VR or live stream on 🖥💻📱. Top speakers+amazing conf experience!🦄 Zero carbon🌏, zero travel🛫& no 😷 needed! @htcvive pic.twitter.com/OqLOVB6QwJ— Alvin Wang Graylin (汪丛青) (@AGraylin) March 6, 2020
CES Asia 2020 Postponed
CES Asia 2020 has been postponed. Although the event is still three months out, the organizers are showing an abundance of caution as reported by Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel "ZhugeEX" Ahmad.
CES Asia 2020, which was to be held in Shanghai between June 10-12 has been postponed due to the impact of COVID-19.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) March 9, 2020
Worth noting that this event is 3 months out but has already been postponed. https://t.co/5IbLAxsjpF pic.twitter.com/yVfwX15ebh
Japanese Indie Gaming Conference 'BitSummit The 8th Bit' Canceled
BitSummit's "The 8th Bit" is arguably one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) shows in Japan dedicated to indie gaming. Unfortunately, this year's show — originally scheduled for May 9–10, 2020, is canceled.
Important information concerning BitSummit The 8th Bit pic.twitter.com/QTWyuvUcn1— BitSummit 🐙 May 9 -10 (@BitSummit) March 11, 2020
BitSummit has stated that they are now focusing their efforts on putting together next year's show.
Cocos Game Developer Connect Announced for March 18, 2020
In light of so many gaming conventions being canceled, a number of digital events are springing up in their place. Cocos Game Developer Connect will be one such show according to a press release.
This digital conference will be held on March 18, 2020. You can find out more at the official announcement.
Valve and ESL Los Angeles Reportedly Completely Canceled
Esports consultant and insider Rod "Slasher" Breslau has reported that the DotA 2 Los Angeles Major is going to be completely canceled, owing in part to the President Trump's European travel suspension.
To be clear, the event is not going to go on with just production staff and the players — the event will not be played at all. It is not yet clear if this Major will be rescheduled at a future date.
Update: Valve and ESL have confirmed to teams and casters that the Dota 2 Los Angeles Major will be fully cancelled, sources tell me https://t.co/BIKVkOEdE8— Rod 'I don't sign NDAs or embargoes' Breslau (@Slasher) March 12, 2020
CEO Dreamland Refunds Force CEO to Ask for Donations
Fighting game event CEO Dreamland has been canceled, much like many other events during the coronavirus gaming crisis. However, this particular story has a major downside for the showrunner.
Unlike the larger corporate events with millions or billions in the bank, CEO Dreamland is a smaller event run for a dedicated community. As such, it will be difficult (if not impossible) to recoup these costs without the expected attendees.
In Eleven years of event hosting I've never had to do this.— Alex Jebailey smash.gg/ceodreamland (@Jebailey) March 12, 2020
Since everything for #CEODreamland was ordered to make the event great already before a ton of COVID-19 refunds started to come in.
We've set up https://t.co/BABW0rWufy to help support CEO this year if you wish to.
BAFTA Games Awards Shifts to Livestream
The BAFTA Games Awards show is shifting from a red carpet experience to an online livestream. Originally planned for April 2, 2020, the showrunners have decided to keep the public from gathering together.
"The health and wellbeing of our guests and our staff remain our top priority, so there will be no live audience and we are now in the process of informing all our nominees, guests, partners and suppliers of the change," the organization said in a statement. "The new format will include the announcement of the Games Awards winners and we look forward to sharing more updates in the coming weeks."
Games London Events Preparing for the Worst
Games London's events aren't yet canceled, but the organizers are getting ready nonetheless. Alternative planning is being put in place just in case something goes sideways.
Here are their plans thus far:
- The Games Finance Market is proceeding, with a backup plan to switch to virtual meetings if public health advice changes
- We’re adding a robust online meeting with video chat functionality to the Business Hub – so you can sign up and have meetings without leaving home
- Paid tickets will be refunded if physical events are canceled
gamesweekberlin Postponed Due to Berlin's Health Regulations
gamesweekberlin has pushed back its planned events due to regulations enacted by the Berlin health administration.
Events are now expected to take place from October 29–30, 2020. Furthermore, the A MAZE. / Berlin Festival of A RT X will be taking place on July 22–25, 2020.
Smash World Tour Cancels March and April 2020 Events
"There will be no PLATINUM or GOLD events in the moths of March and April," read a statement from the Smash World Tour.
POUND 2020 in Maryland has been canceled, and all Silver opt-in events for the Smash World Tour are now optional.
Smash World Tour statement regarding COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/poqyS2ccGo— Smash World Tour (@SmashWorldTour) March 12, 2020
Call of Duty League Shifts All CDL Events to Online-Only
Poland's Pixel Heaven 2020 Pushed Back to October 2020
Pixel Heaven 2020 has been moved back thanks to the coronavirus gaming troubles. The new dates for the event will be October 2–4, 2020, taking place at the MINSKA 65 Halls in Warsaw, Poland.
The date change does not affect any standing agreements like event bookings or media partnerships.
EGX REZZED 2020 Postponed
EGX REZZED 2020 will be moved to sometime in the Summer due to the coronavirus gaming crisis. The showrunners have not yet announced a new date.
Any existing tickets will be honored. However, those of you who can't attend the event when the new dates have been revealed can contact customer support as noted in the announcement.
Poland's Digital Dragons 2020 Conference Also Postponed
The "established formula" of the Digital Dragons 2020 conference in Poland is going to remain the same, but the dates are not.
Currently, Early Bird ticket prices will remain valid until June 30, 2020 according to the announcement. Beyond that, all purchased tickets will be valid for the new conference date of September 14–15, 2020. Refunds will be available upon request.
Insomnia Gaming Festival 'Insomnia66' Canceled
Insomnia66 is no more. The gaming festival planned for April 10–13, 2020, at the NEC in Birmingham, England has been completely canceled.
However, this particular festival happens more than once a year and the next one is still on. Insomnia67 is planned to happen on August 28–31, 2020.
An important update about Insomnia66, ticket holders will receive an email from us soon via the email they used to book their tickets. pic.twitter.com/WF7xzHRBEB— Insomnia Gaming Fest (@IGFestUK) March 13, 2020
gamescom Still Isn't Canceled, But Plans Are in Place Anyway
gamescom is still confident that they will be able to get this year's show off of the ground. However, the coronavirus gaming crisis is an unpredictable situation and the showrunners are prepared for the situation.
As part of a recent statement, they noted that refunds will be made available if needed.
"Should gamescom be postponed or [canceled] by Koelnmesse, all ticket purchasers of the the official ticket shop will be reimbursed for the already paid visitor tickets. Voucher codes lose their validity and will be made available again for new events."
A short update on the current situation:— gamescom (@gamescom) March 16, 2020
DOTA 2 Cancels 4th Minor and Major Seasons
Valve has announced that they'll be canceling the 4th Minor and Major tournaments of the DPC season to help keep everyone safe.
After careful consideration of the current state and trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the health risk that this presents to competitors, staff and fans alike, we have made the difficult decision to cancel to the 4th minor and major tournaments of the DPC season.— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) March 15, 2020
Media Indie Exchange's 'MIX Showcase' Moves to Twitch
The Media Indie Exchange had an event planned, but they've since canceled any live participation due to the coronavirus gaming troubles around the world.
Here is MIX's statement in on the matter:
Our team worked diligently and for long hours in efforts to keep tomorrow's Monday evening event in San Francisco moving forward.
The local and global landscape with COVID-19 has continued to change rapidly. After close consultation with the community our partners, and devs attending, we have determined late last week that tomorrow night's MIX Showcase event will not be able to move forward.
While working on our Monday evening event, we've been developing online plans in parallel for our multi-day MIX Live Showcase hosted on Twitch. For all the great games that have been prepping games and demos for this week, this will provide an opportunity for folks to check them out. We'll have devs from many different regions joining the stream the first three days of next week.
The MIX Live Showcase will be tomorrow night, 8 pm to 10 pm Pacific, and Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 4 pm.
National Videogame Museum Closes in Sheffield
The UK's National Videogame Museum has shuttered its doors indefinitely.
"We are immensely proud to run one of the most interactive museums in the country and we take great care over hygiene standards, but we owe a duty of care to our visitors and staff during the current Coronavirus outbreak," stated Ian Livingstone CBE, Chair of the BGI and NVM founder patron. "Before the Museum records its first case, the charity’s trustees have taken the difficult decision to temporarily close the National Videogame Museum to protect our community and our people. The National Videogame Museum is now under threat. As a new charity, we have no safety net of public funding to support us through the Coronavirus outbreak. We call on the government to help support at-risk organisations like ours now."
GamePlay Space Cancels March Playtesting
GamePlay Space has canceled a planned March 2020 playtesting event in Montreal, Canada. They expect to announce more on the matter soon.
Due to the ongoing developments with COVID-19, we have decided it is in the best interest of our community to cancel our Playtesting in March.— GamePlay Space (@GamePlaySpace) March 16, 2020
We'll have more to announce shortly, so stay tuned. https://t.co/3WpKYGX9xx
Nintendo New York Store Closes Indefinitely
Nintendo's New York City retail location is closing indefinitely due to the global health problems that everyone is dealing with.
All Play! Pokemon Events Canceled Until May 2020
Serebii reports that all sanctioned Play! Pokemon events — including Regional Championships — are canceled until May 14, 2020.
Minecraft Dungeons May Be Delayed
Minecraft Dungeons development could be slowed down as the developers shift to remote work. They may still be able to get the game out in April 2020, but the devs warn that the release date could possibly be pushed back.
As we’re working from home to do our part in protecting our community, our workflows will unfortunately be impacted. We’re working hard to deliver Minecraft Dungeons in April, but we’re also re-evaluating our timeline to make sure we bring you the best game possible. Stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/77964UwFpB— Minecraft Dungeons (@dungeonsgame) March 17, 2020
New Zealand Games Festival Postpones Until 2021
One of New Zealand's biggest gaming events has decided to push it back until next year. The New Zealand Games Festival is now postponed until April 19–25, 2021.
Kia ora— NZ Games Festival (@nzgamesfest) March 17, 2020
We've been working hard to make this year’s NZGF a true celebration of our games community! However, this week the NZ gov made announcements in response to COVID-19 that directly affect NZGF & our attendees.
We're announcing the postponement of NZGF to 2021.
EVO 'Moving Forward' with 2020 Event
Fighting game competition EVO is "moving forward" with its 2020 event despite the Mandalay Bay currently being closed. The organization will continue to monitor the coronavirus gaming situation. in the meantime.
An important message from the Evo team... pic.twitter.com/jUuiQSIITz— EVO (@EVO) March 18, 2020
Three Pokemon Go Safari Zone Events Postponed
Upcoming Pokemon Go Safari Zone events in the following cities have been postponed:
- Philadelphia, PA
- St. Louis, MO
- Liverpool, UK
Niantic is exploring alternate dates and will update the community once they've made a decision.
Roland-Garros eSeries Pushed Back Several Months
The Roland-Garros eSeries has been pushed back several months. You'll now be able to see French players from Team Vitality take on amateur players from September 20–October 4, 2020.
Paizo Goes Remote, Talks Shipping, and Eases Paizocon Concerns
Tabletop developer Paizo (the folks behind the Pathfinder TTRPG) have discussed three things in a recent e-mail. Kicking things off is the rather unsurprising announcement that they too are working remotely now.
Secondly, the company addressed concerns about shipping. Some tabletop games are manufactured in China and customers may be concerned about the coronavirus being transmitted through these shipments. However, they note that there is no evidence about it being transmitted in this fashion, so there probably isn't anything to worry about.
Finally, they addressed Paizocon. It's still on for now, but (as with many similar events) that could change depending on how things go.
The safety of our attendees and staff is of paramount importance, and we are working closely with our host hotel and monitoring local, state, and federal government guidelines on a daily basis. The Washington State government is currently prohibiting gatherings of 50 or more people, though the timeframe does not yet approach the announced dates for PaizoCon (May 22–25). If the gathering ban or other concerns suggest that we should cancel or postpone PaizoCon, we will inform the community as soon as we can.
They close by noting that local tabletop game stores are probably hurting right now and that you should consider shopping there if you can do so safely.
EGX Rezzed Sets New Dates
EGX Rezzed has set new dates for their UK convention. The new dates are July 2–4, 2020, at Tobacco Dock, London.
Existing ticket holders will be happy to hear that their tickets will remain valid. Anyone who can't make these new d ates can get a refund or transfer it to an EGX 2020 ticket. Dates for EGX 2020 will be announced next week.
ESL and DreamHack Detail Schedule Changes
While some gaming events are only delaying a few months, the ESL is being very cautious and moving their previously-scheduled Rio event all the way back to November 2020.
If everything with the coronavirus gaming crisis clears up in time, you'll be able to enjoy the ESL One Rio 2020 event from November 19–22, 2020.
The ESL and Dreamhack have also revised their 2020 schedule for Esports events according to a press release.
Here is the current state of esports from these two organizations as of March 23, 2020:
- ESL One/DotA 2 Major Los Angeles - TBD
- ESL Pro League CS:GO (Denver) - Format Change to Online play & broadcast
- ESL One/CS:GO Major (Rio) - Rescheduled for November 2020
- ESL One DotA 2 (Birmingham) - TBD
- All other events in Q3 & Q4 2020 going on as planned
- Dallas - Rescheduled to August 2020
- Jönköping - Rescheduled DH S ummer Festival for August 2020
- Jönköping Master Property - TBD
- All other events in Q3 & Q4 2020 going on as planned
WizKids Cancels Public Events for the Next Six Months
WizKids has announced that they're canceling all of their events for the second and third quarters of 2020, although they leave open the option of going anyway if things clear up by then.
"We understand that things are changing rapidly all the time, and should it make sense and is safe to do so, we will consider attending events during the Q2-Q3 timeframe but with a smaller footprint than you are normally used to seeing from us," the company said in a statement. "If so, we will post when and where these events may be held."
Computex Trade Show Postponed to September
Taiwan's Computex trade show has been postponed for the second time in its history. The event has been moved from June 2020 to September 2020. The previous postponement was due to a similar situation with the 2003 SARS outbreak.
Taipei Game Show Officially Called Off
The Taipei Game Show had originally been rescheduled for June 25–28, 2020. However, the coronavirus gaming crisis has continued to escalate, and the conference organizers have made the difficult decision to call off the show entirely.
【Taipei Game Show 2020 Cancellation Announcement】— Taipei Game Show (@TaipeiGameShow) March 25, 2020
Taipei Game Show 2020 was originally rescheduled on June 25 – 28. However, as the escalation of the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) continues, the organizing committee is now officially calling off Taipei Game Show 2020. pic.twitter.com/vz1ZXjxCmV
Warhammer Fest 2020 and Other Warhammer Events Canceled
Warhammer is a particularly vulnerable game when it comes to the coronavirus gaming situation; it requires players to be physically present in the same room and to touch actual objects. For those reasons (and others), a whole bunch of Warhammer events just got canceled. These events include:
- Warhammer Fest 2020
- All scheduled events at Warhammer World
- All scheduled events at the Warhammer Citadel Cafe
The Warhammer New Hobbyist Expo has also been postponed. In the cases of canceled events, refunds should be on their way to customers soon.
Finally, many (if not most) Warhammer and Games Workshop Stores have been shuttered alongside other non-essential businesses where required.
Carcassonne and Pandemic Survival Tournament Seasons Suspended
All upcoming events for Carcassonne and Pandemic Survival have been postponed for 2020. The organizers plan to resume their normal season in 2021.
Orders for Regional Kits for Reign of Cthulu tournaments will be honored; those kits can be used for events in 2021 when normal tourney play resumes.
Game Market 2020 Preemptively Shuts Down This Year's Event
Osaka's Game Market 2020 was planned to take place on April 25–26, 2020. While there hasn't yet been any official orders to close, the organizers have decided that it would be cutting it too close to try to run an event this year and have consequently canceled it [Japanese]. Game Market will return in 2021.
Develop: Brighton 2020 Pushed Back to November
Brighton-based industry event Develop: Brighton 2020 has had its previously-scheduled July dates pushed back to November. The event will still take place at the Brighton Hilton Metropole on its new dates of November 2–4, 2020.
PaizoCon 2020 Canceled, Warehouse Shuttered
Tabletop publisher Paizo has made the decision to cancel PaizoCon 2020. Options for current badge holders include rolling it over to the following year and receiving a neat gift in exchange.
Additionally, Paizo is closing their warehouse due to a stay-at-home order in Washington State. The warehouse is planned to reopen once the order is lifted.
Summer Games Done Quick 2020 is being postponed to later in the year. Furthermore, the "Corona Relief Done Quick" charity event has been announced and will be taking place in April 2020.
Arc World Tour 2020 And Related Tournaments Canceled
Arc System Works has canceled the Arc World Tour 2020 according to a press release, ultimately resulting in the following tournament changes:
- ARCREVO Japan 2020- Planned for July 18th, 2020. As stated above, this event is under discussion to be held as an independent event.
- ARC WORLD TOUR 2020 Finals - This event was slated to take place in Los Angeles, CA. at the end of the year. As stated above, the plan is to hold an independent event within the same timeframe.
- ARCREVO Korea 2020 and DAREDEVIL Events - Cancelled entirely.
- Online Tournaments - We are planning to facilitate this event independent of the world tour.
- ARC WORLD Tour Points（AWTP) - No AWTP will be rewarded at Premiere Tournaments, DAREDEVIL Events, or any online tournaments.
Combo Breaker 2020 is No More
Following government guidance, Combo Breaker 2020 is canceled. Refunds will be processed for all competitors and attendees starting on April 20, 2020.
Despite the cancellation, all attendees will receive a Combo Breaker Badge, a "No Coast, No Kings" lanyard, a 50-page commemorative magazine, and a COMBO BREAKER pin. These should be in your hands by Memorial Day Weekend.
Gamescom's Future is Still Shaky, as is devcom's
gamescom is still going forward with plans to have their show, but they'll be evaluating their options in mid-May to see whether or not the live portion will be canceled. Furthermore, the digital events surrounding gamescom 2020 will be "significantly expanded" in order to prepare for the possibility of cancellation.
Furthermore, devcom 2020 is still more or less going on as planned according to a press release. However, digital formats will also be expanded and they'll be getting plans in place in case the show has to be canceled.
QuakeCon 2020 was all set to be a massive celebration of one of first-person shooting's finest franchises, but the event was understandably canceled. A digital offering will be made in its place.
2020 Pokemon Champion Series Canceled
Previously, only some Pokemon events have been canceled. Now, the 2020 North America International Championships and 2020 Pokemon World Championships have been entirely canceled. All sanctioned events are shut down until further notice.
USC Games Expo is Happening Digitally
The University of Southern California has reported that this year's event will be fully virtual and will be taking place on May 12, 2020. More than 90 games will be available on an interactive basis. You can register for this event at eventbrite.
Bandai Namco Cancels Multiple Tournaments
Bandai Namco is canceling its participation at several tournaments. Here are the cancellations:
- TEKKEN World Tour 2020
- TEKKEN Round Pro 9
- Cape Town Showdown
- UYU Ultimate: Taipei
- Combo Breaker
- Battle Arena Melbourne
- Thaiger Uppercut
- Fighting Games Challenge
- Kiungo Games
- SOULCALIBUR World Tour 2020
- Combo Breaker
- Battle Arena Melbourne
Additionally, the producer of Dragon Ball FighterZ has announced that they are holding back on any details about the World Tournament for that game as they're still trying to find a solution.
eFootball.Pro Postpones League Matchdays
eFootball.Pro has postponed League Matchday 8 and League Matchday 9 in light of the current pandemic. They're working on figuring out alternate dates.
Fire Emblem EXPO II Canceled in Japan
The Fire Emblem EXPO II has been canceled in Japan. Originally scheduled for May 5 and 6, the organizers have made the understandable decision to call off this year's show. Details on refunds are available on the expo's website.
Slush 2020 is No More
The Slush 2020 event in Helsinki, Finland was originally set for November 2020. Now, GamesIndustry.biz reports that the event has been canceled. As is typical of these cancellations, the organizers are exploring alternate paths to providing event content to the world.
Nintendo Tokyo Store Closes Down
Nintendo has closed down their Tokyo Store, following suit with their New York City location. As Nintendo Wire reports, the closure is caused by a state of emergency in the country which has shuttered non-essential businesses.
The Japanese equivalent of the ESRB is temporarily closing down. CERO has to obey a month-long lockdown imposed by the Japanese government. During that time, they will be unable to meet game developers to rate their games.
Brazil Independent Game Festival Goes Virtual
The Brazil Independent Game Festival (or BIG Festival) is going fully online according to a press release. One of Latin America's biggest conferences will be taking place over the Internet on June 22–26, 2020.
In the meantime, you can look forward to BIG Festival 8th edition taking place on January 27–31, 2020. Read more about it on the official website.
Blizzard: 'Too Early' to Know if Blizzcon 2020 is Happening
Blizzard Entertainment has put out a news post stating that they're uncertain whether or not Blizzcon 2020 will actually be happening. They're not canceling it just yet, but they are taking the time to let fans know that the show is not 100% on, either.
Origins Game Fair Postponed to October
Origins Game Fair has been postponed to October for the same reason that pretty much everything else here is being canceled or postponed. That said, an online convention called Origins Online 2020 will be taking place from June 19–21 in its place.
Scotland's Resonate Total Gaming 2020 Canceled
One of Scotland's biggest gaming events has been canceled. Resonate Total Gaming 2020 was intended to take place on July 17–18, 2020, but the organizers have decided to cancel this year's show due to the ongoing pandemic. Furthermore, their venue is being used as a temporary medical facility in the near future.
Ticket holders will be contacted by the organizers within a week.
It's looking like gamescom 2020 may be canceled. Here's the machine-translated announcement from Germany's NTV:
+++ 16:40 major events remain prohibited until the end of August +++
Major events are to be prohibited until August 31 due to the corona pandemic - football games are also affected. The prime ministers of the federal states and Chancellor Merkel agreed on this principle ban at a switching conference on Wednesday, according to information from the German Press Agency. Specific regulations, such as the size of the events, should be made by the federal states.
gamescom 2020 is supposed to take place from August 25–29, so at the minimum it will have to be postponed. It may very well be canceled, however, depending on what adjustments the organizers will be able to make.
Sonic The Hedgehog SXSW Digital Panel Delayed
With the cancellation of SXSW, some panels ended up switching to an online-only debut. One such panel featured Sonic the Hedgehog, but that panel has now been delayed once again.
Hi everyone - we know delays are way past not cool. But with the world in its current state, and to keep our teams safe, we need to wait to show you our SXSW content until things have settled.— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) April 15, 2020
Thanks for your patience, and we'll let you know as soon as we have a date to share!
The Indie MEGABOOTH will be going into hiberation in light of so many conventions shutting down. However, they will be hosting a sale on Steam in early May to showcase some indie games and put a little money in the bank for the future.
It's official: gamescom 2020 is canceled. Like many other such events, the organizers are working towards an exclusively-digital event to replace it. All paid tickets will be refunded.
PUBG Global Series Canceled, PUBG Continental Series Launches
PUBG Esports has canceled the PUBG Global Series, but they're launching the PUBG Continental Series in its place. Teams will be receiving money as follows:
- The 21 teams that qualified for the now-canceled PGS Berlin will be given $20,000 each.
- The top five PCL Teams in China Get $20,000 each.
- The $120,000 allocated for the top six seeds in the Americas will be evenly distributed between the top 16 teams.
Furthermore, the PUBG Continental Series will rejuvenate the game's esports with over the Internet competition and a $2.4 million prize pool. You can read more about it at the announcement.
Apex Legends Online Tournaments See Strong Growth, New Dates Announced
The online Apex Legends tournaments have seen three times the normal viewership while everyone is stuck at home according to a press release. What's more, these tournaments will continue on April 18 and 20, 2020.
You can read more about the Apex Legends Global Series and upcoming tournaments on its website.
San Diego Comic-Con & WonderCon Anaheim are Canceled
One of nerddom's biggest events is no more, at least for this year: San Diego Comic-Con 2020 is canceled along with WonderCon Anaheim. Both events will return in 2021.
Partnered hotel reservations will be canceled and deposits will be refunded. As for badge holders and exhibitors, they will both have the option to transfer their badge to 2021 or get a refund.
Unity Bows Out of All Physical Events Until 2021
Unity has further clarified their policy on physical events. GamesIndustry.biz reports that Unity's latest update makes it clear: Unity will not be sending any representatives to physical events until at least 2021. The company does mention, however, that it is still quite interested in sponsoring third-party events.
Sony Staying Home from Brasil Game Show
The Brazilian PlayStation Twitter account has announced that Sony will not be attending the Brasil Game Show.
Após uma longa avaliação, a Sony Interactive Entertainment decidiu não participar da Brasil Game Show em 2020. Não vemos a hora de podermos interagir com nossos fãs no Brasil e anunciarmos atividades emocionantes até o final do ano.— playstation_br (@PlayStation_BR) April 20, 2020
INDIGO2020 Continuing As Planned (For Now)
The INDIGO2020 event in the Netherlands is going on as planned for now. With three months to go, the organizers still believe they will be able to host this event, but they'll be keeping an eye on things nonetheless.
UK Games Expo 2020 Canceled
The UK Games Expo has been officially canceled as noted on Reddit. Following continued observation, the organizers have decided to not go forward with this year's show.
All visitors and exhibitors can receive a full refund. Alternatively, they can roll over their purchase of this year's ticket to next year's show.
Digital PaizoCon 2020 Set for May
Following the cancellation of the physical event, Paizo has announced that the dates have been set for PaizoCon Online 2020 via a press release. The show will be running from May 26–31, 2020. More details will be made available when the official site for the show launches on May 1, 2020.
GameSpot has announced "Play For All", a weeks-long online gaming entertainment event. Notably, this event may be going head to head with PC Gamer's PC Gaming Show and IGN's Summer of Gaming. You can look forward to it arriving sometime in early June 2020.
EGX Rezzed 2020 is No More
EGX Rezzed 2020 has been officially canceled. It was originally planned to take place on July 2–4, 2020. For now, the flagship EGX event is still planned to go forward on September 17–20, 2020.
All EGX Rezzed tickets have automatically been upgraded to the core EGX 2020 event later in the year, but all ticket holders are entitled to a refund if they want one.
GDC Summer Goes All-Digital
GDC Summer was originally planned as a replacement event for the O.G. Game Developers Conference, but now it's also going to be changing things up. The conference has announced that GDC Summer will be shifting to an all-digital schedule.
Nintendo Direct for June 2020 Reportedly Postponed
Venturebeat reports that a Nintendo Direct had been planned for June 2020, but it's since been delayed according to information shared with publishing partners and developers. There is no firm info on a new date, but odds are we won't see anything until mid-Summer 2020 at the earliest.
The International 2020 is Postponed
Valve has announced that they're postponing The International 2020 tournament for DotA 2. This year's Battle Pass will be released sooner rather than later, although it's still going to be delayed as many people at Valve are working from home. More information will be provided once Valve decides on a new date or a new format.
Indie MEGABOOTH Reveals List of Games on Sale
The Indie MEGABOOTH will be having a sale to support the organization while it hibernates for the next few months. While the sale itself is still not live, you can check out the list of games and add the ones you might want to your wishlist for now.
All 2020 Fortnite Physical Events Will Be Held Online
Epic Games has announced that all of the remaining physical events that were planned for 2020 will now be held online for the rest of the year.
We don't know when a return to large, global, in-person events will be practical, but we're hopeful to be able to put on some form of Fortnite World Cup in 2021. In the meantime we have more info about online events with FNCS, Cash Cups, 3rd Party Events and Broadcasts.— Fortnite Competitive (@FNCompetitive) April 30, 2020
DreamHack Cancels Summer, Dallas, and Montreal Events
One of the world's biggest LAN parties and gaming conventions is essentially shutting down some of its biggest events for 2020, PlayStation Lifestyle reports. DreamHack Summer, DreamHack Dallas, and DreamHack Montreal are canceled for 2020. The organization's tournaments will be moved online, but some physical events in Q4 2020 may still happen.
Evo 2020 Canceled Despite Earlier Plans
Arguably one of the world's biggest fighting game tournament has bowed out from a public event this year: Evo 2020 is canceled.
A message from the Evo team... pic.twitter.com/ANXUXDiNGK— EVO (@EVO) May 1, 2020
PaizoCon Online 2020 Details Revealed
Following through with an earlier promise, Paizo has revealed some more details about the upcoming PaizoCon Online 2020 event. The event will run from May 26–31, 2020. Sign-ups are limited to certain windows of time, so go ahead and read more about it at paizo.com/paizocon.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Makes GameFest 2020 Fully Online
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has announced that they'll be making GameFest 2020 a fully-online experience for the first time in the event's history. You can check out the schedule on the GameFest website. You'll be able to watch this event on Sansar and RPI's Twitch Channel starting at 1:30 PM on May 9, 2020.
Paris Game Week Canceled
Paris Games Week has been canceled despite taking place in late October 2020, Gematsu reports. This would be been its 10th anniversary. For now, the team behind the show is working on planning 2021's event.
Games For Change Virtual Festival 2020 Opens Registration
Registration has opened for the Games For Change Virtual Festival 2020. Three days of talks, panels, and special announcements involving industry folks will be taking place online along with an awards ceremony and other free events. You can register for the event right now.
Tokyo Game Show 2020 Transitions to Online Format
Yet another gaming convention is not happening this year. The Tokyo Game Show 2020 is canceling its physical show and shifting to an online format. More information will be released later in May 2020. You can keep up with what's going on at the Tokyo Game Show website.
A team of developers have joined together to make their own games festival called "Guerilla Collective." Larian Studios, Paradox Interactive, Rebellion, and others have signed on board. This event will take place from June 6–8, 2020.
Ubisoft has announced their own standlone presentation that is likely to serve as a replacement for their E3 2020 conference: Ubisoft Forward. Scheduled for July 12, Ubisoft Forward promises to be a fully-digital showcase featuring new game reveals, exclusive news, and more.
If you were hoping for a big digital presentation from Square Enix this year, you're going to be disappointed — it's reported that Square Enix has canceled any plans to do a massive digital presentation in 2020, opting instead to announce games one at a time.
Tennocon Goes Digital for 2020
Tennocon — the premier Warframe convention — has announced that it will be hosting an all-digital event for the first time ever. Furthermore, you can buy Tennocon merchandise packs and support Autism Ontario London and Alzheimer Society London and Middlesex, two charities that support people who need special care.
Abertay Digital Graduate Show Going Online-Only May 15
A press release states that the Abertay Digital Graduate Show will be held as an online-only event for the first time ever. The event serves as a showcase for the final year projects of Abertay students in its School of Design and Informatics. You can find out more about this event at Abertay University's website.
EVO Online Stacks Up Five Weekends Of Fighting Game Fun
Following the unfortunate cancellation of EVO 2020, the organizers have put together EVO Online, a multi-week event featuring fighting game tournaments with some pretty intense competition. That said, those hoping for some Smash action will be sadly out of luck as that isn't on the revised schedule.
Introducing Evo Online! pic.twitter.com/ecf8gxNGUW— EVO (@EVO) May 14, 2020
'Tales of' Festival Postponed to 2021
Siliconera reports that the Tales of Festival has been postponed until 2021. If it's not entirely clear from the name, the festival focuses on the "Tales" games; this year's show was expected to show more information on the upcoming game Tales of Arise.
The USC Games Expo has successfully concluded its first virtual event following the cancellation of the in-person activities. The conclusion of this event also means that more than 50 student-made games are available for download right now!
Capcom Pro Tour Online 2020 Starts June 6
The Capcom Pro Tour Online will be kicking off on June 6, 2020. 18 regional tournaments will be taking place with the NA East Region leading things off on June 6. In total, 18 online winners will automatically qualify for Capcom Cup 2020.
gamescom Opening Night Live Premiers August 2020
gamescom's Opening Night Live show will be headed up by Geoff Keighley and premier on August 27, 2020.
Quick update: @gamescom Opening Night Live will now take place live a bit later on August 27 and kick off 3 days of @gamescom 2020. We’re planning a spectacular show that will also be the grand finale of @summergamefest More at https://t.co/KRzKTQeHcs pic.twitter.com/3gVEvG1so7— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) May 18, 2020
PaizoCon Online 2020 Player Signups Now Open
You can now sign up for PaizoCon Online 2020 as a player. Find out more about this virtual tabletop convention at warhorn.net.
Essen Spiel 2020
Dice Tower News reports that the German tabletop convention Essen Spiel 2020 has been canceled. It's planned to return in 2021.
One of the U.S.'s biggest tabletop conventions has been outright canceled. Gen Con 2020 has been canceled. As with other such events, ticketholders may roll this year's pass to the following year or request a refund.
Full 'MomoConline' Momocon 2020 Schedule Available, Suda51 to Appear
As with many other events, Momocon 2020 — originally planned to take place in Atlanta, Georgia, United States — has gone fully digital. The convention has now posted its full schedule, and a press release notes that the iconic game developer Suda51 will be having an hour-long sitdown on Saturday, May 23, 2020.
Multiple U.K. Comic Con Events Canceled
A press release from ReedPOP has announced that multiple Comic Con events scheduled to take place in the U.K. have been canceled for this year. Here's the list of canceled events:
- MCM Comic Con Birmingham, scheduled to take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 27 to 28 June.
- MCM Comic Con London, scheduled to take place at London ExCeL, from 10 to 12 July.
- MCM Comic Con Manchester, scheduled to take place at Manchester Central, from 1 to 2 August.
- MCM Comic Con Scotland, scheduled to take place at the SEC Centre, Glasgow, from 26 to 27 September.
Blizzcon 2020 is Canceled
Blizzard Entertainment was uncertain about the status of Blizzcon in recent weeks, but it seems that they've finally made a decision: Blizzcon 2020 is canceled.
If you gotta catch 'em all this summer, you're going to be doing it from home: Pokemon Go Fest 2020 will be a virtual event rather than an IRL gathering. It should be noted that this won't be a free event, although buying the pass will give you access to both days of content for the first time ever.
Alanah Pearce Says Sony is Holding Back PS5 Reveal
Noted YouTuber (and former IGN contributor) Alanah Pearce says that she's got the inside track on the PS5 reveal. According to her comments in a recent Kinda Funny Podcast, Sony is holding back on the PS5 launch while aiming for a more professional presentation.
Bandai Namco Cancels Support for 2020 Tournaments
Continuing on with a wave of other cancellations, Bandai Namco Entertainment has made the decision to end its support for all remaining physical tournaments in the 2020 season for Tekken, Soul Calibur, and Dragon Ball FighterZ. Tournament organizers may nonetheless decide to hold physical events on their own.
Our statement regarding World Tour structures for 2020.— BANDAI NAMCO ESPORTS (@BNEesports) May 29, 2020
Please visit the respective tour websites for more information:https://t.co/UbDcR0eQIihttps://t.co/ewyWXlyVVBhttps://t.co/6GkQO6GGkD pic.twitter.com/aR93fYPh0w
Final Fantasy XIV North American Fan Festival Canceled for November
Square Enix had plans to hold a Fan Festival for Final Fantasy XIV in San Diego sometime in November 2020. Unfortunately, the realities of the pandemic's effect on the industry has caused them to cancel the event entirely.
This year's Summer Games Done Quick is going fully remote for the safety of everyone. Unlike previous events, all of the speedrunners will be streaming their runs from the safety of their homes, and volunteer and other roles will be minimized or canceled.
New York City's biggest gaming convention Play NYC has announced that it will be having an online-only show this year. While that's somewhat sad news, the upside is that the event will be open to anyone who wants to attend, totally for free.
Quakecon at Home Scheduled for August 7–9, 2020
Although Quakecon 2020 has been canceled, Bethesda Softworks hasn't given up on its flagship show for shooters and other games. Quakecon at Home has been announced for August 7–9, 2020, and is set to feature livestreams, tournaments, charity fundraising, and more.
This year we’re celebrating @QuakeCon @ Home. Join us for a global online event taking place August 7-9, including livestreams, tournaments, charity fundraising, and a few fun secrets. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks! pic.twitter.com/84ai33i7ti— Bethesda (@bethesda) June 25, 2020
Coronavirus Game Delays
It's understandable that large public gatherings like gaming conventions and esports events are being canceled, but manufacturing and game development is also being affected for various reasons.
Production of the special edition Animal Crossing Nintendo Switch console and other hardware has been delayed for the Japanese market. Fortunately, Nintendo also had a factory in Vietnam, a country that hasn't been as heavily affected as China. Western shipments were unaffected at the time.
The Outer Worlds is currently being ported to the Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately, its intended launch date has been delayed due to the porting company being located in China.
There is an upside, however — this delay (combined with fan feedback) will allow them to ship an actual cartridge with the physical packaging. (Previously, said packaging was only going to include a download code for the digital version.)
Nintendo Switch shipments are already facing delays in Japan due to manufacturing in the Chinese factory slowing down. A Vietnamese factory has been offsetting this slowdown, but it may not have enough capacity to keep everyone supplied. A new report states that component shortages could start causing delays in shipping new hardware to the U.S. and Europe as early as April 2020.
Valve Index Production Will Have 'Far Fewer Units' Available for the Near Future
Although Valve is primarily a software company, they produce hardware as well. Production of the Valve Index has affected their production schedules as noted in their announcement:
"With Half-Life: Alyx coming March 23rd, we are working hard to meet demand for the Valve Index and want to reassure everyone that Index systems will be available for purchase prior to the game’s launch. However, the global Coronavirus health crisis has impacted our production schedules so we will have far fewer units for sale during the coming months compared to the volumes we originally planned. Our entire team is working hard right now to maximize availability. To receive a notification as soon as the Valve Index is back in stock, please visit Steam and click 'Notify Me'."
Chinese Free-to-Play MOBA Blood of Steel Release Date Delayed
Publisher Plan of Attack has announced that Chinese-based Evolution Studio will have to delay their upcoming free-to-play MOBA Blood of Steel in a press release. Here is their statement in full:
"Evolution Studio, Chinese-based development studio of YC Games have announced that free-to-play MOBA Blood of Steel will not launch today as previously planned, due to public holidays in China being extended in order to suppress the effect of the Coronavirus. This delay has had a knock on effect on the development cycle, meaning that extra time is needed to add the final polish to the game."
"The studio explained that 'development has stopped and the team is still holding off at home, so the scheduled release in February would not be possible. The new release date is TBD but the team will try to make it happen in Spring.' Blood of Steel was initially scheduled for release on February 20th."
Some Good Smile Company Figures Face Shipping Delays
Siliconera reports that the Good Smile Company (best known for their Nendoroid line of collectible figures) has announced that they will be facing delays of 2–3 months or longer for a portion of their product line.
No specific products were mentioned in the company's original announcement, although this won't include everything of theirs; Good Smile Company opened up a factory in Tottori, Japan, to augment their manufacturing in China.
The upcoming Atari VCS console may end up being delayed due to the coronavirus gaming crisis. While the main factory manufacturing the console is currently open in China, some of the parts suppliers have been affected. Atari is monitoring the situation for now.
Third-Party Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch Accessories Delayed
It's not just Nintendo's core console offerings that are being impacted by the coronavirus — third-party accessories are being hit as well.
As Nintendo Wire reports, Keys Factory's Animal Crossing merch (including cases for the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite) is being postponed.
Foxconn Expects Manufacturing to Return to Normal by End of March 2020
Foxconn thinks that they'll be able to get their manufacturing back on track by the end of March 2020, Reuters reports. The manufacturing company is responsible for many of the key components that are used in modern electronics ranging from cell phones to game consoles and everything in-between; delays at their factories could impact the production of future gaming hardware.
While Foxconn has warned investors that their revenue would drop 15% in some areas, they are nonetheless confident that they can get manufacturing going again by the end of the month.
VALORANT Cancels Hands-On Gaming Events for March 2020
Riot's upcoming first-person shooter VALORANT was going to be having some hands-on gaming events in the month of March 2020. Unfortunately, the devs have decided to cancel them.
"VALORANT's goal is to bring the world together in the spirit of competition and creative play but in current circumstances, flying folks in to play under one roof isn't smart," read a tweet from the game's official account. "We're cancelling March's hands-on gameplay events - let's play without the health risks. Stay tuned."
TurboGrafx-16 Mini 'Delayed Until Further Notice'
The upcoming TurboGrafx-16 Mini was meant to be yet another classic throwback console, but now it's going to be held up in production. As Kotaku reports, manufacturing troubles in China have slowed things down considerably.
Here's a portion of Konami's statement about the classic console's delay:
"Regarding the TurboGrafx-16 mini console and its peripheral accessories, the manufacturing and shipping facilities in China have encountered an unavoidable suspension due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As a result, the delivery of all TurboGrafx-16 mini products, which was originally scheduled for March 19th, 2020, will be delayed until further notice."
EVERSPACE 2 Pushes Back Releases
The upcoming game EVERSPACE 2 is pushing back its Alpha, Beta, and final releases as a side effect of the coronavirus.
"[We] had to make a tough decision about postponing the EVERSPACE 2 launch on Steam Early Access, now aiming for early December this year," the developer said in a press release. "Consequently, we’re also pushing the closed Alpha back to the end of May and the closed Beta to August. We will reach out to backers with creative rewards towards the end of this year."
While part of the reason has been due to other titles releasing during their planned Early Access Window, the cancellation of GDC and other events means that the devs have missed out on critical networking and press opportunities that they believe will negatively impact the launch of their game.
Pokemon Go Encourages People to Stay Indoors
Pokemon Go has postponed its upcoming Abra Community Day for now. Furthermore, they've announced the following changes to the game "until further notice":
- A one-time purchase bundle of 30 Incense for 1 PokéCoin. Incense will also last for one hour.
- 1/2 Hatch Distance when Eggs are placed into Incubators during this time period
- PokéStops will now drop Gifts more frequently
- Pokémon habitats will increase and more Pokémon will be appearing in the wild
iOS App Store Bans Entertainment-Related COVID-19 Apps
Apple has banned any games or entertainment apps related to the coronavirus gaming situation going on right now.
"[We're] evaluating apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions," read a portion of Apple's statement. "Only developers from one of these recognized entities should submit an app related to COVID-19. Entertainment or game apps with COVID-19 as their theme will not be allowed."
Production of The Witcher 2 Netflix Delayed 2 Weeks
Deadline reports that production of Season 2 of The Witcher on Netflix has been shut down for 2 weeks. Filming was taking place a mere 40 miles west of London, England.
It is not yet known if this delay will impact the release date of Season 2.
NVIDIA Delays Releasing New GPU News
NVIDIA has "exciting products and news" to share with us, but they're going to be holding off.
The company has decided to give everyone a break in the news cycle and will be holding off any announcements of new products for the near future.
"This is a time to focus on our family, our friends, our community," the statement added.
Vaporum: Lockdown Postponed to Second Quarter of 2020
Upcoming dungeon crawler Vaporum: Lockdown has been postponed to Q2 2020.
"The SARS-CoV-2 virus, causing an infectious disease, has already hit our country as well. Since Friday 13, our game studio has been on 'lockdown'," stated a portion of the Steam Community announcement. "Yes, we're well aware of the irony in the game's name and the date, and we also feel quite cringy about what takes place in the planned storyline of Vaporum: Lockdown and what is taking place in the world right now. It's quite eerie."
Uncharted Movie Production Halted
Production of the Uncharted movie has been halted for six weeks in light of COVID-19's spread around the world.
Deadline reports that pre-production has stopped for now. There's no way of knowing if this will impact the movie's intended release date of March 5, 2021.
Wolcen Development Will Slow Down
Development of the ARPG Wolcen is going to be slowing down. France has restricted travel in the country and that's forcing most developers to work from home, but that's not possible for everyone on the time. As a consequence, the overall pace of the game's development "will be inevitably slowed down."
'Increasingly Likely' that FF7 Remake Physical Release Will Be Delayed
Square Enix has warned fans that it is seeming "increasingly likely" that the physical release of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be delayed in some regions.
Future Rainbow Six Siege Patches May Be Slowed Down
Rainbow Six Siege has warned users that Ubisoft's new remote work policy may result in the absence of smaller, shorter patches in the near future. For now, there is a good chunk of new content in the pipeline to keep the players entertained.
A message from the Rainbow Six Siege team: pic.twitter.com/VltKGPxvVB— Rainbow Six Siege (@Rainbow6Game) March 18, 2020
The coronavirus gaming crisis may result in a delay for new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighters.
Masahiro Sakurai has put plans to reveal new fighters on hold. While Nintendo is still working hard, a single person getting sick at their Japanese offices might result in the entire building shutting down and causing a delay.
Wired Productions has announced that Deliver Us The Moon and Those Who Remain will be facing delays, thanks in part to their developers shifting to remote work.
Aside from that delay, they also want to give supplies of physical goods and physical retailers time to stabilize as the coronavirus becomes less of a problem.
Japanime Games Temporarily Closes Warehouse in Indiana
Import company Japanime Games is shuttering its warehouse in Indiana to comply with a state order for non-essential businesses to temporarily close. As a consequence, no orders will be shipped until at least April 7, 2020, when the order is expected to be lifted.
Kalypso Media Pushes Back Railway Empire Release Date on Nintendo Switch
Kalypso Media has announced that it will have to delay the Railway Empire release date for the Nintendo Switch. The launch is currently on hold as the company can't guarantee that cartridges will be shipped on time.
Updates to Animal Crossing: New Horizons may be delayed due to the coronavirus gaming situation. While the game's developers are still working at the office, their hours have shifted to offset rush hour traffic, and this means that they may need to be "flexible" about releasing planned updates.
Nintendo Closes All North American Repair Centers
If your Switch or 3DS is in need of fixing, you're out of luck for now — Nintendo has closed all of their North American repair centers.
The company notes that any hardware which was already in transit may be returned to the customer as undeliverable. Obviously, any hardware they are currently holding will also be held in their facilities until they are able to resume shipping.
The UK's National Videogame Museum opened up less than two years ago and its fate is already uncertain. Unfortunately, the nonprofit running the museum does not have adequate cash reserves on hand to maintain operations during the countrywide shutdown of non-essential businesses.
If you'd like to help preserve an important part of gaming culture, you can (and should!) donate to the National Videogame Museum.
North American tabletop company Wizkids will be indefinitely delaying their anticipated April releases. Furthermore, the company's replacement program will also face slowdowns and Organizer Play events are postponed from now until the end of May 2020.
Finally, Wizkids has canceled their appearances at both Origins Game Fair 2020 and UK Games Expo 2020.
More tabletop companies have announced delays: Asmodee and Alliance are temporarily halting all tabletop shipments. These shipments will resume as soon as their respective warehouses in Minnesota, Indiana, and Texas are allowed to reopen.
ACD Also Halts Shipments
ACD has joined its colleagues in the tabletop industry in halting shipments. They will resume as soon as the shutdown orders in Wisconsin are rescinded.
CAPCOM Alerts Gamers to Potential Resident Evil 3 Remake delays
CAPCOM has cautioned its customers that the Resident Evil 3 remake may have its physical release delayed in Europe. While they're working with their partners to ensure everything arrives on time, non-essential goods are not prioritized these days and the physical game may not arrive on your doorstep (or in stores) on time.
Please take a moment to read this message. pic.twitter.com/0OBBAbzAej— Capcom UK (@Capcom_UK) March 26, 2020
Fallout 76 Wastelanders Content Update Pushed Back a Week
The hotly-anticipated Fallout 76 Wastelanders content update has had its release date pushed back from April 7, 2020, to April 14, 2020. Bethesda's shift to remote work has affected their ability to do the final testing necessary for this release, but regrettably, they were unable to reduce the delay any more than this.
Wastelanders Release Update pic.twitter.com/h5Rxn359r4— Bethesda Game Studios (@BethesdaStudios) March 26, 2020
Microsoft & Sony Say Next-Gen Consoles Won't Be Delayed
While many hardware and software releases are facing shortages or delays, Microsoft (via Gamespot) and Sony have both independently stated that there is unlikely to be any delays in getting their respective next-gen consoles to customers.
Square Enix Warns of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Delays Yet Again
Square Enix has provided an update on potential FF7 Remake delays. While things still seem on track, they've provided information in a tweet. Furthermore, they're working on ensuring that Square Enix store orders reach customers by April 10, 2020.
Apologies to those who are unable to see the website. Here's a screengrab for you. pic.twitter.com/sNdgxC4ERk— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) March 27, 2020
Much like PlayStation, Xbox is restricting some features of the Xbox ecosystem. Demand on Microsoft's cloud services had spiked to 775% as more and more people are stuck at home. For now, their focus seems to be on getting game publishers to push updates during off-peak hours.
Following suit with Microsoft and Sony, Valve has updated Steam's settings to reduce strain on the Internet worldwide. As an example, updates for games you haven't played recently will be pushed to off-peak hours and these updates will be spread out over several days.
inXile Delays Wasteland 3 to August 2020
inXile Entertainment has had to push back the release date of Wasteland 3 to August 28, 2020, due to an overall slower workload that's the result of their remote working policy.
Minecraft: Dungeons Delayed One Month
The release date for Minecraft: Dungeons has finally been announced and it's a little later than we expected — you'll be able to play it when it launches on all platforms on May 26, 2020.
Gather your friends and gear up for adventure: Minecraft Dungeons is coming out May 26th on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass! Pre-order your copy now:— Minecraft Dungeons (@dungeonsgame) March 31, 2020
↣ https://t.co/A2UnaxJtzy ↢ pic.twitter.com/q9VTPXs2Ps
Inazuma Eleven: Great Road of Heroes Pushed Back to 2021
Level-5's CEO Akihiro Hino has announced that the next Inazuma Eleven game has been delayed to 2021 as reported on ResetEra. What's more, it will be reboooted and have no ties to the anime anymore.
Another hotly-anticipated game has been delayed: The Last of Us Part II has had its release indefinitely delayed due to logistical issues. Moreover, Sony has announced that they're also holding off on launching Marvel's Iron Man.
Rebellion Delays Sniper Elite The Board Game Kickstarter
Rebellion loves their snipers, and part of a sniper is being patient. That's why the company has delayed the launch of their Kickstarter campaign for Sniper Elite The Board Game.
That's not to say they'll be sitting on their laurels, mind; they'll be using the extra time to continue developing content and really polish up their campaign. Look forward to the Kickstarter campaign debuting later this year.
Fight Crab May Be Delayed
Japanese Nintendo reports that the upcoming crab battle game Fight Crab may end up being delayed, at least for the Nintendo Switch. They haven't specified the reasons behind the delay other than the fact that it would be due to COVID-19 complications, either from Nintendo or for economic or logistical reasons.
The Levi's x Super Mario collection will have a slight delay due to the logistical issues that have been affecting shipments throughout the world. Only North America and South America are affected for now.
Don't worry about the coronavirus potentially causing Cyberpunk 2077 to be delayed yet again — CD Projekt says that they're on track to complete it in time and that they don't expect any delays.
Overhype Studios Likely Delaying Battle Brothers DLC
Overhype Studios has announced that they'll probably have to delay the Blazing Deserts DLC for Battle Brothers. They will also be pausing their weekly dev logs until May 1, 2020, in order to try to catch up with the slowdown in work.
Bad news for you medieval melee fans out there: For Honor's Year 4 Season 2 content is being delayed to June 11, 2020. It's not all bad news, though — Ubisoft is looking at setting up some events so players will have something to do.
FF14 updates are indefinitely delayed. Patch 5.3 will almost certainly miss its mid-June release window, and the future of the game beyond that is tied into the various companies that provided assets to Square Enix.
Arcade Archives Releases Likely Impacted by COVID-19
Siliconera reports that the Arcade Archives games are likely to be delayed due to the temporary suspension of CERO ratings in Japan. (We can probably expect to hear about similar delays from other developers in the near future.)
ESRB and PEGI Continue to Work From Home
America's ESRB and Europe's PEGI game rating organizations have informed IGN that they are continuing to work remotely during the coronavirus gaming crisis. Neither organization expects there to be any game delays as a result of the ratings process.
Konami Postpones eFootball PES 2020's EUFA EURO 2020 Update
The postponement of the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament and other complications from COVID-19 have caused Konami to delay the UEFA EURO 2020 DLC for eFootbal PES 2020. A press release dates that the original planned release date of April 30, 2020 is "no longer possible." There was no announcement of a new release date.
PC Engine Core Grafx mini
An upcoming mini cionsole is being delayed. The PC Engine Core Grafx mini should be shipping out to customers now, but Konami states that it may be held up a bit due to the general slowdown in non-essential shippping.
[NOTICE] Regarding PC Engine Core Grafx mini pic.twitter.com/fFNN3rvhoJ— KONAMI Europe (@konamieu) April 15, 2020
SOEDESCO Postpones Physical Launch of Monstrum, Adam's Venture: Origins
Games publisher SOEDESCO has announced that they're postponing physical game releases in a press release. The physical versions of Monstrum and Adam's Venture: Origins will be affected. Digital versions should remain unaffected; you can look forward to a release date announcement for the digital versions of these games soon.
A new remote work policy at Kojima Productions has caused an unfortunate delay: the Death Stranding PC release date has been pushed back several weeks from its intended launch date of June 2, 2020.
Seven Knights - Time Wanderer Delayed in Japan
Seven Knights - Time Wandered was originally slated for a June 2020 release in Japan. Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19 has slowed down production. The new release date has not yet been determined.
Larian Studios has stated that their new remote work scheme is bringing some unforeseen challenges. As a result, their productivity is estimated to be 80–90% of normal and we may see a delay in the early access beta launch of Baldur's Gate 3. It is nonetheless expected to launch sometime this year.
Granblue Fantasy Mobile Game Delays Voice Recording
The mobile game Granblue Fantasy is going to have a bit of a content drought for the near future. As Siliconera reports, the developers are having to pause recording by voice actors due to the country's pandemic lockdown.
Arcadia Quest Debuts 'Solo Mode' to Help With Playtesting
CMON's tabletop game Arcadia Quest has debuted "Solo Mode" to make it easier for interested fans to playtest the game. You can read more about it in the announcement along with how you can provide feedback on your experience.
Don't Starve Together has added a brand-new update on PC with some cool content, but it's not all good news. Klei Entertainment has warned that the dev team working from home may slow down future updates.
Japan Halts Airmail and International Post to United States
PlayStation Lifestyle reports that Japan has temporarily halted sending any mail from their country to the United States. That means if you've ordered any gaming-related stuff from the country, it may be delayed. DHL and FedEx, however, will continue to operate as normal.
SWORD ART ONLINE Alicization Lycoris Release Date Delayed
The release date for SWORD ART ONLINE Alicization Lycoris has been pushed back from May 22, 2020, to July 10, 2020.
In a recent interview, Torchlight III co-lead Tyler Thompson has stated that the game's developers are well-familiar with remote work and do not anticipate any problems with getting the game out before 2020.
Following its initial delay, a new release date has been announced for The Last of Us 2. Furthermore, the Ghost of Tsushima release date has also been revealed.
First MechWarrior 5 DLC Delayed to Second Half of 2020
The first bit of DLC for MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries has been in development for some time now. The dev team has been working hard, but the recent pandemic has ended up affecting their release date plans. Now, they say that we aren't likely to get this new content until the second half of 2020.
Ruinarch Release Date Pushed Back to August 2020
Squeaky Wheel Studio's upcoming evil overlord simulator Ruinarch is unfortunately facing a delay. The devs had promised a May 2020 release date, but they're going to have to push that back to August 2020. For now, you can add Ruinarch to your wishlist on Steam.
Bad news for Monster Hunter fans: the next Iceborne update is being delayed. Voiceover work for the Italian, Spanish, and French language has also been affected and will be replaced with "simplified recordings". There is no new release date for Update 4, either; the roadmap currently lists it as "TBD."
FIFA 20 Ultimate TOTS Packs Will Be Going On Hold
FIFA 20 Ultimate's "Team of the Season" packs will be going on hold starting on April 29, 2020, at 1:00 PM Eastern. This feature is planned to return on June 10, 2020, presuming that the real-world soccer calendar picks back up again.
The Wonderful 101: Remastered Physical Release Delayed to Early SummerRyan "Toadsanime" Brown and @Wario64 both report that The Wonderful 101: Remastered physical release has been pushed back to late June or early July 2020. Backers will receive a Steam copy of the game as an apology for the delay.
Next Guild Wars 2 Episode Won't Have Voice Acting
Episode 3 of The Icebrood Saga in Guild Wars 2 will not have voice acting. While the developers could have opted to delay the launch of this content, they instead decided to go ahead without any voice acting so that players would have something to play while they're stuck at home.
Starcolt and Alliance have announced that their upcoming game Best Friend Forever has been delayed once again, this time until June 18, 2020.
Lone Echo II is Delayed, But It's Still Coming in 2020
Ready at Dawn's upcoming game Lone Echo II is dealing with a slower development pace due to the company's new remote work policy, VRFocus reports. The game was originally expected in 2019 but had previously been delayed to Q1 2020.
A new Oculus Quest headset is reported to be in development. Unfortunately, it looks like it won't meet its unannounced launch date of Q4 2020 due to production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is a brand-new VR game set in The Walking Dead universe, but it's had a bit of a problem: logistical issues have prevented the game from launching in some European countries at the same time as it has elsewhere.
Bad news for the podracing fans of the world: Star Wars Episode 1: Racer is going to be delayed for the PS4 and the Nintendo Switch due to production slowdowns caused by the developer's remote work policy.
Guilty Gear -Strive- Will Be Delayed to 2021
Bad news for fighting game fans: Guilty Gear -Strive- is going to be delayed from late 2020 to early 2021.
The Binding of Isaac: Repentance May Need More Time in the Basement
The next big expansion for The Binding of Isaac is unfortunately possibly going to be delayed due to the pandemic.
1. Repentance is obviously still in development. we are quite far along, but still need to add a few more bosses, items, a cutscene or 2 and bonus things youll shit your ass about. our goal was end of summer, but due to the lag caused by the pandemic it may take longer. pic.twitter.com/oZWp5K6K8C— Edmund McMillen (@edmundmcmillen) May 18, 2020
The upcoming Kingdom Hearts mobile spinoff Kingdom Hearts Dark Road is going to be postponed. No new information on the release date has been revealed just yet, but Square Enix has said that they'll be releasing more information on this upcoming project in June 2020.
Yet another upcoming tabletop game has had its launch pushed back due to COVID-19. Cyberpunk Red — an interquel set between Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk 2077 — has been postponed from its original release date in June. For now, the developers are roughly targeting the end of Summer 2020, but they have not yet settled on a specific date.
Command and Conquer Remastered has revealed new plans for mod support today which include the release of the original game's source code and .dlls. Unfortunately, the developers have also announced that the company's remote work policy has delayed progress on LAN play and this feature will now come out after launch.
Kerbal Space Program 2 Delays Launch
The Kerbal Space Program 2 have revealed that they're going to be delaying launch of the game to Fall 2021 as a consequence of challenges introduced by COVID-19.
Some more bad news for anime fans: the hotly-anticipated Fairy Tail game is getting delayed once again. It has now been pushed back to July 30 in Europe & Japan and July 31 in North America.
Japanese Console Release of E School Life Delayed to July 2020
Gematsu reports that the console release of the romance visual novel E School Life is being pushed back a month to July 30, 2020, in its home country of Japan.
Kiss Trilogy Collection Delayed Two MonthsAlso from Gematsu, the Kiss Trilogy Collection is being delayed in Japan from June 25, 2020, to its new release date of August 27, 2020.
We've seen some hints here and there about a new Batman game in the works, but now it's looking like we might not be able to play it until late 2020 or early 2021.
Upcoming action-adventure game No Straight Roads has unfortunately been delayed from its original June 30, 2020 release date. This rockin' music-based game will now launch sometime later in Summer 2020.
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate Delayed
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate (a.k.a. DanMachi Infinite Combate is going to be delayed from its original Q2 2020 release date to sometime later in the Summer of 2020.
ICYMI - the JRPG #DanMachi or Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls In a Dungon? Infinite Combate, will be releasing later this summer, due to some development delays incurred by the virus lockdown.— PQube Asia (@PQubeAsia) May 23, 2020
Coming to #Switch, #PS4 and #Steam. pic.twitter.com/QHrRaItOLY
Portal Games Delays Two Upcoming Titles
Tabletop publisher Portal Games has announced that two of its upcoming titles will be delayed. Million Dollar Script and Vienna Connection — both of which were previously announced for a 2020 release — are being delayed into 2021 according to a press release. All other game releases scheduled for 2020 are unaffected.
Dead Age 2 Delays Early Access Launch
Headup Games has made the decision to delay the Early Access Launch of Dead Age 2 due to challenges from the COVID-19 lockdown according to a press release. The game will now debut in Early Access on July 15, 2020.
FFXIV Patch 5.3 Delayed By 'More Than a Month
FFXIV Patch 5.3 is going to be delayed by more than a month according to a letter from the game's Producer on the game's official forums, owing largely to remote work complications.
ARPG fans will be disappointed to hear that the Path of Exile 2 beta has been delayed until sometime in 2021. While there was a chance that it could have launched this year, the shift to remote work has resulted in "significant schedule delays" which makes a 2020 launch impossible.
There's going to be longer wait for the next game in the Tales franchise. Tales of Arise will not be launching in 2020; no new release date has been announced just yet.
In a recent interview, Square Enix Producer Yoshinori Kitase has said that the FF7 Remake Part 2 may be delayed due to work-from-home policies, but he doesn't think there will be a big impact in the long term.
A recent World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Developer Update has revealed that the Beta will be starting in mid-July 2020. What's more, the developers have said that they are committing to launching this game in Fall 2020 despite the fact that they're working from home.
The Destiny 2: Beyond Light release date has been pushed back to roughly a month later than intended, due in part to challenges arising from the work-from-home scheme brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
BioWare's Mark Darrah has confirmed that the next Dragon Age game is still in development, although he's noted that "working from home is harder," indicating that work-from-home policies may be slowing development some.
The upcoming family-friendly Intellivision Amico console is not going to be able to make its release date of October 10, 2020. Challenges that have arisen due to the impact of COVID-19 has forced the company to push back its launch to April 5, 2021.
Other Coronavirus Gaming News
There's more to the coronavirus gaming problems than game delays and event cancellations! Here's our catch-all area for the coronavirus gaming news that doesn't fit in the other categories.
Chinese Developers Make Educational Coronavirus Games
Chinese developers are making educational games on the topic of the coronavirus, one of which is much in the style of Fruit Ninja as reported by SCMP. Titled Battle of Pathogen, players have to slice up incoming viruses to beat the game's levels. Healthcare tips will pop up once a level is completed.
The University of Washington has been gamifying protein folding for well over a decade, and now they've turned their attention to the coronavirus. A newly-added puzzle to Foldit will allow players to try to come up with a protein folding solution that could eventually be used in a real-world medicine for the disease.
Bungie Activates 'Rapidly Built' Remote Work Infrastructure, Other Companies Follow Suit
Some of us have the privilege of working from home, but it will soon be more or less mandatory for Bungie employees.
The company has "rapidly built" a remote work infrastructure for their employees around the world. That infrastructure has now been activated. One of the reasons behind this decision is that Bungie HQ is in the Seattle area, a city whose mayor recently issued a Proclomation of Civil Emergency.
Update: Microsoft and Nintendo have followed suit with instituting remote work policites.
Cocos Releases Jianghu Clinic, an Ancient Chinese Hospital Simulator
Cocos has releasd an "ancient Chinese hospital simulation game" called Jianghu Clinic. The game hit the top 10 in China's app store.
"Jianghu Clinic" is an ancient Chinese hospital simulation #game, built with Cocos Creator, hit the top 10 in China's App Store with a 4.9/5.0 rating. The game helped remind gamers to wear masks by adding masks to all their doctors and employees during the #coronavirus epidemic. pic.twitter.com/GUgnNwJbyu— COCOS (@cocos2dx) March 6, 2020
League of Legends Pro 'Faker' Donates ₩30 Million to Coronavirus Prevention
Legendary esports pro Faker is donating a hefty chunk of cash to coronavirus prevention. As Siliconera reports, Faker is putting his money where his mouth is and donating ₩30 Million (≈$24,982) to coronavirus prevention.
That's just the first step for Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok. He and his teammates will also be chipping in all proceeds that they earn from streaming this week; this combined effort will likely add several thousand dollars to the initial total.
Game Publisher Dispatch Games Moves Some Production Away from China
Dispatch Games has stated that the coronavirus has delayed some physical production of their products as they were based in China. While there are "no issues" with getting game cartridges from Japan, printed items are now being manufactured in the United States.
They are now targeting the following release dates for their upcoming titles:
- Radirgy Swag - April 21, 2020
- Game Paradise - May 5, 2020
- Japanese Rail Sim: Journey to Kyoto - May 17, 2020
They also advise their customers that shipping times may be extended due to the coronavirus situation.
UPDATE pic.twitter.com/vo5NxIvu4j— Dispatch Games (@DispatchGames) March 10, 2020
Guilty Gear Strive Trailers Premiere Moved
Some new Guilty Gear Strive trailers were set to drop at Final Round and Brussels Challenge, but those events have had problems of their own thanks to the coronavirus gaming crisis. As a result, Arc System Works will simply debut the trailers on the company's official YouTube channel.
[Announcement] The #GuiltyGearStrive trailers that were originally scheduled for Final Round and Brussels Challenge will be merged into one trailer and premiered on the official Arc System Works Youtube channel on March 21st. Stay tuned for the exact time. https://t.co/9wCbdsGFdX pic.twitter.com/SQQjfMnQJf— ArcSystemWorks (@ArcSystemWorksU) March 10, 2020
EA DICE Offers Remote Work Option
EA DICE has joined the growing list of major game developers offering a remote work option for their employees. While the company states that it doesn't expect it to have an impact on their infrastructure, they concede that they're going to need time to adapt to the change.
Today we’ve taken the necessary steps to help enable our teams across DICE with the option of working remotely, in order to best protect their health and wellbeing in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. pic.twitter.com/V3UpXnxzrr— DICE (@EA_DICE) March 11, 2020
Discord Increases Screen Share Limit For 'The Next Few Months'
Voice chat service Discord has increased its screen share limit from 10 people to 50 people for the next few months.
The coronavirus gaming crisis has seen a lot of people staying at home to play games. Naturally, that means that many of them are using programs and services like Discord in order to communicate with their friends. Now, even more people can join in and share in the fun for a short while.
An update from us regarding COVID-19: pic.twitter.com/gKUXvvsqrs— Discord (@discordapp) March 11, 2020
Crytivo Discounting All Games 30% for 'The Next Few Months'
The Universim developed Crytivo understands that a lot of people are probably staying at home right now and need some games to play. That's why they're discounting every single game in their store by 30%.
This isn't just a weeklong sale or something, mind you — they expect to keep this discount in place for the next several months. If you're looking for something to play and you don't want to break the bank, you should probably check out all the cool things they have on offer.
Nintendo Switch Production Beginning to Recover
Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel "@ZhugeEX" Ahmad reports that Nintendo Switch production is ramping back up, thanks in part to their Vietnamese factory largely being unaffected by the coronavirus gaming troubles.
The Switch should be more readily available in the West over the next two months. Mr. Ahmad does not expect the PS4 or Xbox One to be negatively impacted as both consoles will soon be supplanted by the next generation and people aren't buying the older models as much.
Production is starting to ramp up again in China and Nintendo has been able to offset some of the impact by manufacturing in Vietnam.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) March 13, 2020
Impact on Japan was immediate. Impact in US and ROTW is slower but will be notable this month and next most likely.
'Walking Simulator A Month Club' Gives Away First Release
The "Walking Simulator A Month Club" is exactly what it says on the tin, and they're giving away their first entry completely for free. A "self-isolation" sale is being run to give players something to do while they're stuck at home according to Rock Paper Shotgun.
Rockstar Games Goes Remote
Rockstar Games have joined the growing list of game developers who are allowing their employees to work from home.
"Rockstar Games has implemented work from home policies across our international offices and studios," the announcement stated. "Our online games will continue to operate as usual, and all support teams will remain available for our players."
A message from Rockstar Games pic.twitter.com/uB4syLHROo— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) March 15, 2020
Steam Breaks Concurrent User Records
Unsurprisingly, Steam has hit an all-time high of 20 million concurrent users as more and more people are staying at home.
#Steam has just reached a new concurrent online user record of 20 million, with 6.2 million currently in-game, likely due to many people staying at home due to the #coronavirus.https://t.co/bzLMfMOJvD#COVID19— Steam Database (@SteamDB) March 15, 2020
Diabotical Gives Away Beta Keys, Leaves Servers Online
First-person shooter Diabotical is in the midst of a beta program. As a result of the coronavirus gaming crisis, they'll be extending the operating hours of their beta servers and giving away some more keys.
PSA: We are leaving the servers up throughout the week. Hopefully those in affected and/or quarantined regions due to #COVID19 can have another game to play. We'll be sending daily beta keys through our sign-up list at https://t.co/HC7pmT1F7z, so go get yours. Stay safe everyone!— Diabotical (@Diabotical) March 16, 2020
Soccer Teams Streaming Virtual Matches on Social Media
There are sports simulators and then there are sport simulators. Football Manager 2020 is the latter and is generally reserved for the most hardcore of fans who like to manage every aspect of their football club.
Now, Eurogamer reports that some of the real-world teams are getting in on the virtual action — they're streaming games played in Football Manager 2020 to make up for the lack of real-world matches, with one game netting over 700,000 views on Twitter.
NASEF LKaunches Free 'Community Club' Sessions for Students
The North America Scholastic Esports Federation has halted their in-person competitions. In exchange, they'll be hosting free daily "Community Club" sessions that will pr ovide activities, socialization, development of game skills, and esports career insights.
You can watch these treams from Monday–Friday on twitch.tv/esportsfed.
Terry Cavanagh Gave Away Thousands of Games
Dicey Dungeons developer Terry Cavanagh has given away thousands of copies of his games over itch.io last night. Unfortunately, the giveaway has since concluded.
if you need a distraction to take your mind of things, you can grab a copy of any of my commercial games for free. I'm giving away 1000 copies in a 100% off sale:— Terry Cavanagh (@terrycavanagh) March 16, 2020
CD Projekt RED has activated their remote work scheme, but this won't mean a delay for Cyberpunk 2077.
"And while this all is a bit new to everyone," the announcement stated, "We are rising to the challenge and showing no signs of stopping in our effort to bring you some kick-ass role-playing action in September."
Additionally, CDPR's sister company GOG has also shifted to remote work.
Here is our update on COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/Gxc788Tu4g— GOG.COM (@GOGcom) March 16, 2020
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Doubles XP
Star Wars Battlefront 2 has activated Double XP until March 27, after which a Triple XP weekend will take place.
We're turning on x2 Experience in Star Wars Battlefront II up until March 27, and then it'll be a x3 Experience weekend.— Ben Walke (@BenWalke) March 16, 2020
May the Force be with you. pic.twitter.com/ntjR7G9yg3
Torque Esports and FaZe Clan Create #Fight2Fund
Torque Esports and FaZe Clan are creating a tournament, the proceeds of which will be donated to group[s impacted by the coronavirus gaming crisis.
Broadcasts will take place on FaZe Clan's, UMG's, and the players' channels starting at 3:00 PM Eastern on March 16, 2020.
IO Interactive Goes Remote, Too
IO Interactive has joined the legions of game developers who are now working from home.
Last week at IOI, we took some very important and necessary steps to protect the health of our teams in Copenhagen and Malmö as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak.— IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) March 16, 2020
Stay safe! pic.twitter.com/szL9u8BwqW
Splash Damages Switches to Working from Home
Yet another addition to the "work from home" list of game developers is Splash Damage, a game dev who is working on Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Gears 5, and Gears Tactics.
Euro Truck Simulator Dev SCS Software Puts It In Park
SCS Software's developers will also be working from home for the foreseeable future.
Foundation Developer Polymorph Games Stays Home
Polymorph Games has also announced a remote work program for its developers.
The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment Shutters Offices, Sets Up Helpline
The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment is shuttering its offices and opening up a helpline.
Any events or meetings that are scheduled to take place at UKIE will now either take place online, over the phone, or will be postponed. The company has shifted to a remote work schedule as well.
Furthermore, a helpline will be open from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM British Time to help out game developers. UK-based developers can find out more in the announcement.
11 bit studios Stays Home
11 bit studios joins the growing list of game developers emphasizing remote work, recommending that others follow suit. They also cheekily recommend that you play Frostpunk (which you should, because it's a pretty darn good game).
📢 A quick announcement! As you might have expected ('cause most companies are doing this at the moment if they can), we decided to work from our homes, until further notice.— 11 bit studios (@11bitstudios) March 17, 2020
Take good care of yourselves, Folks! #HomeOffice | #RemoteWork | #StayHome pic.twitter.com/mZueZBmpHA
My Time at Portia Devs Update Fans on Coronavirus Donations
The developers of My Time at Portia pledged to donate their Steam and WeGame February 2020 sales to the coronavirus threat and they now have an update on the matter.
"For the month of February, we have sold more than 8000 copies of Portia on Steam and WeGame combined," the Steam Community announcement stated. "This allows us to allocate a total of around $ 71206 for donation to help fight against this global threat."
While $15,665.50 has been donated to a Chinese hospital, many hospitals in the country are no longer accepting donations since the domestic situation has largely come under control. As a consequence, the Portia devs are exploring new options for a country in dire need that could use the help.
EA Reimbursing Apex Legends Teams
Global Series Major One has been postponed for Apex Legends and that means that some pro teams would lose out on their expenses. Fortunately, EA will be reimbursing them.
AirConsole Opens Up Free Access During COVID-19 Lockdown
Lots of people are stuck at home and AirConsole wants to help. The cloud-based casual games platform is opening up their library to everyone according to a press release, completely for free.
You can play more than 150 casual games on the platform right now by visiting airconsole.com.
Focus Home Interactive Focuses on Staying Home
We can now add Focus Home Interactive to the long list of game devs working remotely.
A message from Focus Home Interactive. pic.twitter.com/4rNFOUCqk9— Focus Home Interactive (@FocusHome) March 17, 2020
Raiser Games Gives Away Goat of Duty for A Limited Time
Raiser Games is giving away their absurd first-person shooter Goat of Duty completely for free for the next two weeks according to a press release, no strings attached.
To claim it, simply go to the game's Steam store page and grab your copy while you can.
Frontier Developments Goes Remote and Restricts Employee Travel
Planet Coaster and Planet Zoo developer Frontier Developments is ordering its employees to work from home and restricting their travel. They do not anticipate any major issues with their active games, including online functionality.
Ubisoft CEO Comforts Worldwide Employees
While many of us might think of big game developers and publishers as heartless organizations, Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot sent out a positively heartwarming message to the company, Kotaku reports.
Here is a portion of that message:
Across Ubisoft, people are going above and beyond to adapt to this unprecedented event. My warm thanks go to both your local and global management teams, who have done such remarkable work in implementing the required preventative measures, in line with recommendations from national authorities and the World Health Organization. I also want to commend the proactivity of our teams who have gone to great lengths to provide us with solutions to work from home under the best possible conditions, thus ensuring the continuity of our operations.
Blizzard Giving Away World of Warcraft Game Time in China
Chinese World of Warcraft subscribers will be able to claim 7 free days of game time in China, Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad reports.
Blizzard is offering 7 free days of game time for World of Warcraft subscribers in China.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) March 17, 2020
This is due to poor performance and downtime that has affected players in February during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Players can claim from March 19th pic.twitter.com/lF2fDNtzns
Verizon Says Video Game Traffic Up 75%
Mr. Ahmad also noted a fun fact from Verizon: gaming traffic has gone up a hefty 75% on their networks, indicating that a lot more people are staying home and having fun in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Verizon says that video gaming traffic was up 75% week over week across its network.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) March 18, 2020
General traffic was up 20% WoW. Video streaming up 12% WoW. Social media usage was flat.
The increase is primarily due to lockdowns and self isolation keeping people at home due to COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/Bbb1ehmPhY
GameStop has promised to do more to protect its customers from the Coronavirus, but some people report that they are missing the mark in certain critical areas.
SEGA Europe: 'Don't Worry About Us' During Remote Work Changes
SEGA Europe has announced that they too are enacting a work from home policy for their European developers.
Standing Stone Games has announced that they're making a large chunk of premium content for The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online available to players for free through April 30, 2020.
Robbie Swifthand Free to Play for Two Weeks
Action Platformer Robbie Swifthand and the Orb of Mysteries will be completely free to play for the next two weeks according to a press release from the publisher.
"This is an unprecedented difficult time for the world, and whilst offering love and support to the people suffering and on the front line of medicine, as a humble games publisher all we can do is provide entertainment and fun," said Kiss Publishing's CEO Darryl Still. "So please enjoy our game for free in the hope it will bring a little light into your lives."
You can go play the game for free on Steam.
Ubisoft Support Limits Work Hours
Ubisoft social support is limiting their work hours to keep their employees safe; support will only be available from 1:00 PM–4:00 AM UTC. (That's 9:00 AM–Midnight Eastern and 6:00 AM–9:00 PM Pacific.)
A message to all of our players: pic.twitter.com/Xnqg3myvch— Ubisoft Support (@UbisoftSupport) March 19, 2020
Atlas Games Creates 'Friendly Local Game Drop' Program
Atlas Games (not to be confused with Atlus Games) is helping tabletop gamers get new titles without leaving home. The "Friendly Local Game Drop" program will allow local stores to take orders that will be shipped to the customer's home — and Atlas Games is picking up the shipping costs.
Enplex Games Gives Away Thousands of Population Zero Game Keys
Enplex Games kicked off a giveaway for thousands of Population Zero Game Keys. You may still be able to get one by participating in the giveaway below.
Enplex Games is launching the #GamesVersusVirus campaign by giving away 5000 keys and 5000 CBT invites for its upcoming title, Population Zero!🔥— Population Zero (@zero_population) March 19, 2020
Lets unite against #COVID19 with Hadoukens, BFGs, magic spells and superpowers🤘
Take care of your health, stay safe and have fun!😇
Binding of Isaac Dev Launches 'The Stay Inside Bundle'
The Binding of Isaac developer Edmund McMillen has launched "The Stay Inside Bundle", a package of 11 games and two pieces of DLC. Priced at $19.96, it will give you plenty of premium content to explore without breaking the bank.
And now that we all have a few thousand hours to spend inside playing games, here is a bundle that will get you though this quarantine.. and the next one! THE STAY INSIDE BUNDLE! https://t.co/Gz5OHicwnL pic.twitter.com/Z0mlfyxNTm— Edmund McMillen (@edmundmcmillen) March 20, 2020
Even More Games are Free-To-Own This Weekend
Various developers and publishers have made their games available for free this weekend (or longer) as highlighted on Reddit.
- Drawful 2
- Goat of Duty
- Pleasure PuzzlePortrait
- Lara Croft and The Temple of Osiris
- Tomb Raider
The Polish government has kicked off a series of educational initiatives aiming to teach kids about game development.
As GamesIndustry.biz reports, Poland is one of many countries around the world that's keeping its kids home from school. To keep kids occupied, they're launching Grarantanna, a series of interactive online experiences that will help kids learn about making games (and probably other things, too).
SEGA Goes Remote, Too
SEGA has joined the roster of companies who are now working remotely, prioritizing the health and safety of their employees while also trying their damnedest to avoid sacrificing quality or upkeep of their games.
A message from SEGA of America CEO, Tatsuyuki Miyazaki: pic.twitter.com/BH4WOq6lnL— SEGA (@SEGA) March 21, 2020
Steamworld Games Are Being Given Away (and Going on Sale)
Steamworld franchise developers Image & Form are giving away 1,000 of their games for free in the midst of these coronavirus gaming troubles. Furthermore, they're also putting their games on a 50% (or better) discount starting sometime soon.
In times that may be worrisome, we're doing the following to hopefully brighten your day:— Image & Form is out Questing! 🃏⚔️🤖 (@ImageForm) March 23, 2020
1. Giving away 1000 SteamWorld games for free
2. Temporarily discount the SteamWorld games on most platforms by at least 50% sometime soon.
More info here: https://t.co/qoHZ2inu2M
Dear Villagers Creates 'Stay Home Sale'
Game publisher Dear Villagers has created a sale of its own, offering up 10 games at discounts ranging from 25%–66% off the retail price.
Conan Exiles Doubles Harvesting Rate
The Conan Exiles devs know that people are probably grinding away for resources during this trying time, so they're doing everyone a solid and doubling the in-game harvesting rate until March 27, 2020.
World of Warcraft Doubles XP Through April
All World of Warcraft players can get double experience gain (yes, that includes Starter Edition players) through April 20, 2020.
Keywords Studio QA Testers Reportedly Pressured to Work On-Site in Montréal
Canadian QA company Keywords Studios is reportedly pressuring testers to continue working on site at the company's Montréal location. Since the initial coverage, Keywords have announced a suspension of any penalties that employees may face for missing work.
Plague Inc. is a very relevant game in these times and they're releasing a new update for their game eight years after its initial release. This new update will have players fighting to stop a pandemic rather than starting one.
Furthermore, the developers have donated $250,000 to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Microsoft has announced a "free educational marketplace" for Minecraft. Ten new worlds selected from Minecraft Education Edition lessons will be available to all players completely for free until June 30, 2020.
The Long Dark Announces 'Social Distancing Fundraiser'
Survival game The Long Dark has announced the "Social Distancing Fundraiser", an effort to raise money for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Starting today, The Long Dark will be on sale for 60% off. All of the developer's revenue from this sale will be going towards the fund.
Consider picking up The Long Dark on Steam — you'll get a great game and provide some financial help to those who need it!
Sony will be limited download speeds on the PlayStation Network in order to ease burdens on European Internet traffic. While downloads of games may be slowed or otherwise delayed, gameplay ought to remain unaffected.
Nintendo Donates 9,500+ 'N95' Masks to North Bend, Washington
Nintendo has donated more than 9,500 "N95" masks to the city of North Bend, Washington. The city is home to Nintendo's North American production facility.
For the sake of context, here's the FDA's description of an N95 mask:
The 'N95' designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles. If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death.
These masks are in high demand for people who are required to work in environments where they may be exposed to the coronavirus or other hazardous airborne particles.
Riot Games and Founders Donates $1.5 Million to Coronavirus Relief
Riot Games and its founders Merril and Beck have donated a combined $1.5 million to coronavirus relief. Riot Games is chipping in $500,000 and two of the company's founders are tossing in $500,000 apiece.
$400,000 of these funds will be sent to the Losa Angeles Food Bank. $200,000 will go to the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, and the remainder will be given to area nonprofits.
BoomTV Announces $300,000 Apex Legends Charity Tournament
Code Red Live organizers BoomTV have announced a $300,000 Apex Legends tourament. $250,000 will be donated to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts.
Excited to announce our $300,000 #CodeRedCharity Tournament ft. @PlayApex!— BoomTV (@GoBoomTV) March 25, 2020
$250k will be donated to @ifrc to support the ongoing COVID-19 efforts.
Starts TOMORROW (Thursday) 3.26.20 at 12 PM PST.
Catch all the action on our official Twitch channel below ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Ki4kxuW5z5
You can catch the tournament on twitch.tv/boomtv starting on March 26, 2020, at 3:00 PM Eastern.
CD Projekt RED Donates Nearly $1 Million to COVID-19 Relief
CD Projekt RED's Co-Founder Marcin Iwinski has announced via LinkedIn that the company is donating zł4,000,000 ($974,053) to relief efforts in Poland. Half is being put up by the company and the other half is being put together by the Board of Directors and major shareholders.
astragon Supports Virtual 'Stay Safe! Jam'
German game developers NUKKLEAR have spontaneously thrown together the virtual "Stay Safe! Jam", a game jam that will be taking place remotely for obvious reasons. German game publisher astragon will be lending their support to the event in an unspecified fashion, probably through providing prizes.
The Boardgame Remix Kit Spices Up Classic Games
While many of us might love to play some new tabletop games, shipping restrictions and tight budgets are making that difficult. Thankfully, this is a problem that was solved nearly a decade ago.
Game Designer Holly Gramazio and her colleagues at the Hide&Seek game design studio have created The Boardgame Remix Kit, a collection of rules that let you make new games using pieces from Clue, Monopoly, and other games you might have around the house. Now, you can grab it for free on itch.io.
Almost ten years ago, back when I worked for @hidingseeking, we made "The Boardgame Remix Kit": a collection of rules for new games to play using pieces from Cluedo, Monopoly and other games you might have lying around. We're now releasing it for free: https://t.co/Hjg0Ju0qQl— Holly Gramazio (@hollygramazio) March 26, 2020
GameDev.World Announces GDC Relief Jam
GameDev.World executive director Rami Ismail announced GDC Relief Jam. The results of the jam will be used to make a "pay what you want" bundle with proceeds going towards the organization's GDC Relief Fund.
Fruitbat Factory Gives Away 3 Games
Fruitbat Factory is giving away three of their games completely for free on Steam, no strings attached (save for the inability to earn Steam trading cards). Here are the games:
QubicGames Donates 20% of Profits for 3 Months
Polish game developer and publisher QubicGames has announced that they will be donating 20% of all revenue made from their Nintendo Switch portfolio (which currently has more than 40 individual titles) to health and medical organizations fighting the coronavirus. That's not all they're doing, though! Here's what else they have going on:
- A 16-year anniversary sale with the same 20% profit donation
- Donating 100% of the revenue from sales of Robonauts and Geki Yabi Runner
- A donation of $75,000 worth of surgical masks
- Creating the website gamesvscovid19.com to track worldwide contributions from game devs and publishers
Some games with housing systems will eventually destroy your home if you don't log in regularly or keep up with the rent. Many real-world landlords are suspending or delaying rent and mortgage payments, and now Final Fantasy XIV is doing the same for virtual in-game housing.
ustwo makes Monument Valley 2 free on Android and iOS
Mobile game developer ustwo has temporarily made Monument Valley 2 free on Android and iOS.
There are times when we just need a hug. So here is a virtual one from us… We’ve made Monument Valley 2 free on the App store and Google Play for a little while!— ustwo games (@ustwogames) March 27, 2020
Here's where you can grab it:
TIGA Recommends Tax Relief for Game Devs
Video game trade association TIGA has made recommendations to the UK government surrounding the coronavirus gaming crisis, one of which includes tax relief for game developers. You can read more about it at the organization's dedicated COVID-19 page.
Microsoft Launches Halo 5 Guardians COVID-19 Charity Package
Gamers who pick up the "Halo 5: Guardians - Relief and Recovery REQ Pack" can score five permanent REQs for ten bucks, with 100% of the proceeds going to GlobalGiving's Corona Virus Relief Fund.
Square Enix Makes Lara Croft GO Free on Android and iOS
Square Enix has made Lara Croft GO available for free on Android and iOS from now until April 2, 2020.
We’d like to encourage everyone to continue to #stayhomeandplay. This weekend, Lara Croft GO on mobile is free March 27 - April 2.— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) March 27, 2020
Download now at:
Apple App Store: https://t.co/lu9xoCYfoJ
Google Play: https://t.co/1Sbs2OM3wU pic.twitter.com/wLgo2t8LKl
Here's where you can get it:
- Get Lara Croft GO for Android
- Get Lara Croft GO for iOS
Three More Free Games Available on Steam
Three more games have been made available on Steam as reported by @Wario64 on Twitter. Here they are:
Game Industry Launches #PlayApartTogether Campaign To Keep People Home
Game companies big and small are talking about the #PlayApartTogether campaign. The best thing you can do right now is stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel, so why not play some games online with your friends?
As part of this campaign, messages about the dangers of COVID-19 and how you can stay safe will be put into some games. You've probably heard about this stuff a hundred times now, but there's nothing wrong with making sure everyone is well-informed!
PlayStation Employees in NA & Europe Reportedly Working From Home Until April 30
Sony is reportedly being abundantly cautious and having all of their employees in North America and Europe work from home until at least April 30, 2020. Furthermore, employees are being given a one-time stipend of $1,000 to pick up any equipment they may need to make remote work easier.
Sony is also issuing a one-time stipend of $1,000 so employees can purchase equipment to enhance their ability to work from home.— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) March 27, 2020
GameStop Sends Some Employees Back to Work
While several states have ordered non-essential stores to close down, GameStop is sending employees back to work in some states for curbside pickup. Among the advice given to employees is to wrap their hand in a plastic bag to protect themselves from direct contact with customers.
Kojima Productions Shifts to Remote Work as Employee is Diagnosed with COVID-19
One of Kojima Productions' employees has been diagnosed with COVID-19. While the employee had been at home since March 20, 2020, the company is being extremely cautious and ordering all of their employees to work from home while they sanitize the KojiPro offices.
Dying Light's 'Vintage Gunslinger' Bundle Supports COVID-19 Relief
Deus Ex Goes on Sale to Support Food Banks of Quebec
You can grab them all in this Deus Ex bundle or pick out individual games via that page.
'Cards For Humanity' Tournaments Raising Money for COVID-19 Relief
"Cards For Humanity" — no relation to Cards Against Humanity — will be running four tournaments in competitive CCG games in an effort to raise at least $1,000 for coronavirus relief. You can donate to their campaign on Tiltify.
SCS Software Wants Gamers to #TruckAtHome
SCS Software is handing out free #TruckAtHome mods and giving away keys to their games Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator in an effort to get gamers playing and (most importantly) staying home during this crisis.
One Drop Bot is Free to Own on Steam
@Wario64 reports that yet another game is free to own on Steam. You can pick up One Drop Bot completely for free and solve tricky puzzles, although the Mostly Negative reviews means that you might want to avoid this even with it being given away. You can grab this game on Steam.
Ubisoft Gives Away Rayman Legends on Uplay
London Games Festival Announces 'Now Play This at Home'
The London Games Festival is launching a streaming event which will run from April 3–5, 2020, and include talks on game-making, game design, and other subjects. You can watch it at nowplaythis.net.
Paradox Donates Cities: Skylines Sales to COVID-19 Relief
Paradox Interactive is selling Cities: Skylines at a discount. All proceeds from their fundraiser will go to the World Health Organization until April 3, 2020.
Other games are also on sale to help out with this benefit; you can see the full list of available titles on Steam.
GAMA Publisher Crisis Initiatives Helps Out Beleagured Developers
The Game Manufacturers Association has launched a number of initiatives to help gaming companies keep the lights on during this trying time.
There's hardly a better way to keep yourself occupied during lockdown than with anime tiddies, and Nutaku is running some in-game events (and sales in their physical store!) to keep your hands busy (so to speak).
The Humble Conquer COVID-19 Bundle has been revealed and it's serving up dozens of great games, comics, and books in one massive package that will keep you entertained for days.
New Free-To-Own Games: Autobahn Police Simulator, Lovers' Smiles, and School Years
Z-Software and Aerosoft GmbH are giving away Autobahn Police Simulator on Steam according to @Wario64. Unfortunately, several users are reporting issues with the game, but you can still grab it if you want to see how it plays out.
Rockstar Games Donates 5% of Profits
Rockstar Games has announced that it's donating 5% of its profits from select games between April 1–May 31, 2020. A portion of the money they make from Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online will be donated to local communities and businesses struggling to battle the coronavirus.
UK Retailer GAME Furloughs Staff
GAME — a UK retailer equivalent to GameStop in the U.S. — has announced that it's furloughing the majority of its staff, Eurogamer reports. Employees will receive full pay based on average hours until the end of April, after which the future of their pay is uncertain.
NBA 2K20 Hosting Virtual Tournament with Real Pros
Unsurprisingly, lots of real NBA players also enjoy playing NBA 2K20. You'll be able to see this real-life pros go head-to-head in the game in an upcoming tournament.
Players only 😏 16 NBA players will compete head to head in the NBA 2K Players Tournament. First Round starts this Friday on ESPN— NBA 2K20 (@NBA2K) March 31, 2020
Tweet #NBA2KTourney to tell us who you got as the best 2K player https://t.co/vGw6TgbqB8
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator Launches Bug-Laden Charity DLC
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator has launched a DLC chock-full of bugs. And no, that's not a dig at the devs — the bugs are in the game on purpose.
Here's the "bugs" added to the game:
- Added bug where players can access hidden developer tools such as force push, unit grab, spawn projectiles, gravity modulation.
- Added a bug which causes fireworks to be too big and too strong.
- Added a bug which makes it impossible for units to die.
- Added bug where range units attack speed is too high.
- Added bug where balloons weigh too much.
- Added bug where units would become too big.
- Added bug causing units to become too small.
- Added bug where mammoths are able to be placed on top of each other.
- Added bug causing halflings to implode into black holes.
- Added bug causing units to unexplainably spin around at close range.
- Added bug where all units now have valkyrie wings.
Like many places, Hong Kong is currently under lockdown. This has put a hold on any Hong Kong democracy protests, but some protestors are shifting their energies to virtual protests within Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Sony Dedicates $100 Million to COVID-19 Relief
Sony has kicked in the big bucks during this coronavirus gaming pandemic: GamesIndustry.biz reports that they're putting $100 million into supporting various efforts in the fight against COVID-19. Beneficiaries include medical organizations, educators, and members of the entertainment industry who need support.
Apple Ups Chinese Coronavirus Contributions to $7 Million
GamesIndustry.biz reports that Apple has increased its contributions to fighting the Coronavirus in China to $7 million, more than double of what they've already chipped in thus far.
KontrolFreek Donates A Day of Revenue
Gaming controller manufacturer KontrolFreek is donating 100% of their revenue generated via their website on April 3, 2020, according to a press release. If you've been looking to get a new controller, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pick one up on that day at kontrolfreek.com.
Unity Unveils 'Unite Now'
PGbiz reports that Unity has created a new initiative called "Unite Now." This will be series of weekly streams that will help educate game developers and provide interesting stories. Read more about it at the Unity Blog.
Wild Terra 2 Launches 'Stay Home' Pack
In-development MMORPG Wild Terra 2 has launched the Stay Home pack. For the price of $89.99, you'll score goodies like a full version of the game on Steam, early access to the Alpha, and 999 rolls of Legendary Toilet Paper. You can grab this pack exclusively through their website.
CAPCOM Employee Contracts COVID-19
A CAPCOM employee has contracted the coronavirus according to a press release. The company is reviewing said employee's movements and ordering any employees who may have had contact to stay at home. The areas where the infected employee was working will be disinfected.
Zen Studios Unleashes Pinball FX3 Care Package
If you like pinball, some great new choices have just been made available. The Pinball FX3 Care Package includes the following content:
- Pinball FX3
- Pinball FX3 - Aliens vs Pinball
- Pinball FX3 - Marvel Pinball: Heavy Hitters
- Pinball FX3 - Star Wars Pinball
You can grab this free package of pinball content on Steam until April 8, 2020.
tinyBuild Gives Away Totally Reliable Delivery Service
tinyBuild has teamed up with Epic Games to give their sarcastically-titled Totally Reliable Delivery Service away for free on the Epic Games Store. The decision was made in light of the large number of people stuck at home without much to do.
Euro Truck Sim 2 Keeps On Truckin' At Home
SCS Software have released a progress update on their #TruckAtHome campaign. In just 24 hours, drivers in both Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator have driven a combined 120 million miles.
As a result of fans racking up the miles, SCS Software has donated more than 260,000CZK (≈$10,111) to various charities that are fighting COVID-19.
Everyone's all about cleaning things up, so it's the perfect time for FuturLab to released the PowerWash Simulator demo. The devs have actually pushed up the reveal of this game so people will have something to do while they're at home.
Football Manager 2020 Offers Up Free Advertising
Football Manager 2020 has in-game advertising and the devs are about to put it to use for a good cause. Any mental health charities in different countries will be able to get free in-game advertisements simply by contacting the developer.
We will be offering free advertising in @FootballManager for mental health charities in different countries who are helping people during the Covid-19 crisis.— Miles Jacobson (@milesSI) March 23, 2020
If you work for one & want to learn more, please email [email protected]
Boston Forces GameStop to Shutter Stores
Despite statewide orders for nonessential businesses to close down, a GameStop in Boston was still offering curbside pickup for some games. That stopped when the city government ordered them to close down according to the Boston Glove (via IGN).
Play Xbox and Donate to the CDC
If you're a Microsoft Rewards member, you can put your points towards a good cause. Microsoft has added a button on the Xbox One home screen which will let those points be donated towards coronavirus relief efforts.
Goat of Duty Launches Baaaaadass Charity DLC
Surreal first-person shooter Goat of Duty has launched a series of three charity DLC, all of which will contribute to the fight against COVID-19. You can browse all three DLC on Steam.
RTS 'Taste of Power' Slashes Prices and Donates to COVID-19 Relief
The GG reports that real-time strategy game Taste of Power will be cutting its price by 50% for a week and donated 10% of all sales to CEPI, an organization that is working towards a vaccine for the coronavirus.
The United Kingdom's Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport is teaming up with game devs to get a message out to the world: "Stay at Home, Save Lives."
Companies including Activision Blizzard King, Rebellion, and Codemaster will be injecting this messaging into their games to promote people staying the heck home to slow the spread of the virus.
EA Pledges up to $2 million in COVID-19 Support
Electronic Arts has pledged to match donations up to $2 million towards COVID-19 support, GamesIndustry.biz reports. The massive game publisher will match contributions made by employees via the EA YourCause Program.
Smash's Sakurai Stays Home
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Masahiro Sakurai will be working remotely for the foreseeable future according to Siliconera. He feels this is difficult as development of this game is a "[high-security] project," but he hasn't been left with a choice and will do his best moving forward.
FROSTFALL Developer DUSK GAMES Donating 100% of In-Game Sales
FROSTFALL developer DUSK GAMES is stepping up for COVID-19 relief in a big way. It will donate 100% of in-game sales during the month of April 2020 according to a press release. You can get the game for free on Android and iOS.
Safe In Our World Launches COVID-19 Hub
A video games mental health charity called Safe In Our World has launched a hub on the topic of the coronavirus according to a press release. It will contain useful information, support, and advice. You can view it at safeinourworld.org/covid-19.
'Go Play Inside!' Bundle Has Good Discounts (and Helps Out Charity)
Motion Twin and Evil Empire have teamed up to create the "Go Play Inside!" Bundle on Steam. It features the following games in one package:
- Dead Cells
- The Escapists 2
You can pick up all four games on Steam for $35.18. 20% of the proceeds will be donated to the COVID-19 Relief Fund of Action Against Hunger.
Road to Indy Goes Virtual
The Road to Indy is a driver development program for professional racing drivers. Like many sports, the racing season has been delayed — so this program is going virtual according to a press release.
Bow, racing simulation company iRacing will be working with the Road to Indy to allow up and coming racecar drivers to compete with one another in a virtual environment to keep their skills sharp and give us some fun.
You can follow the races via ApexRacingTV on YouTube each Saturday starting at 12:45 PM Eastern.
Mayday Games Switches Business to Selling Masks
Mayday Games is a tabletop game publisher that also makes related products like card sleeves. Now, Dice Tower News reports that they've shifted to distributing KN95 masks to help people out while their tabletop income has substantially slowed.
'You Are Not Alone' Fundraiser Arrives May 2
GamesIndustry.biz reports that the "You Are Not Alone" Fundraiser will be taking place on May 2, 2020. Ubisoft, Codemasters, and Sports Interactive have signed on for this virtual event.
YANA will feature multiple tournaments including a FIFA 20 competition hosted by Barclay's and several events based on key Ubisoft franchises. Viewers will be able to contribute to multiple different charities via JustGiving.
Arc System Works Goes Remote for a Month
Noted fighting game developer and publisher is switching to remote work for a month. The Guilty Gear and BlazBlue developer will have its staff working from home from April 10–May 6, 2020, as reported by Siliconera.
Stadia Pro Free for Two Months
Stadia Pro will be available for free for the next two months in the 14 countries where Google's game streaming service is available. What's more, any current Stadia Pro subscribers won't have to pay for the next two months of their subscription, either!
MAINGEAR Moves to Making Ventilators
A press release states that custom PC gaming and workstation manufacturer MAINGEAR is changing up their business strategy in light of the coronavirus pandemic: they're going to be making ventilators. Here are the details on their upcoming device:
The MAINGEAR LIV combines redundant power circuits, multiple safety features, and a unique coupling device that contains and drains exhaled aerosolized virus from the patient while allowing routine maintenance under severe conditions. Each unit has preset standard values for use by untrained personnel, as well as dedicated software that is controlled via touch screen interface, giving access to fine adjustments in addition to the manual regulation controls on the device.
This will, unfortunately, require FDA approval before it can be put into use, although they're hoping to get that taken care of quickly.
iam8bit Raising Money to Save Button Mash Arcade
Gaming company iam8bit is raising money to save Button Mash, an East LA Barcade (that's an arcade and a bar) that is beloved by many in the West Coast gaming industry.
Button Mash is an East LA arcade bar that has become a staple in our lives, and in the lives of many video game and entertainment industry folks.— iam8bit (@iam8bit) April 8, 2020
Help us raise money for the staff and get rad downloads and rare swag in the process!#savebuttonmash https://t.co/LP85Ryd1hP pic.twitter.com/enGYnMkFWt
You can donate to the fundraiser via iam8bit's website by purchasing the "Button Mash Quarantine Boredom Pack" and get games as well as swag.
If you want to score some sweet pieces of gaming history and help out charity, it's hard to argue against the StoryBundle Gaming Books bundle. You'll get 4–10 pretty cool books and you'll also help out Doctors Without Borders.
Square Enix Employee Infected With COVID-19 AS Remote Work Begins
Gamebiz.jp [Japanese] reports that a Square Enix employee has been infected with a strain of COVID-19. The company had just begun a remote work program on April 8, 2020.
GearStorm - Armored Survival Adjusts Mechanics to Promote Real-World Safety
GearStorm - Armored Survival was already all about a virus sweeping across the world. Now, a press release from the developer states that they've enhanced the infection model in their game to encourage real-world safety practices.
You can pick up GearStorm on Steam for $11.99 or your regional equivalent.
EA and FIFA Announce FIFA 20 Stay and Play Cup
EA and FIFA have teamed up to announce the "Stay and Play Cup", a competition featuring 20 professional footballers facing off starting on April 5, 2020. This single-elimination knockout tournament will be taking place over five days.
Fans who watch the tournament on Twitch can score sweet rewards via Twitch Drops. They'll also have the opportunity to donate to COVID-19 relief charities.
'Play Apart Together' Encourages Players to Stay at Home
Yet another "stay the heck home" initiative has been launched by a bunch of gaming companies. A press release notes that dozens of gaming companies are running special events or otherwise pushing positive messaging to keep players gaming together (but also apart).
Kitfox Games Donates Profits from Select Games
Kitfox Games is contibuting to COVID-19 relief by donating all of its profits from select games. Here are the eligible games:
Additionally, all of the above games are discounted 15–90% off! I've personally found Moon Hunters to be a ton of fun, so you should definitely check these out while you can! Donations will be counted from April 10–13, 2020.
Vigor 'Stay Safe Charity Pack' Supports Local Hospital
Protect your Outlander in Vigor with a cool new mask and you'll also help out a local hospital. All profits from the Stay Safe Charity Pack will be donated to the University Hospital Brno which is near Bohemia Interactive's headquarters.
Dungeons & Dragons Launches Remote Play Hub
Wizards of the Coast has launched a hub to help people play Dungeons & Dragons remotely. It's packed with some free resources for you to use, so go ahead and check it out at dnd.wizards.com/remote.
Castles & Crusades Gives Away Free Books
In a similar vein to D&D, Castles & Crusades is giving away their Players Handbook for free along with a collection of four short stories.
Razer Commits $50 Million to Support Business Partners
Plenty of people are hurting right now, but businesses are having it rough, too. That's why Razer is pledging $50 million to support its business partners at a time when things might not be going too well for them.
Baseball Pros Competing in Virtual Tournament
Much like other sports, Major League Baseball is shut down for a while. For now, you can enjoy seeing all 30 teams participate in an MLB: The Show players league, with a total of $175,000 being donated to local Boys and Girls Clubs in the players' communities.
Plaid Hat Games Donates 20% of Sales to Local Game Stores
Plaid Hat Games is somewhat concerned that people are buying Forgotten Waters from them rather than their local game stores. As a result, they'll be reportedly donating 20% of the game's price (that's $12 per copy) for orders made through their online store which nominates a local game store.
Paladins Kicks off #StaySafePlayPaladins
Paladins is running a #StaySafePlayPaladins event from April 10–29. The event includes double XP at times, champion unlocks, special cosmetics, and more! Read all about it on Steam.
The Long Dark's 'Social Distancing Fundraiser' Brings in Nearly $200K
Hinterland Studios has brought in $194,619 as a result of their "Social Distancing Fundraiser" in The Long Dark, nearly doubling their initial pledge of $100,000. The developer will donate the entirety of the money (and cover Steam's 30% platform royalty) to the COVID-19 relief efforts of the UN and WHO.
Chun Li Doesn't Skip Arm Day
The official Street Fighter Twitter has posted a pretty cool piece of fanart for people under lockdown. Apparently, Chun Li doesn't skip arm day, either.
Rick May — the voice of the Soldier in Team Fortress 2 and Peppy Hare in Starfox 64 — has passed away after contracting COVID-19 in a nursing home. Mr. May was in the nursing home after suffering a stroke in February 2020.
CAPCOM Begins Working From Home
CAPCOM is lagging a bit behind other developers with implementing a remote work policy, but it is now in effect. GamesIndustry.biz reports that the Japanese company will have its employees working from home from now until May 6, 2020.
Halo Relief T-Shirt Raises $200K
A special Halo Relief T-Shirt has already raised more than $200,000 for COVID-19 relief. Gamespot reports that 100% of the profits will go towards relief efforts.
A purchase of the shirt also includes a one-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. You can buy the shirt for yourself at MetaThreads for $24.95 or your regional equivalent.
Ryu Contemplates Existence
Following yesterday's Chun Li tweet, the Street Fighter team has followed it up with some cool fanart of Ryu promoting a "Stay at Home" message.
Allied Esports and Club 42 Running Charity Tournament
A press release from Allied Esports and Club 42 has announced that a charity tournament is kicking off. Fortnite pros Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf and Nicholas "NichEh30" Amyoony will be participating in this event which also features a number of professional baseball players.
Ultimately, the proceeds from this event will be benefitting the Jackie Robinson Foundation to assist students across the nation with their distance-learning needs. You'll be able to watch it on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at 6:00 PM Eastern on twitch.tv/AlliedEsports.
European Games Bizdev Gathering Created
EGDF, Reboot, and RCP have partnered up to create the European Games Bizdev Gathering. According to a press release, the EGBG will get interested European game developers in front of investors and publishers from all over the world. You can find out more details at egbg.eu.
Sony is giving away Journey and The Uncharted Collection starting on April 15, 2020, for an entire month. (German and Chinese gamers will get Knack 2 instead of Uncharted.)
Moreover, Sony has also announced a $10 million fund to support indie developers in need.
A data breach has exposed 1.1 million SCUF customer details to an unknown party. Most credit card data is safe, but customers who purchased from SCUF should be aware of phishing scams in future.
Bungie's 'Guardian's Heart' Brings in 350K in 24 Hours
Bungie is running a "Guardian's Heart" fundraiser in Destiny 2 and it's brought in more than $350,000 in the first 24 hours. You can donate $20 or more to the fundraiser, score a sweet in-game emblem, and help out with COVID-19 relief.
Board Game Manufacturers Switch to Making COVID-19 Test Kits
An Irish board game factory is making something entirely different now: COVID-19 test kits. Cartamuni Ireland hsa transitioned a "small team of employees" to making the test kits, RTE reports.
Tabletop distributor Alliance Games has furloughed its employees due to a business downturn caused by the coronavirus. The company had already slashed executive salaries by 50% and renegotiated terms with vendors in an attempt to cut costs during this trying time.
Hockey Pros and Gaming Personalities Compete in EA NHL 2020 Tourney
An EA NHL 2020 tournament will be taking place with the support of GameStop, EB Games, and numerous other companies. The tournament features professional hockey players and gaming personalities.
Roblox Runs Special 'One World Together At Home' Event
Roblox is running a special in-game event from April 17–19, 2020. This event will feature appearances and performances by Billie Eilish, Elton John, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, and many others.
Read more about the Roblox "One World Together Event at Home" website to find out who's performing and how you can see them.
PUBG Mobile Launches #ChickenDinnerAtHome
PUBG Mobile is jumping on the "Stay At Home" bandwagon with its #ChickenDinnerAtHome campaign according to a press release. Players can enjoy survival challenges and more. They'll also receive a number of space gifts every day which can be redeemed for event awards. Additionally, there are new prizes in the Brothers in Arms system.
That's not all, though — an influencer show match will be hosted every weekend featuring content creators and Internet celebrities. You'll be able to participate in quiz events and win some cool prizes, too!
Flight Sim DCS World Makes All Content Available for Free
The flight simulator DCS World has made all of its content temporarily available for free as reported by Reddit. The free period will last from April 18–May 19, 2020. If you decide you'd like to keep something, you'll be able to purchase it at a 50% discount. You can learn more about it in the description of the announcement video.
If you've recently tried to get a Nintendo Switch, you may have been shocked to see it costing almost twice as much as its retail price of $299.99. It's recently been uncovered that scalpers are using bots to buy up consoles quickly and turn them around for a profit.
Paradox Has Raised Half A Million for COVID-19 Relief
Paradox Interactive has announced in a tweet that they've raised more than $500,000 for COVID-19 relief.
Hi Everyone!— Paradox Interactive (@PdxInteractive) April 21, 2020
We wanted to thank you for your support in the COVID-19 Response Fund fundraiser on Steam earlier this month!
Together we raised and donated over half a million USD to the relief efforts against the pandemic!
Keep being awesome and stay safe! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Y2xnznVsp4
Minecraft Promotes COVID-19 Safe Practices
Minecraft is teaming up with the United Nations to promote safe health practices over the next week or so, mostly through its social media channels. You can read about their efforts (and see an adorable Creeper poster) at the announcement.
Shelter Developer Donating Profits to COVID-19 Relief
Shelter developer Might and Delight will soon be celebrating its 10-year anniversary and it's using this auspicious moment to help out with coronavirus relief.
A press release from the publisher states that they'll be holding a special event in its game Meadow while also donating all profits of their games to Safe in Our World starting on Thursday, April 23, 2020, at 1:00 PM Eastern and ending on Sunday, April 26. An extra 25% will be kicked in by the devs if they 10,000 players to attend.
Another Square Enix Employee Diagnosed With COVID-19
Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad reports that another Square Enix employee has tested positive for the coronavirus. Fortunately, said employee had been working from home since April 6th, so it seems that any risk of it spreading is probably low.
Square Enix has reported that another employee in Tokyo has tested positive for COVID-19 on April 18.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) April 21, 2020
The employee has been working at home since April 6 so there is a limited chance of spread within SE.
Square Enix previously reported one positive case on April 9. pic.twitter.com/b1LcMkbU5V
Magic Leap Endures Second Round of Layoffs
The general economic slowdown around the world is starting to have some serious after-effects for some developers. GamesIndustry.biz reports that AR computer creator Magic Leap will be laying off a number of employees "at every level of [their] company."
Game Freak Employee Tests Positive for Coronavirus
An employee at Game Freak — one of the multiple companies involved in producing Pokemon games — has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee had not been in the office since April 2, 2020. An investigation has determined that the other employees are not at risk due to the amount of time that has passed, so Game Freak's offices will not be closing.
BlazBlue Tournament Will Donate to GlobalGiving
A press release from Ark System Works details a BlazBlue: Central Fiction tournament taking place online. The World Serpent Championship will take place from April 24–26, 2020, and all of the proceeds will go to GlobalGiving to help fight the coronavirus. Read more about it here.
COVID-19 Ruined an Overwatch Office Party
Jeff Kaplan has released the 50th developer update video for Overwatch, but it's a bittersweet occasion. While the announcement of queue changes and new voice lines is pretty welcome, he revealed that the team had planned to have a party to celebrate this milestone. Unfortunately, that party will have to be delayed since everyone is working from home at the moment.
BANDAI NAMCO Gives Away PAC-MAN
BANDAI NAMCO is throwing another free game onto the massive pile we've seen so far. You can now get PAC-MAN Championship Edition 2 for free on PC, PS4, and XBox One from now until May 10, 2020.
TOTAL WAR: SHOGUN 2 Will Be Free Later in April
TOTAL WAR: SHOGUN 2 will be free-to-keep starting on Monday, April 27, 2020. Additionally, much of the game's DLC will be on sale. You can read more about it in this blog post.
Konami Hosts eFootball PES 2020 Celebrity Tournament
An eFootball PES 2020 #StayHomeWithPES Tournament will be hosted on the game's official YouTube channel on Sunday, April 26, 2020, starting at 12:00 PM Eastern. It will feature players from 11 world-famous clubs. You can watch it then at youtube.com/officialpes.
#GamersVSCovid Streamathon Benefits Direct Relief COVID-19 Fund
A #GamersVSCovid Charity Streamthon will be taking place on Sunday, April 26. The event is being hosted by ScrimToWin and will feature prizes courtesy of Logitech G, Razer, and more.
This event will kick off at 11:00 AM Eastern on Sunday, April 26; tune in to twitch.tv/scrim2win to watch and potentially win prizes! You can, of course, also donate to their efforts to help out with COVID-19 relief.
WOTC Distributes D&D and MTG 'Enrichment Kits' to Educators and Libraries
Wizards of the Coast is distributing 2,000 free "digital enrichment kits" that include Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering resources. The kits are being given to educators and libraries and will unlock content for D&D Beyond and Magic: The Gathering Arena.
A Minecraft "Blockdown Simulator" map has been created for Java Edition which teaches players about how infections spread and how you can help control them through social distancing.
Humble COVID-19 Bundle Raised $6.5 Million for Charity
It seems that the Humble COVID-19 Bundle was pretty darn successful. The Humble Blog announced that they sold 208,527 bundles and raised $6,565,557 which will go to their charity partners Direct Relief, Partners in Health, International Rescue Commitee, and Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Bethesda Donates $1 Million to Coronavirus Relief Efforts
Bethesda Softworks and ZeniMax Media have donated a combinated $1 million to coronavirus relief efforts. The money will be split as follows:
- $500,000 to Direct Relief
- $250,000 to UNICEF
- $250,000 to local COVID-19 relief efforts
Bethesda will be continuing to stream via their social media channels and encouraging their fans to donate to these organizations.
BALANCED Media and Complexity Gaming Launch Science Crowdsourcing Effort
BALANCED Media and lognstanding esports organization Complexity Gaming have teamed up to launch a "science crowdsourcing" effort according to a press release. Participants can use their spare computing power to help speed up coronavirus research. You can find out more about it at hewmen.com.
After several weeks of development, Pokemon GO's Remote Raids are finally rolling out for Trainers Level 40 and higher. The feature will be expanded to more Trainers as time goes on.
Bi-Weekly 'Side Quest' Game Jams Teaching UK Kids Game Development
Into Games has launched "Side Quest", a bi-weekly game jam event from one of the biggest game studios in the United Kingdom. The company is seeking to get 100,000 young'uns interested in game development.
Every two weeks, a new 7-day challenge will be issued. Participants will be provided a free copy of GameMaker Studio 2, a paper Prototyping Pack, and access to turtorials. You can read more about it at sidequest.org.uk.
Squad Gets a Free Weekend (and a Charity Sale)
Tactical first-person shooter Squad is going to be running a free weekend from April 30–May 3, 2020.
What's more, there will also be a special sale: all proceeds made on April 30 and May 1, respectively, will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. The game will be on sale for 35% off its $39.99 retail price.
NHS Workers Get Games For Free
The U.K. Games industry has gotten together to help out workers at the country's National Health Service, GamesIndustry.biz reports. Companies like EA, Xbox, Media Molecule, and others are teamping up to provide a free game or game subscription to NHS staff so they can unwind after a hard day's work fighting COVID-19.
Coronavirus Attack Removed from Steam in China
GamesIndustry.biz reports that a recently-made game called Coronavirus Attack has been removed from Steam in China. The game itself doesn't directly mention China, but its Steam achievements have several political slogans including "Liberate Hong Kong" and "Taiwan is Not China." If you're interested, the game is still available on Steam pretty much everywhere else.
Reggie Fils-Aimé and Harold Goldberg Spin Up NYVGCC Podcast and Fundraiser
Former Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aimé and New York Videogame Critics Circle's Harold Goldberg have teamed up to create a seven episode podcast that will also server as a fundraiser.
The podcast itself will be free, but people who donate to this campaign can get oppportunities to submit questions to REggie, bonus content, access to a private auction, and the first chapter of Harold Goldberg's novel on audiobook. You can find out more about it at its GoFundMe page.
A charity Mario Tennis Aces tournament will be bringing Maria Sharapova out of retirement. Tennis pros like Sharapova, Naomi Osaka, and Serena Williams will team up with celebrities for this doubles tournament, broadcasting their gameplay and a facecam livestream from their home. Each participant will receive $25,000 for their charity of choice, and the winner will gain an additional $1 million to donate to charity.add it to your wishlist on Steam.
Square Enix is Giving Away More GamesSquare Enix has already given away a few games during this pandemic lockdown, but they're not stopping there. A new announcement states that they'll be delivering more opportunities for free games alongside Stay Home and Play Steam bundles that will offer some pretty great discounts on their other titles.
Celebrity Jackbox: Games & Giving Team Up to Support Direct ReliefJackbox Games is getting some celebrities to play games in support of Direct Relief according to a press release. Josh Hutcherson, Thomas Middleditch, and other celebrities will participate in Jackbox Games in this ten-episode online game show according to a press release; each episode will see Jackbox donating $100,000 to COVID-19 relief organizations. You can find out when to watch it (and other information) at the show's announcement.
ROBLOX Launches Limited-Edition Items for Charity
ROBLOX has launched a number of limited-edition items to support COVID-19 relief. Nine new items are making their debut, and your purchase will support No Kid Hungry, UNICEF USA, or Code.org. Check out the items in the announcement!
Assassin's Creed 2 and More Now Free on Uplay
Following up on an earlier promise, Ubisoft has made some more games available completely for free on Uplay, @Wario64 reports. Here are the games up for grabs right now:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Seeking COVID-19 Game Projects
The Rensselaer Center of Excellence in Digital Game Development is seeking proposals for game projects that will tackle the subject of COVID-19 in an educational light according to a press release. Games may focus on addressing behavior like social distancing, presenting factors about the virus, and/or conveying other relevant information.
KARDS Runs In-Game Coronavirus Fundraiser
World War 2 card game KARDS is running an in-game fundraiser to support the WHO's COVID-19 fund. If you'd like to donate, you can check out the in-game fundraiser by playing KARDS for free on Steam.
Square Enix Offers Up Great RPGs at Decent Discounts
Square Enix has launched a bundle on Steam which has four great role-playing games in one package. Here are the games:
- DRAGON QUEST XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
- Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age
- Chrono Trigger
100% of Square Enix's revenue from this bundle will benefit food banks and other charities across North America and Europe.
Japan's CERO Ratings Board to Reopen
CERO will be reopening on May 7, 2020, Gematsu reports. The Japanese game rating board will operate from 10:00 AM–4:00 PM for the immediate future and they're working on establishing a remote work policy.
Halo Charity Shirt and Recovery & Relief Pack Raise $430K
A Halo charity shirt and the Recovery & Relief Pack have raised a combined $430,000 for the Global Giving Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Together, through the @metathreads #WeGotThisSpartans shirt and the Relief & Recovery REQ Pack, the Halo community's combined support raised over $430,000 for @GlobalGiving's Coronavirus Relief Fund. Thank you for your contributions, Spartans. pic.twitter.com/6LdT9xQxPV— Halo (@Halo) May 4, 2020
Gaming Industry Report Analyzes COVID-19
A report has been put together regarding the effect of the coronavirus on the gaming industry. Here are some of the highlights according to a press release:
- COVID-19 may have positively affected the industry as people sought entertainment.
- The 39% increase in global mobile game downloads is largely due to China's lockdown.
- Honor of Kings hit an all-time DAU (Daily Average User) high.
- Medium to long term prospects for the gaming industry are somewhat perilous, thanks in part to event cancellations.
You can read the report on ReportLinker, but you can probably make much better use of the $1,950 price tag by buying 130 copies of Stardew Valley.
Extra Life Asks Gamers to Step Up
Longstanding gaming charity Extra Life is asking gamers to help out children's hospitals once again. People under 18 can get sick from COVID-19, so consider signing up and helping out however you can.
Several Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord players are alleging that players are being banned for using certain phrases (or having names with these phrases) like "coronavirus" and "#HongKong."
IGDA & Partners Establish Stay in the Game Relief FundIGDA, Take This, Global Game Jam, and the Games and Online Harassment Hotline have teamed up to establish the Stay in the Game Relief Fund. The proceeds will benefit all four of the founding organizations to keep their operations going. You can see the fundraiser at Givebutter.
Arma 3 'Art of War' Contest Creating Charity DLC
Bohemia Interactive has announced the Arma 3 "Art of War" contest, and that particular turn of phrase is very literal. Creative types are invited to submit 2D art and 3D models to the contest for inclusion in a DLC. The winners will score some pretty sweet prize including a Wacom tablet. You can read more about the contest at its dedicated page on the Arma 3 website.
Esports Atheletes Honor #TheRealHeroes
A number of Activision Blizzard esports athletes are honoring medical professionals as part of #TheRealHeroes campaign by donning their names on their jerseys. Check out this video to see these esports pros repping healthcare professionals in this video.
Shengqu Games Makes A Minigame About Chopstick Safety
Chinese developer Shengqu Games has made a minigame about chopstick safety (of all things) in the hopes of promoting more sanitary eating practices in Asian.
"Authorities believe sharing meals was one way the virus was passed on in China, especially among families that accounted for 85% of infection clusters in Guangdong and Sichuan province, according to the World Health Organization."https://t.co/rrxgQOFO5p— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) May 8, 2020
NFL Alumni and ESTV Host Esports Celebrity Challenge Fundraiser
The NFL Alumni Association and Esports Television (ESTV) have announced The NFLA Celebrity CoD Challenge sponsored by JBL in a press release. The tournament will air on ESTV on May 11, 2020, to raise money for COVID-19 charities and features celebrity players like Rashad Jennings, Paul George, and Aerial Powers.
Square Enix has released an absolutely insane bundle with 54 games on Steam including a mix of newer releases and classics from its back catalog. 100% of the bundle's profits will go to charities in North America and Europe.
Believe it or not, the Square Enix merchandise store is offering certain customers a branded "Square Enix Members" mask as a free bonus for qualifying purchases totaling over $100.
Neverwinter and Star Trek Online Team Up to Support Worldwide Relief
The developers behind Neverwinter and Star Trek Online have joined forces in an effort to support worldwide COVID-19 relief according to a press release. Adventurers in either or both games can visit groupees.com/PlayForACause to buy in-game items and support charity. 100% of the proceeds from both companies will be evenly split between the Pop Culture Hero Coalition and United Way.
Human: Fall Flat Features 24-hour Charity Fundraiser
No Brakes Games and Devolver Digital are running a 24-hour fundraiser using Human: Fall Flat. Simply buy Human: Fall Flat on Steam at the crazily good promotional price of $5.99 — that's a 60% discount! — and 100% of the proceeds will go to the following charities:
- NHS Charities Together
- Spanish Red Cross
- Medical Institutions Support Fund
- World Health Organization Covid 19 Response Fund
Mangagamer Launches Hinamizawa Virus Bundle
Asian games and adult games retailer Mangagamer has announced the launch of the Hinamizawa Virus Bundle, a collection of games that will be free-to-own until an effective vaccine for the coronavirus is discovered.
Starting today, we will be hosting a unique campaign here at MangaGamer, The Hinamizawa Virus Bundle, for those struggling with the ongoing pandemic. The first chapter of #Higurashi will be free-to-own on our website & Steam until an effective vaccine for COVID-19 is discovered. pic.twitter.com/u47yDrET2h— MangaGamer (@MangaGamer) May 14, 2020
The Assassin's Creed Discovery Tours for Greece and Egypt are now available for free via Uplay, serving up an entertaining educational experience for those of us stuck in lockdown.
Bungie's Guardian Heart Fundraiser Wraps Up at Nearly $800K
Bungie set out to raise $700,000 with its Guardian's Heart initiative. Now, the company behind Destiny 2 has revealed that it's smashed that goal, racking up a total of $788,923.19.
NIS America Runs 'Red Moon Day' Charity Fundraiser
NIS America is running a "Red Moon Day" charity fundraiser which will support the American Red Cross by selling a special t-shirt. 100% of the $19.99 price tag on the shirt will go to the American Red Cross's Coronavirus Outbreak fund. These adorable shirts feature the literally explosive Prinnies from the Disgaea games. (Thankfully, there is likely no danger of the shirts themselves going kaboom.) You can buy the Red Moon Day Charity Shirt from now until July 31, 2020.
WOTC Adds Promo Cards to Mystery Boosters to Support Local Game Shops
Wizards of the Coast is giving away Promo Cards in addition to its previously-announced Mystery Boosters to further incentivize people to frequent their local game store. Participating stores will receive a number of items, including (but not necessarily limited to):
- Art Print
- Reliquary Tower
- Mechagodzilla, Battle Fortress
MLB 9 Innings 20 Hosts 'Safe at Home' Sweepstakes
Mobile game MLB 9 Innings 20M is hosting an in-game contest where players can win real-world prizes like gaming chairs, wireless headphones, and more. You can enter the contest via the free-to-play app on Google Play for Android or the App Store for ioS. Alternatively, you can put in an entry through this form [PDF].
'Super Social Distance Jam' Kicks off May 22
The "Super Social Distance Jam" is a game jam that will be running over Memorial Day Weekend from May 22–24. You can find out more about it a wonderville.nyc.
D&D Live 2020: Roll w/ Advantage is Coming This June
A Fun Time at Con Lets You Make Your Own Convention Stories
A Fun Time at Con has made its debut as a pay-what-you-want print & play tabletop game which players can use to create interesting con stories from the safety of their homes since we can't actually attend very many events this year.
Microsoft is launching a Special Olympics event headlined by Forza Motorsport 7 on the Xbox One. This event will be livestreamed across multiple streaming channels on May 30, 2020.
Week 5 of State Farm's #PlayApartTogether Tourney Featured Sports Stars
The fifth week of State Farm's #PlayApartTogether celebrity gaming tournament featured a variety of celebrities from the MLB, NBA, NFL, and soccer playing FIFA 20. You can watch a replay of the stream on Facebook.
IGDA Debuts Virtual 2020 Grantee Online Program
IGDA has debuted the Virtual 2020 Grantee Online Program in lieu of the canceled 2020 GDC Scholarship programming. The program will be targeting "students, mid-career professionals from marginalized communities, and people of marginalized genders."
Level Ex Debuts COVID-19 Levels in Doctor-Oriented Mobile Games
Level Ex focuses on making mobile games for doctors and they've made a natural choice for new content: the Airway Ex and Pulm Ex have now launched new levels with a focus on COVID-19 treatment. You can find out more about these games for doctors at levelex.com.
Online Game Dev Career Fair Taking Place June 10–11
Guerilla Collective Adds 14 More Companies to Roster
The brand-new indie gaming showcase Guerilla Collective has added 14 new companies to its roster, Gematsu reports. Companies include Kitfox Games, Nitdive studios, SEGA and several other indie companies.
Gaming Industry Colleagues To Partake in SpecialEffect Virtual 10K
A number of gaming industry professionals from SEGA, EA, and other companies will be taking part in the SpecialEffect Virtual 10K on JUly 5, 2020. As the ASICS London 10K has been canceled, a virtual event is taking place where runners will participate in their own communities. You can learn more about the event at specialeffect.org.uk.
Days of Wonder has released Ticket To Ride: Stay at Home, a free Print N' Play expansion for its Ticket to Ride tabletop game. This new spin on a classic, award-winning board game is for 2–4 players and takes 20–40 minutes to play.
Razer Silver Can Now Be Used to Donate Masks
The Razer Silver currency that you can earn through certain promotions can now be used to donates masks to frontline staff fighting COVID-19. You can read more about the "Razer For Life" promotion on the company's website.
Dungeons & Dragons Online Permanently Gives Away Adventure Packs
Dungeons & Dragons Online has been pretty generous with the giveaways as of late and they just got better. A new coupon code grants access to more than three dozen quest packs permanently as long as you claim it before August 31, 2020; you can read more about it on the DDO website.
Gamers based in Hong Kong are organizing Tiananmen Square memorials within Animal Crossing: New Horizons in lieu of a physical event due to COVID-19 causing a ban on public gatherings.
The Premier League is returning to Sky Sports on June 17, 2020, and it's going to feature a rather interesting new addition to make up for the lack of real-world spectators (Due to COVID-19): EA Sports has partnered with the league to use FIFA crowd noises to help create a more realistic atmosphere for those who'd like to have it.
Japanese Company Creates Super Mario-Themed Face Masks
Siliconera reports that the Japanese company Sanei Boeki has created Super Mario-themed facemasks to let you protect yourself and others in style. They're not quite available for sale just yet, but you might be able to buy them on the company's website once they go live.
Riker's Island inmates in New York City have been provided off-brand game consoles at the city's expense to keep them busy as the coronavirus pandemic's social distancing policies has ground prison visitations to a halt.
Gearbox Software has decided to help out with COVID-19 relief by making a cool in-game cosmetic mask that you can pick up for a minimum donation of $5 to Direct Relief.
A leaked Microsoft Store listing reportedly states that eFootball PES 2021 will be a smaller-scale roster update DLC instead of a full-fleged release.
The Nintendo NYC Store is going to be re-opening on August 7, 2020, although there will be a number of restrictions in place to ensure the safety of customers. Among these restrictions will be a requirement for a reservation, a mandate to wear face masks and practice social distancing, and a limit to the number of people in the store.