The outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to have a global impact, including on the video game industry. It has caused cancellations in events like PAX East and GDC, but also led to the Beijing government offering assistance and developers creating games to educate people about the disease. In other news for this week’s gaming roundup, there was a new Nintendo Direct about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Dreams was reviewed and recognized for its educational potential in game design schools, and Gearbox Software announced that the Borderlands movie has a director.
Highlights From This Week's Gaming News
Eli Roth Set to Direct the Borderlands Movie
Gearbox Software co-founder Randy Pitchford recently announced that Eli Roth will direct a Borderlands movie. Roth's previous work includes Hostel, Cabin Fever, and Death Wish.
Chinese Gaming and Esports Industries Will Get Help From Beijing Government
The Beijing government is offering support to a variety of industries affected by the epidemic, including the gaming sector. Their efforts will include several tactics, such as promoting esports through conferences and exhibitions.
Coronavirus Convention Cancellations Continue, Valve Index Production Also Affected
Sony, Facebook, and Oculus have cancelled their appearances at this year's GDC over coronavirus concerns. Square Enix and PlayStation events have also been cancelled at this year's PAX East for the same reason.
Media Molecule's 'Dreams' Attracts Interest from Game Design Schools
It looks like the powerful creation tools in Media Molecule's Dreams are approaching the next logical step with game design schools showing interest in the title as an official learning tool. Dreams creative director Mark Healey shared that universities have already asked about using the game in their curriculum. According to Healey, Dreams could work for quick prototyping and gathering different tools into one platform.
Animal Crossing Save Data Recovery Restrictions Just Got Worse
In the fine print of a recent Nintendo Direct about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it was stated that Nintendo Switch Online members will only have one chance to recover save data “due to loss or damage of system.” It was previously announced that the upcoming Animal Crossing game wouldn't support Cloud Saves.
Coronavirus Games Made by Developers for Educational Purposes
Battle of Pathogens, Eradicate the Bacteria, People's War - Mobilise Against the Epidemic, and Retrograde cover the coronavirus in different ways, and many have been supported by local government and other organizations.
New Report Says Coronavirus Could Effect Switch Supply Worldwide
Bloomberg reports that the coronavirus outbreak will likely lead to a reduced supply of Nintendo Switch consoles in the U.S. and Europe. The report adds that this shortage isn't expected to happen until April.
Features and Reviews of the Week
Dreams did the impossible: get a perfect 10 from TechRaptor. Media Molecule's latest game lives up to the hype surrounding its creation tools, allowing players to design their own games.
Marvel Crisis Protocol Vision / Winter Soldier Preview
TechRaptor has a preview of a new expansion for tabletop game Marvel Crisis Protocol, which focuses on the Winter Soldier a.k.a. James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes and Vision. The expansion will include new features, such as miniatures for each of the characters.
If you’re interested in a deep dive about microtransactions in gaming, TechRaptor has you covered. This guide includes a breakdown of the different types of microtransactions, like cosmetics and time savers.
What do you think of companies like Sony cancelling their appearances at U.S.-based events over coronavirus concerns? Do you have any thoughts on Dreams as part of game design curriculum? Did you see other news in gaming this week that deserves attention? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.