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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Coronavirus begins to disrupt games industry: Switch hit by production delay

The coronavirus is beginning to disrupt the games industry, as the Chinese government takes strict preventative measures.

With the number of total infections exceeding 28,000, and the latest confirmed death toll at 563, the international health community is working to find a vaccine.

Only time will tell how severely the games industry is impacted by the virus, but the Chinese government has extended the Lunar New Year holiday to February 10, closing down all business and factories.

As reported by Reuters, the virus has already caused a delay with Nintendo Switch production which CEO Shuntaro Furukawa described as an "unavoidable.".

Nintendo relocated some of its console production to Vietnam last year amid the brewing Sino-US trade war, but still relies heavily on its locations in China.

Game development is also being affected, with large swathes of the games industry relying on Chinese subsidiaries or work-for-hire studios for asset production.

Ken Rumph, an analyst for investment banking group Jefferies, estimated the disruption caused will see development schedules fall behind if it extends much further.

"If shutdowns exceed a month or so, game schedules will be delayed," Rumph said in a research note (via South China Morning Post).

"New consoles may likewise suffer supply issues from a prolonged disruption, ahead of their Fall 2020 planned launches."

The outbreak has also resulted in a number of esports events being postponed, along with the Taipei Game Show.

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Yesterday, Nintendo announced that Switch production and shipment to Japan from China will be impacted by coronavirus. Nintendo has issued a statement to Kotaku saying Switch sales and shipments for North America and Europe won’t be delayed.

As Kotaku also previously reported, pre-orders for the Animal Crossing Switch were moved from February 8 to TBA in Japan.

However, Switch supply for North America and Europe will continue unabated. A spokesperson for Nintendo of America issued the following statement to Kotaku:

We can confirm that the manufacturing of some Nintendo products for the Japanese market has been delayed due to the impact of 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak. Nintendo does not anticipate a significant impact on our broader global supply chain for systems and accessories at this time, and product sales in North America and Europe, including preorders, are not affected. We would like to express our concern and support for all those affected by the coronavirus during this challenging time.

The Animal Crossing Switch bundle goes on sale March 13 for $2

While this sucks, nintendo already has the contracts for manufacturing switches, so more units will simply be manufactured a little later. For ps5 and xsx, sony and MS probably don't have those contracts to guarantee initial production yet, so it could pose a problem for a 2020 release.

Really this is the least of our problems with the virus.

Somebody PLEASE hurry up and make a vaccine. -_-