Nintendo Says Its Developers Face “Big Limitations” Working From Home

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, developers around the world are working from home to stay safe and healthy. Working on video games at home isn’t proving to be the easiest, however.

Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said in Nintendo’s latest earnings briefing that its developers, and its partner studios, are facing “big limitations” working from home. As such, the company expects this to result in a “large impact” on the business.

“Since there are indeed big limitations on what can be done from home, we do think this will have a large impact,” Furukawa said. “Nintendo has development partners and development offices not just in Japan, but all over the world. The first locations to be affected were the offices in Europe and America, where working from home started early. Then our offices in Japan also switched to working from home. In the case of Japan, this had a major impact on development because we did not already have a remote development environment in place.”

Furukawa said Nintendo’s teams are “gradually gaining experience” as it relates to best practices in the new work-from-home environment. Furukawa also warned investors and analysts that whatever impact there is on game development “may potentially increase” in the future as workers stay home for longer and longer periods of time.

In response to the pandemic, Nintendo has warned that both game and hardware sales will be diminished in the time ahead. The company expects to sell 19 million Switch consoles during the fiscal year (down from 21.03 million for the year prior) and game sales to fall to 140 million (down from 168.72 million).

Nintendo has yet to announce any delays for its upcoming games or hardware, however.

Nintendo is not alone in forecasting an impact on the business due to the COVID-19. Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently admitted that some 2021 games might be delayed due to the virus.

2020 is also the year of next-generation consoles, and both Microsoft and Sony maintain that their new machines will release on schedule this holiday period.

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