Another day, another discussion about the horrible Coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe. I’d love to sit here and write an article about a complete different topic to distract both you and me but let’s be honest, the pressing issue will be at the back of our minds anyway so why not tackle some issues head on. It goes without saying that a delayed game or movie is a tiny issue in the grand scheme of things but I’m not qualified to discuss political or health issues, I am however qualified to waffle on about what sort of effect it may have on our video games and movies.
I want to start off by discussing the biggest casualty in all of this and that’s our beloved E3. It’s no secret that E3 was struggling before the virus hit, with the likes of Nintendo and PlayStation opting to skip the gaming conference in favour of their own live streams in recent years. Although E3 no longer looked to be the destination of where the console wars began, it was still the go-to event for publishers to reveal their biggest titles. Now with the event being officially cancelled this year, publishers will be announcing their games without the aid of an E3 stage. In fairness, E3 have claimed that they will be running live streams to announce the latest games but once the publishers see how easy and cheap it is to just stream the announcements with the same results, many may favour this route in future. I’d personally hate to see E3 close its doors for good but the truth of the matter is that I can’t really see any other option at this point.
I genuinely can’t see this being too much of an issue but there is always a chance we see yet more delays when it comes to upcoming game releases this year. In most countries we have all been told to work from home if possible and guess what… this will definitely include your favourite game developers! This is not to say that all games in 2020 will be halted, in fact most publishers will likely want their games out while everyone is stuck at home but it may not be possible. There’s also the issues with physical copies of the games, they have to actually be made and shipped out by someone and if those companies are in lockdown then it doesn’t happen, end of story. In an age where so much of our content is digital, we may get away with major releases through download only but only time will tell at this point. With something like this never happening before in our lifetime, it’s really hard to predict how all this will play out. I can’t help but chuckle though at the irony of The Last Of Us Part 2 potentially being delayed by a deadly worldwide virus!
So the chances of getting our new games are 50/50 but what about movies? Well as most of you have probably already seen, it’s not looking good. We’re being told not to gather in groups so the cinema seems like a bad idea, even the cinema’s themselves see this and many have made the decision to close. In fact at the time of writing, my local cinema has today closed its doors for an indefinite period of time. It comes as no surprise then that movie studios big and small are pulling their movies from the remaining theatres as they know full well that nobody will be going out to see them. The next giant MCU movie – Black Widow was the latest victim to fall to this so us nerds are now left in the dark as to when we can get our Marvel fix. Some studios have taken it upon themselves to try flip this into a positive though. Recently released horror – The Invisible Man for example will be available early for digital download in an attempt to regain box office losses. It depends how long this pandemic lasts for but there’s a strong chance we see other blockbuster movies follow suit. Could we see something like Black Widow go straight to Disney+ for example? Watch this space!
Let’s face it, if you have a hobby or interest of any kid, it’s going to be effected by this. I love my live music and can’t help but worry how much of an effect this will have on small bands and venues which rely on constant touring to survive. All sporting events including the upcoming Euro’s have been postponed until further notice and even WrestleMania, the most over-hyped, yet biggest wrestling show of the year will be held in an empty gym rather than its usual 70,000 plus seat stadium!
It feels as if life is on pause and that includes all our nerdy interests, here’s hoping that we can continue as normal asap. Until then though, remember to try support the thing you love even if its not happening right now! Your most anticipated game is delayed again? Don’t cancel your preorder and maybe consider picking up an older game from that developer to help them out. Got an upcoming gig or big event that’s been cancelled or postponed? Maybe don’t push for that refund unless you really need it and maybe buy some band merch while you’re at it. We have to stick together and help each other out at a time like this but let’s also try help out the people who keep us entertained all year round. Stay safe everyone and look after yourself and others.Become a Patron!