Nintendo talks impact of coronavirus on production, sales, and game development
Posted on July 3, 2020 by Brian(@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News, Switch
Like many companies, Nintendo has been dealing with the effects of the coronavirus since the pandemic started earlier this year. President Furukawa, speaking during the 80th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, discussed the impact it’s had on three key areas: production, sales, and game development.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our business can broadly be categorized by how it affects our production, sales, and development work. First, regarding production, factory operations in China were temporarily halted in February, but production there started to recover in March. Since then, the spread of COVID-19 throughout the world has affected the procurement of parts required for manufacturing, causing delays in production of Nintendo Switch hardware through May. Production has largely recovered now, and we estimate that the volume of products shipped will increase going forward. As we mentioned during our announcement of the financial results in May, our current expectation is that production activities will be able to return to normal in the summer.
Next, with regard to sales, there are certain restrictions on sales activities in retail shops due to the restrictions on going outside the home, which are stricter in overseas markets than those in effect in Japan. As the result of e-commerce which retailers have tried to utilize under the circumstances as well as downloadable versions of software available for purchase, the impact to sales of Nintendo products has been minimal.
Regarding the current work arrangements in Japan, although the Declaration of a State of Emergency has been lifted, employees who are able to work from home continue to do so.
Regarding the employees who absolutely need to be in the office due to the nature of their work under the requirements of each department, we are taking a flexible approach including a rotating schedule for on-site work with measures to strictly maintain social distancing.”
Shinya Takahashi (director, senior managing executive officer) weighed in on the situation as well. We have official confirmation that games planned for this fiscal year have not been affected, though projects could be affected “if the impact of COVID-19 is prolonged or becomes more severe”.
“While product development is a little behind schedule in some areas due to the impact of COVID19, game releases planned for this fiscal year are currently not affected. However, if the impact of COVID-19 is prolonged or becomes more severe, we may not be able to release future titles in line with existing plans.
On a related note, a few developers worked on creating a game called Jump Rope Challenge during the working from home period. We can jump rope by holding a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controller in each hand and rotating their wrists while jumping. There tends to be a lack of exercise due to the ‘stay at home initiatives,’ so we are pleased to distribute this title free of charge for all Nintendo Switch users. It was released 10 days ago, and as of this morning, users have jumped about 590 million times worldwide.”