Nintendo thinks working remotely “will have a large impact” – big effect on development in Japan, “gradually gaining experience”
Nintendo has again addressed the coronavirus and how it will impact the company moving forward.
According to president Shuntaro Furukawa, “this will have a large impact.” Although its North American and European offices have been effected, Japan has been hit hard in particular due to a lack of remote development environment. On the bright side, Nintendo is “gradually gaining experience in assessing what can and cannot be done remotely, and in determining how much progress we can make on the work we are able to do from home.”
Below are Furukawa’s full words, which also address parts procurement for hardware:
Regarding the information about risks related to COVID-19, you explained earlier that it is affecting parts procurement. What parts are lacking in the Nintendo Switch production process? Given that demand for smartphones has not dropped, I suspect there will be concerns about insufficient semiconductor memory in the medium term. Can Nintendo revise its Nintendo Switch hardware production plan upwards in terms of its production volume? In addition, regarding software development, we have heard from other companies that creating assets such as textures (the patterns and images applied to the surface of 3D objects) is very difficult while working remotely. Have you had such issues?
I cannot provide any comment from Nintendo about which parts have procurement issues at this time, because this relates to other companies’ business with us. Regarding the question of whether the procurement situation for semiconductor memory or other components is affecting our production plans, considering the demand for smartphones and other products going forward, this situation has not imposed any restrictions on our production or sales plans in particular.
As for game development work being done remotely, since there are indeed big limitations on what can be done from home, we do think this will have a large impact. 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. But even so, we are gradually gaining experience in assessing what can and cannot be done remotely, and in determining how much progress we can make on the work we are able to do from home. Please be aware that the impact on game development in terms of both hardware and software may potentially increase as the amount of time spent working remotely increases.