This year has been a strange one at best, with a worldwide pandemic affecting everyone on Earth. The gaming industry is just one of the hundreds impacted by COVID-19, and will continue to for years to come. That being said, Nintendo has been frightfully silent this year. With Animal Crossing New Horizons and Paper Mario: The Origami King being some of the only first-party titles released, everyone’s waiting in anticipation and confusion for any substantial news.
All companies have been affected one way or another by COVID, especially Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Yet, both Sony and Microsoft have been handling the epidemic and work-at-home orders relatively well. Delays are to be expected, but Nintendo is still lagging slightly behind with just a few titles on their back, and nothing to look forward to.
Nintendo Vs. COVID
Shuntaro Furukawa, the president of Nintendo in Japan, spoke about how they’ve been battling against such a devastating worldly pandemic. He explained how Switch manufacturing had been delayed, and the company wouldn’t have the means to produce as fast as they used to. They also hoped that by the summer, the impact on production would decrease.
It’s not just about Switch manufacturing, but of social distancing as well,
Social distancing and teleworking became an issue for game development as well. “Since there are indeed big limitations on what can be done from home, we do think this will have a large impact,” Furukawa said.
This is all expected, as employees around the globe have trouble working from home. These could all be reasons why Nintendo hasn’t spoken about the upcoming Holiday season, or even 2021. Although, if COVID weren’t to happen, would they still let Sony and Microsoft lead the end of 2020 with the upcoming console launches?
New Console Generation
Nintendo has always done things their own way, and have never seen Sony or Microsoft as their rivals. Rather, they know what they do well and what they don’t do well after years of experimentation. Their latest console released just 3 years ago, whereas the current Sony and Microsoft consoles came out in 2013. The Wii U, which didn’t hold up sales-wise, came out just a year before then.
Nintendo knew the console wouldn’t last till the next generation, and the Switch is much too new to depart after 3 years of phenomenal sales. This means that Nintendo still plans to release big titles such as Breath Of The Wild 2, and Metroid Prime 4 soon. So…why not tell us what’s going on behind closed doors? Are they having trouble finishing some games, and are they just leaving the rest of 2020 to third-party titles?
The Silence From Marketing
Nintendo fans collectively know the quietness and silence from Nintendo is strange and worrying. The Japanese company these past few years has been gracious with their many first-party titles and announcements, but 2020 has changed everything. With a few Direct Mini’s, and randomly shadow dropping games, no one really knows what’s coming up.
It’s always a pleasure to see companies be open and on the forefront with updates and explanations. Nintendo could highly benefit from telling their fans the truth about how they’re being affected by COVID. Yes, they are a big corporation whose sales wouldn’t be affected by not telling their audience much, but it would be nice to hear what’s really going on.
We already know that Nintendo goes to the beat of their own drum, and being open with fans isn’t their forte. Written in a piece also wondering about Nintendo’s silence, there’s history to the company’s closed mouth,
The problem, though, is one of long term engagement. Nintendo has always been a secretive company, and with rare exceptions, likes to announce games very close to their release – but that has been stretched to absurd degrees this year.
That being said, maybe this silence is a good thing. Are they gearing up for major announcements? Are they waiting till after the new console generation arrives to showcase huge content? With less than half a year left, we still have no idea what’s up their sleeves.
Expect the unexpected for the next half of the year. We may never know why Nintendo is so silent this year, but the least we can do is speculate. Perhaps some of my insights helped you realize things, and maybe you have some theories of your own. Let us know in the comments! That being said, here’s a great video explaining Nintendo’s current situation perfectly.