Xbox and PlayStation eye impact of coronavirus on game development

"The health and safety of our teams is our top priority."

Microsoft and Sony have both issued statements on the possible impact coronavirus may have on their first-party Xbox and PlayStation games in development.

Neither platform holder has announced game delays as yet while the crisis ramps up in Europe and North America - where each has many major development studios. However, each company has warned delays remain a possibility.

Microsoft's statement, issued by Xbox game studio chief Matt Booty, focuses on the need to ensure the health of its staff first, while remaining committed to high quality games.

"We know that gaming connects people during times of social distancing, and we are committed to delivering the highest quality Xbox Game Studios games for our global community of players," Booty said (thanks, Gamespot).

"At the same time, the health and safety of our Xbox Game Studios development teams is our top priority. Each studio is facing unique challenges and constraints depending on its particular location, and many of our external development partners around the world are similarly affected.

"We are supporting our studio leaders to make the right decisions for their teams and their individual games during this challenging time."

Sony, meanwhile, said it is keeping a close eye on the possibility for game development to be delayed. Like Microsoft, Sony has many of its staff worldwide now working remotely.

"Although no issues have emerged so far," the company wrote, "Sony is carefully monitoring the risk of delays in production schedules for game software titles at both its first-party studios and partner studios, primarily in Europe and the US."

That said, Sony added it estimated there would be "no material impact" on its business for the current financial year - which it would be unlikely to suggest if the launch of the PlayStation 5 itself were to be delayed.

Indeed, the four Chinese manufacturing plants Sony uses have already reopened following a brief government-mandated shutdown. "Supply issues remain," Sony concluded, "but operations are returning to the level they were before the spread of the virus."

Last week, Microsoft also reaffirmed its commitment to the company's "holiday 2020" launch window for Xbox Series X.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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