If the coronavirus continues to get worse or lengthens the shut downs in worldwide countries and markets, Nintendo warns that Switch games could get delayed
In its latest FY2020 earnings report, Nintendo outlined a number of risk factors for its business. COVID-19, which has thrown a monkey wrench in the already-chaotic machine of games development, could have a direct impact on Nintendo's upcoming slate.
Devs are forced to work from home and key things like motion capture and voice recording are all hard to come by. The company was lucky enough to dodge significant development impact by releasing Pokemon in 2018 and Animal Crossing before the shutdowns in 2020, but other Switch games might not be so lucky.
"We would like to discuss the impact on research and development. If the effects of COVID-19 are prolonged or worsen further, development schedules may be impacted due to the difference in development environments between working from home and in the office," Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said in the latest earnings report.
"In particular, the impact to overseas subsidiaries and other affiliated companies involved in development is anticipated to be even more difficult to predict than within Japan. As a result of these factors, we may not be able to proceed with the release of Nintendo products and the start of services as planned. This is also true for other software publishers, so it may not be possible to provide game content on Nintendo platforms as planned."
It's worth mentioning that the biggest upcoming first-party games like Breath of the Wild 2, Bayonetta 3, and Metroid Prime 4 are all still listed as TBA.
Nintendo has already telegraphed a thinner games slate for this fiscal year. As a result of potential COVID-19 impact, Nintendo expects to learn less in FY2021 across the board. All metrics are down, from net sales to profits and both hardware and software sales.