It’s no secret that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has had a massive effect on global society. Major events are being canceled left and right, air travel has decreased, and anxiety among the populace continues to grow as the virus spreads to more and more countries seemingly on a daily basis. Over in the USA, particularly on the west coast, new confirmed cases of infections continue to rise rapidly. Thus, Nintendo of America, based in Washington, has decided to let its employees work from home.
Kotaku has obtained a statement from Nintendo which confirmed that it is doing this as a “precautionary step.”
Here is the full statement:
“Nintendo of America has taken the precautionary step to allow NOA employees in the states of California and Washington the opportunity to work from home. The safety and wellbeing of our employees is our top priority. We are continuing to closely monitor COVID-19 developments, and share our concerns and support for those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Many companies in different countries have taken similar measures. While this societal separation may very well not stop the virus from moving around, it will at least slow down its progress and help control the spread. As time goes on, we may see many other gaming companies (as well as other companies general) do the same that Nintendo of America has. For the record, Microsoft has also allowed the same work from home privilege for its employees that are also based in Redmond, Washington—the same city as NOA.
The COVID-19 outbreak has had an effect on a lot of different things, but particularly in the gaming realm, it’s affected just about everything. In addition to regular events like GDC 2020 being postponed, even console manufacturing has been slowed down.
The ramifications of the response to the virus are highly likely to echo throughout the rest of the year, as any delays now will snowball as more time passes. This will result in deadlines being overrun and having to be readjusted. At least Nintendo doesn’t have to worry about launching new hardware this year like its competitors are trying to do.