Nintendo president discusses COVID-19’s impact on Switch sales and game development

Remote work could also delay game releases if the pandemic worsens.

Image via Nintendo

Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa recently talked to investors about how the coronavirus has affected the company’s sales and game development, according to a report from GamesIndustry.biz. The pandemic has slowed down Switch production and game releases could be delayed.

Switch production was reduced in March and April due to the impact of COVID-19 on component manufacturing. “As a result, we are not in a position to be able to produce the full quantity of units we actually want to produce,” Furukawa said.

The Nintendo president said there are signs of improvement, though, and the impact on production should decrease by the summer. The company expects to reach the 19 million Switch units sold forecast for the fiscal year. That may not happen if the global pandemic becomes worse or is prolonged, however.

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.

The company’s expectations are low regarding games releasing as planned. Titles scheduled to be launched in the current fiscal year may change their release dates with Nintendo and its partners’ development teams working from home.

Furukawa said Nintendo is gradually learning how to deal with adversities from COVID-19, though. Teams are assessing what can be adapted to be done remotely, what can’t, and measuring how much progress can be made.

“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,” Furukawa said.

To prepare for that, Nintendo will promote existing games that haven’t reached their sales potential, such as Ring Fit Adventure.