The Daily Grind: How much do you see COVID-19 impacting the MMO sphere?

    
30
In space, no one can transmit illness.

It’s not really surprising that COVID-19 is having an impact on gaming. No, the disease is not rampaging through the world with a horribly high mortality rate, but fear of spreading the disease cancelled esports events for League of Legends in China and has now caused the cancellation of EVE Online‘s Fanfest in April. Companies pulled out of PAX East in large numbers, GDC has now been postponed, and so on. And we don’t know how much more is going to happen at this point.

Speaking personally, I think there’s quite a bit more time until things like BlizzCon or the Final Fantasy XIV fan festival in November, but as the events get pulled from schedules it’s feeling somewhat more ambiguous with regards to how much this is going to impact gaming as a whole and MMOs in particular. So how much do you see COVID-19 impacting the MMO sphere over the course of the year? Any more high-profile cancellations, or are we dealing with the biggest impact already?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
Advertisement

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Mordyjuice
Reader
Mordyjuice

Only through overhyping the disease, unfortunately it’s lead to over reactions that have disrupted the economy through rushes on supermarkets, and panic on Wall Street (imagine if people got this freaked out about a causality maker such as the Flu). The only scary thing about this virus is unknown incubation lengths, that said those of us on the front line know how it’s transmitted and how to protect our selves which is actually no different than what you’d do to protect your self from the Flu.

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

It’s not overhyped. If anything, they’re downplaying just how bad it is.

The mortality rate may be low but it spreads fairly easily and more people have died from it already than the past three big health scares combined. Maybe if your entire family gets it, only your Grandmother will die and the rest of you will be fine, is that worth going to the conventions?

And the normal Flu *is* also dangerous, but we have all sorts of defenses against the normal flu to keep at-risk people safe. This is new. We don’t have those defenses. People also have it and spread it for a longer time without knowing they even have it yet. At-risk people are going to die much easier, and it’s not worth it.

People have started to die in the US now. I’m sure that knowing that people just went on with life as normal and spread it to the people that are dying is of great comfort to their loved ones.

We need to limit the spread as we’ve been trying to do. Imagine how bad this outbreak would be if we were all just going about our lives not trying to limit the spread of it? Luckily “those on the front line” do a lot of quarantining and tell people to try and limit travel.

If you want to catch it, that’s your choice, but the selfishness of not limiting your behavior puts others at risk, and that isn’t fair to them or their families.

There are all sorts of people that have it right now and are spreading it around to others. 2-3% of them will be dead in three weeks. It’s all around the world now, it could be anybody you know.

We know the flu, we’re used to the flu, that is also dangerous and shouldn’t be spread around either, but this is something more.

This lackadaisical attitude of “just handle life as you usually would to avoid the flu” is one of the reasons why this is able to spread around the world like it is. People who think like that and who are telling other people not to worry much about it are doing nothing but helping the disease spread around to more of the population.

Thanks but no thanks, cancel the conventions, it isn’t worth it.

The only way I could see someone saying it didn’t matter was if they thought it was spreading so much that we all were going to be exposed to it anyway (which is eventually entirely likely). But even then, pushing the date we’re exposed to it back so they know more about combating it is still a good thing. I’d rather be exposed to it later after many more months of research and knowledge about it than right now.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Chances are it won’t actually impact gaming and might encourage more folks to get into MMOs while holing up in their houses if the worst case scenario comes to pass. Just the events for PR and marketing will be affected, and at the moment there’s no reason to believe that it’ll last for too long. There is the worry of course that it could come back when it gets colder again in the fall, but by April or May chances are that things will settle down and we won’t be seeing late spring/summer conventions being affected.

rafael12104
Reader
rafael12104

Now this is a weird one. And something I didn’t think could happen. PR events, cons, etc. will continue to be affected. But for most devs this will not pose a huge problem launching a game digitally.

There would have to be some adjustments, but it is very likely that any real delays will be due to tech issues not a lack of antibacterial masks.

And so, yes. It is possible that video games will be largely immunized.

BUT will customers turn to video game entertainment as a way to of offsetting the Convid-19 risks. I think so.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Events: highly disrupted, and for good reason. Until this epidemic (or perhaps pandemic) ends, it’s highly foolish to go anywhere you will find hundreds or thousands of people from across the globe in a small space, and particularly an enclosed one.

Operations/development: some disruption, but far less than the economy at large. Much of the work can be done remotely, and almost none of it requires personal contact with consumers or suppliers.

Economic impact: I expect gaming — including MMOs — to suffer almost no negative impact, or perhaps to even come out a bit stronger. An epidemic means people staying inside and avoiding human contact, naturally leading to people migrating from entertainment options like movie theaters, shows, and tourism, towards things that can be done at home like gaming. And while the weak economy will likely result in less money for entertainment, people tend to cancel first the most expensive/least effective entertainment options, so entertainment that offers a lot of bang for the buck — like gaming — tends to be spared.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

I mean in some ways if more folk are staying at home, gaming rates might go up.

Which must double-suck for Chinese players with those awful time-limit laws put in place by their awful government.

Techno Wizard
Reader
Techno Wizard

As long as the MMO servers stay up and running, then it’s business as usual.

Reader
jinarra

Aaaaa. It’s basicaly captain tripps. Aaaa. We’re all going to die.

(This has been your sleep-deprived bit of sarcasm for the day.)

Reader
Utakata

I know I personally won’t get that Mexican beer virus by playing MMO’s. As it hasn’t mutated to Snow Crash mechanics yet…least I hope note. >.<

Reader
Giggilybits

But doesn’t someone have to go to work to look after the servers and the tech and all that crap.

Reader
Bryan Correll

Outside areas where the virus is already spreading spreading through the community there’s no reason to worry about daily work activities. What makes conventions and tournaments a problem is that they draw people in from a wide (even global) area.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Actually, work activities that are done without direct human contact — like server maintenance — provide minimal risk, if any, even if done at the company site. Besides, a number of support tasks can be done from home if needed, allowing even an infected person to keep working as usual (assuming he or she only has mild symptoms, like about 80% of the known cases).

So, wile response times might get longer, I don’t expect servers to fall into disrepair to the point of causing long outages.

Reader
Robert Mann

Public events are minimal to begin with, so the impact will just remain minimal even if the panic persists… which it probably won’t.

Reader
Bryan Correll

Yup. Online gaming doesn’t require interaction in meatspace, Conventions and stadium tournaments are just peripheral that the overwhelming majority of players were not going to get involved with anyway.