Daybreak, Cryptic, City State, Frontier, and more MMO studios affected by worldwide pandemic shutdowns

    
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Daybreak, Cryptic, City State, Frontier, and more MMO studios affected by worldwide pandemic shutdowns

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make itself felt, we’ve got another quick roundup of news relevant to MMO players.

First, we’ve got a whole ‘nother slew of MMO and MMO-adjacent games studios that have shifted into a mostly or fully work-from-home/remote-working situation as many states and whole countries are under severe lockdown. City State Entertainment, Frontier, KingsIsle, Hi-Rez, and PWE/Cryptic are now among them, in addition to those we’ve noted in the last couple of weeks. Dual Universe studio Novaquark had to cancel a stress test but is working hard to get a new one up for folks stranded at home. CD Projekt Red is working remotely but not entertaining the idea of a delay for Cyberpunk 2077. And Daybreak’s substudios are working from home as well; thus far, only a hardware upgrade for PlanetSide 2 has actually been delayed. RuneScape put off an update as well.

Ankama, the French studio behind Wakfu and Dofus, posted a video about the impact on the company, saying that some game features and a planned server merge have been postponed. It’s granting free gametime for both games; hit the link and scroll down to the bottom to claim yours.

A few games have already kicked off in-game promotions as well. Project Gorgon is buffing folks: “To help alleviate virus-quarantine boredom, we’ll turn on a few extra buffs for the next few weeks,” says Elder Game. “The specific buffs will change every few days.” And here’s ARK Survival Evolved, which is extending harvesting rates. Rogue server SWG Legends dropped a lovely pep-talk for its community too:

And some kids in Japan figured out how to put virtual spaces in Minecraft to good use under quarantine.

Finally, GDC, one of the first conventions to take this seriously and shut down ahead of the pandemic becoming, well, an official pandemic, will be streaming its award ceremonies Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT on Twitch, with broadcasting of some events already underway.

Please please please be safe out there, folks.

More on the impact of the virus on gaming:

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JonBuck
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JonBuck

I lost my job on March 9, but not due to this. Just ordinary staff cuts. At least I have more time to play games between sending out resumes.

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BalsBigBrother

Good luck and I hope you land a new job as soon as possible.

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Jack Pipsam

That’s rough, hope you land on your feet quickly :)

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Sorenthaz

I work at a tech support help desk and there’s already a big push to get everyone working remotely, which is kind of funny since they were very selective/careful not to allow too many remote workers until now. Surprising how quickly things can change.

In general it’s pretty crazy how big this coronavirus stuff is, especially when it, in theory, doesn’t seem that bad (but its ability to spread and potentially bog down hospitals/etc. definitely is bad). Hopefully with the measures being taken to slow/reduce the spread businesses/daily life/etc. won’t be disrupted for too long.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Its that bad because even 0.5% of 30% of 327.2 million is still half a million people which is still a ~1.2x the expected deaths for the year*. And that’s in a good outcome, and not counting the effects of an overwhelming surge on the healthcare system, and sustained effects of healthcare burden, economic weakness, etc.

To be clear, this isn’t projected to just affect 1/3 of Americans with only a 0.5% death rate of infected. It is potentially going to be the biggest cause of death in 2020.

If all goes well its going to be a relative blip that largely settles by the end of summer and, while a tragic situation, society will get over it. Officials appear to be waking up to the potentiality of it *not* going well, in which case forget about my more optimistic numbers. While most official word keeps talking about a 2-week ‘break’, 1-3 months is an easy possibility, and several months or more would be resorted to if spread isn’t stopped.

I don’t think any business wants to be responsible for a virus spreading through their offices and killing their older, more compromised, and otherwise ‘random’ workers.

*talking about USA though I’m Canadian, and talking about medical matters from my armchair

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Jack Pipsam

Gold Farmers will soon be accepting toilet paper as currency.

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Castagere Shaikura

Wow listening or getting medical advice or opinions on a gaming website is what’s wrong and why people are hoarding toilet paper. Please lock this thread.

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Tim Anderson

Our entire studio has been remote since 2014, so it’s business as usual for us :)

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Armsman
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Utakata

*Pigtails wipe the daily consumed mocha off the screen*

…you owe me a new monitor! >.<

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Sorenthaz

.

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Amorey

Two weeks ago someone kept telling us this was just unnecessary scaremongering when the first gaming events started to get canceled.

Where are they now ?

I am very grateful to all of the devs and employees keeping the games going from their homes. Now we need games more than ever.

In your own little way, you are heros to me. Thank You <3

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starbuck1771

((Deleted by mod. This is not ok.))

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Blake

Never mind, not worth it. *edited*

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I’m right here, I still think it’s over board; we’re approaching a Depression over this when realistically the attrition rate does not warrant it. 22,000 Flu deaths this year in the US alone, 291,000 to 646,000 deaths world wide (because not all Nations have the resources to keep those kinds of records I guess).

No one bats an eye over the flu, they should though.

The vast majority of people that get Covid 19 recover and move on, most of the infected don’t even get hospitalized.

Hell It’s bad but we’re not throwing the whole world into a depression over Cancer Deaths or Heart Disease, I’ve personally seen a lot of people die from that in my line of work.

Like I told Bree in another article, while I seem glib keep in mind every day I go to work I see people dying, I’ve had to do Post Mortem Care on dozens of patients over the 10 years I’ve worked at the Hospital.

That some one you’re talking about is literally on the Front Line while you folks are chilling at home with your fortresses made out of cases of Toilet Paper.

You’re welcome by the way, I’m far more likely to get sick and die from this than you.

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Witches

Being in the frontline doesn’t make you any wiser, or did you somehow made it through medical school without hearing about Pasteur?

The medical field has a lot of overblown egos that expect the rest of us to act as if we were still a neolithic tribe in awe of their medicine men.

I read your post and missed the part where letting less than 22000 people die from something that can be avoided with isolation was a good thing, but hey , i’m not a pathologist, so what do i know.

Comparing this to the flu is like comparing the numbers of people who starve to death against deaths from eating disorders.

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Raidervc

You’re clearly not an advanced degree practitioner or likely even a BSN because you are embarrassing yourself with your ignorance about the epidemiology surrounding Covid-19. You should probably take your glib, self-congratulatory opinion and find a different career path if you don’t understand the implications of this particular viral pandemic.

Signed,

An actual advanced degree practitioner

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

You are too focused on the CFR. I mean, granted the CFR is important, and even if it’s half of what we think it is, it’s still 3 million additional deaths. 3. million. We can’t conceptually understand that many- but its like 3/4ths of LA just … vanished.

BUT there’s other math that’s scarier. The CFR is estimated between 1 and 2.5% right now, but we have been holding pretty steady at 20% of those infected require additional intervention – typically involving an inpatient stay. Based on the population of the US and assuming ~ 80% of the US population infected, that’s north of 50 million people requiring additional intervention.

The gross number of hospital beds in the US sits just shy of 1 million, with a significant number being occupied by existing patients. If even 1/5th of that 50 million require additional intervention, you are talking 10million people, more than 10 times the gross number of beds available. So the real issue will be without aggressive quarantine, we risk over running the capabilities of our healthcare system to treat. If we overwhelm the system, then the CFR rate goes up because those people requiring additional intervention who don’t get it die, combined with additional deaths from non-COVID related health emergencies that require interventions that won’t be available.

So the net of this is ultimately everyone will be exposed and likely infected, but we the lockdowns and response is trying to ‘flatten the curve’ as I’m sure you’ve seen.

None of this actually takes into account that the hospital beds are not evenly distributed across the country The places likely to be hit the hardest are major cities where the beds per capita ratio is worse. Which compounds the problem.

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Mewmew

Covid-19 is at minimum ten times and quite often about twenty times more deadly than the flu and far more sneaky, this long incubation period where you don’t show symptoms, very catching. It’s spreading easier than the flu does without defenses or shots to help against it and the death rate is 10-20 times higher. What you’re saying is just plain ignorant.

This isn’t contained, this is spreading through everybody. With a death rate this much higher than the flu and being actually easier to catch and spread it’s of extreme concern and much worse than the usual flu we’re used to.

Covid-19 may even be here every year seasonally from here on out. It’s so much more dangerous, so much worse than the flu we’re used to for so many reasons. How could you possibly be as clueless as you are while claiming you’re “on the frontline”?

You’re repeating the old information they gave to try and keep people calm, either that or you’re telling yourself this because you claim to be “on the frontline” and you want to keep yourself calm so you repeat information that just isn’t real. Your misinformation isn’t helping anybody.

You’re ridiculously sticking to information that is blatantly wrong just to argue and say you were right. I replied to tell you how wrong you were back when the first US death happened, and now that the real information is circulating a lot more it’s plain to everybody else how wrong you are as well.

I don’t get to be chilling at home in a toilet paper fortress, I have to be out there too. That doesn’t make me an expert, and I would never presume to say “you’re welcome” to people for doing my job or helping out. What a terrible and miserable way to be.

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cursedseishi

Yeah, no I’ll listen to actual experts. Not some self-aggrandizing tat who pats himself on the back with every post they make on this–or any chance really where they find an excuse.

And especially one who is so ignorant of how things work that they feel they can provide disinformation by lying through omission.

My family as a majority are immune-compromised. So especially on this, f*** right off, because they are more likely to DIE than you. If you want to kiss your own ass, do it in private.

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Tuor of Gondolin

Right here. It *is* unneccessary fear-mongering. So far this year, the Flu has killed upwards of 50,000 people in the US alone, according to the CDC. And the mortality rate is higher, too.

It’s not that this coronavirus isn’t dangerous — it is, obviously. It is that the dangers are being blown way out of proportion to what is involved, IMO.

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Amorey

I respect your views, guys, and I can understand how all this may look from where you are, but I still think prudence is better than risk in a pandemic. If this was just a flu virus we would not be commenting on gaming companies been affected, and people would still go about their dailies lives as per usual, but here we are. I despise the panic and the anxiety this is creating, news outlets and social media are fueling a lot of disinformation and fake news, but I do trust my family back in Northern Italy. They are well but they are very scared, and people are dying in their hundreds every day. Imagine how you would feel if your elderly parents where there, locked in a house and alone and you were in a different country.

Yes we are stuck at home, but not by choice, we are told we must do it by the government here, and I am definitely not hiding behind a wall of toilet paper. I am glad many companies are taking steps to protect their employees, and keep games open, and I am also grateful to all those who go out and work every day in health services, or food distributions and outlets. I am helping my elderly neighbours as it is a scary time for them as they self-isolate, so there this is how I am ‘chilling’

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Raidervc

“Flu has killed upwards of 50,000 in the US alone.”
Okay, so now we have Covid-19 with an estimated infection rate of 30%, with 15% resulting in severe infections requiring oxygen and 5% requiring critical care support. Now add in an estimated mortality rate, let’s just use a range of 1-4%. The US is at 1.9% and internationally ranges 3-4%.
Even using the 1.9% mortality rate with a 30% infection rate would eclipse heart disease and cancer by three fold.

The numbers are out there. It’s not hard to see why this requires such drastic steps to flatten the curve and reduce the infection rate dramatically.

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Utakata

Folks view 1.9% as a tiny number, unfortunately. And to a degree they’re right if the infection rate was stupidly small. But then hypothetically assuming everyone would get this, 1.9% of over 7 billion souls is a lot of people. So that number becomes insurmountably huge. And this on top everything else that kills us…I don’t think any country could build mass graves fast enough to keep up with the ensuing mortality rate…

There is a good reason why we must flatten that curve.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

What are you talking about? Covid-19 is at the minimum ten times more deadly than the flu. *Minimum*. The death rate of the flu is only .1% in the US. We’re hoping we can get Covid-19 down to 1% (we haven’t, but are hoping to).

Let’s say we do get it down to 1%. If 50 million Americans get the seasonal flu, we end up with 50,000 deaths. If 50 million Americans get Covid-19 there will be 500,000 deaths.

It’s spreading like wildfire despite the precautions we’re taking. People all around me here already have it despite not living in a city.

A ten times higher death rate with something that spreads easier than the flu (longer incubation period where it is highly infectious when people aren’t showing symptoms), people taking it lightly is what is still letting it spread around more.

How could you possibly say the mortality rate of the Flu is higher? The Covid-19 mortality rate has been ten to thirty times higher. Seriously, after you say something as ridiculously off as that there really is nothing more I care to hear from you.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

The disinformation is sickening, but sadly the people are still out there spouting it despite how wrong they’ve been proved already.

It’s easy enough to find the right and real information so we have to try not to listen to them. It’s almost like they’re trolls, only it is far worse. Disinformation is more than just irritating, it’s actually dangerous for people who listen and believe it. That’s why it’s so hard not to respond to them.

Most people are doing the right stuff now, despite starting it all too late. If we took it more seriously and started earlier we may have caught this before it spread much.

The only reason it won’t be as bad as it would have is because of our self quarantining that we’re doing now. If we just went along as if it was nothing like many of the people with disinformation think we should do, the death toll in the end would have been much worse.

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starbuck1771

Fear is the real killer. Screw stress.

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Utakata

No, fear is big a driver for misunderstanding. Thus ignorance maybe a bigger killer…

…not sure what this has to do with the topic at hand though.

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Bruno Brito

Believe whatever you want.

Just stay at home. I don’t care if you’re stressed, or borderline psychotic. Break your stuff. Take a shower. Shove your head on a pillow and scream.

AT HOME.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Good to see you’re still kicking around.