Nintendo has addressed the company's shift to remote working as a result of the coronavirus pandemic during a recent financial results conference call. (opens in new tab)
During the call, representative director and president Shuntaro Furukawa talked about the impact of COVID-19 on both the production of Nintendo's hardware and game development. While Nintendo expressed that it's hopeful that the impact on manufacturing will subside to some degree by the summer if the situation isn't prolonged or worsens, working from home is expected to have a "large impact".
"As for game development being done remotely, since there are indeed big limitations on what can be done from home, we do think this will have a large impact," Furukawa said. "Nintendo has development partners and development offices not just in Japan, but all over the world. The first locations to be affected were the offices in Europe and America, where working from home started early. Then our offices in Japan also switched to working from home. In the case of Japan, this had a major impact on development because we did not already have a remote development environment in place."
Furukawa goes on to say that in spite of the change, Nintendo is gradually gaining experience in assessing what can and cannot be done remotely, and 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."
During the call, details of Nintendo's plans to release more titles "beyond the ones we have already announced" is also stated, with the current assumption that the games will still be released as planned. However, Furukawa does go on to express that "the differences in development environments between home and office may make it difficult to release titles as currently planned, should the impact be prolonged."
And for anyone who's been trying to get their hands on Ring Fit Adventure (opens in new tab), Nintendo also addressed the short supply of the game worldwide, and says it is continuing to manufacture the game in order to be able to continue to supply it to the market, "albeit gradually."
Stay up to date with all the latest upcoming Nintendo Switch games (opens in new tab).