Phil Spencer explains why coronavirus game delays are more likely in 2021

(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Xbox head Phil Spencer has suggested the worst impact of COVID-19 upon the games industry won't be felt until 2021. However, he reiterated that an Xbox Series X delay remains out of the question for Microsoft. 

"Through the summer, early fall? I feel pretty good about those games," said Spencer in a new interview with Business Insider. "Games that were targeting a year from now or beyond? There'll be some impact, but they'll be able to react."

Spencer then explained why he believes that game delays are going to be felt more keenly next year. He said: "Mocap is just something that's basically stopped. We're not going into mocap studios," explained Spencer, using an exampled of one area of game development that cannot be pursued when working from home. 

"If you had all your animation captured and you're doing touch up in more individual art production and in areas like textures and other things, you're in a better position. If you're waiting for a lot of either large audio work — when it's with symphonies and other things — or mocap, you're held up right now and you're making progress in areas that you are."

Spencer also recently confirmed that Xbox would not push back the Holiday launch of its next-gen console the Xbox Series X if a launch title such as Halo Infinite had to be pushed back, but warned that game delays are more likely an outcome of the pandemic's impact on the industry than that of hardware. 

Meanwhile, the company has revealed it'll be debuting more gameplay from its exclusive slate of upcoming Xbox Series X games in July, so stay tuned to GamesRadar for more on that in the summer. 

For more, check out more upcoming PS4 games for 2020 and beyond, or watch our next gen episode of Dialogue Options below. 

Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!