Now that E3 isn’t happening in June, companies are all free to have their various announcements whenever they feel like it, including Nintendo, who is reportedly telling partners it won’t be holding its annual E3 Nintendo Direct during June at all, and instead will be aiming for an equivalent presentation later in the summer.
According to a report from VentureBeat, the entire presentation has seen shifts and changes due to companies working from home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in Nintendo making the call to hold off until “the very end of summer.” While we don’t know everything the company intends to announce, Nintendo’s E3-adjacent Direct typically brings some of its biggest announcements of the year. Based on reports about the company’s current projects, this is likely where we would have heard more information about the Super Mario remasters that are apparently planned to commemorate the series’ 35th anniversary. Other possibilities could have included updates on Pokemon Sword & Shield’s DLC and maybe even the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, and that’s just projects we know are in the works. Whether this will affect other announcements the company has stated were coming in June but never explicitly tied to the hypothetical E3 Direct like the Arms character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is yet to be seen.
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This isn’t the first time Nintendo’s been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as last month the company closed down its repair centers until it’s safe for its workers to return to work. But generally, just about everyone in the industry has been affected by the pandemic in one way or another. Work-from-home setups are now complicating development to the point where delays are coming right and left, both for general game updates like Final Fantasy XIV, to entire games like The Last of Us: Part II and Iron Man VR. While the former has a new release date (but only after the game leaked online), the latter still has been delayed into the abyss and has no new release window.
E3 wasn’t the only industry event that suffered in the wake of the pandemic, as Gamescom and GDC are both being basically upheaved as they attempt to still hold their events in some form this year. While Gamescom has been officially cancelled in terms of its physical presence in Germany, it will exist in digital form with livestreams and digital presentations still planned. GDC is being a little more optimistic, as instead of cancelling itself outright it merely postponed itself out of March and into August as “GDC Summer.” But given that Gamescom was meant to take place the same month and is still being cancelled, it doesn’t seem out of the question to see an announcement for GDC Fall or GDC Winter sometime soon.