The Games Industry Will See Impacts from COVID-19 in Early 2021, Says Xbox's Phil Spencer

While the launch of the Xbox Series X is still set this holiday, Xbox's Phil Spencer says the games industry may see an impact in 2021 due to COVID-19.

In a report from Business Insider, Xbox’s Phil Spencer says the video game industry will start seeing an impact from COVID-19 in early 2021.

“Mocap is just something that’s basically stopped. We’re not going into mocap studios,” says Spencer. “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 goes onto say that he thinks games scheduled for release this summer and fall won’t see as much of an impact. As for games releasing in the next year or so, he says those will see some impact but could react and adapt to it.

“Even though we’re obviously not traveling to China, we feel good about our progress on hardware,” Spencer continues. “I’ve got my take-home [console] downstairs and I’m playing on it most nights, and I feel good about the software updates that we’re doing. From the kind of pomp and circumstance around launches, you might find a time where there’s some impact, some things that were going to launch, and maybe they moved a little bit.”

Despite COVID-19 causing delays across every industry, Spencer says the Xbox Series X is still set to launch this holiday. More recently, Xbox released the Xbox Series Showcase which highlighted 13 games coming to the system. However, the showcase was underwhelming as a whole due to not showing off next-gen gameplay as it was advertised. This lead to Xbox’s Aaron Greenberg to say that they set wrong expectations for the event. Following this month’s event, Xbox will continue releasing more information leading up to launch with Xbox 20/20, which will show off things like gameplay and a look at what their first-party studios are working on.

The Xbox Series X is set to release this holiday. You can check out last week’s Inside Xbox below if you want to see what they showed off. You can also check out our written recap of the event right here.

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David Gill

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