Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer feels optimistic about the future of the video game industry after the pandemic, even though delays will be felt into 2021 (via Destructoid).
Speaking to Business Insider, he said that he “feel[s] pretty good” about the games to launch in the latter half of 2020. “Games that were targeting a year from now or beyond? There’ll be some impact, but they’ll be able to react,” qualified Spencer. This is due to the production problems that some developers are facing as a result of the different reactions to the pandemic around the world. “Mocap is just something that’s basically stopped. We’re not going into mocap studios,” he exemplified, and added other examples, like voice actors and composers being unable to fulfil their contracted work right now.
“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,” he explained. “If you’re waiting for a lot of either large audio work … or mocap, you’re held up right now.” This is likely the reason why Marvel’s Iron Man VR and The Last of Us Part 2 have now gotten launch dates, when they were initially delayed indefinitely due to possible shipping issues.
Spencer stated that the games that will be affected by these problems will be games like FIFA and Madden, due to their annual schedule. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. “I’m pretty confident in the industry’s ability to continue a steady flow of games coming out,” continued the executive. “There’s just a lot of games in production across the industry right now, and I think [as an industry] we’re going to be fine. I’m bullish on what this means in the long run for games, even if there’s a certain impact to a certain launch window for certain titles that we might see.”
The Xbox Series X will launch in holiday 2020, no ifs and no buts. The most recent Xbox 20/20 update showed off a lot of third-party titles coming to the console, and there was something for everyone. An isometric tactical shooter? The Ascent. Gory psychological puzzler? Scorn. Time-travelling adventure in Dark Ages Europe? Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.