Activision Blizzard Games On Track for Now, But COVID-19 May Force Them to Reassess Soon
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major effect on video game development around the world, with games like Wasteland 3 and The Last of Us Part II being delayed, and already-released titles warning of possible delays to future updates. That said, not all publishers are being affected equally – Activision Blizzard has been operating as if it’s business as usual, dropping two new Call of Duty experiences (Warzone and Modern Warfare 2 Remastered) over the past few weeks. But could we end up seeing some delays from Acti-Blizz down the line?
Today, CNBC published an interview with Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, and according to him, everything’s still on track…at least for now (thanks to Video Games Chronicle for the transcription).
Most of the things that we have in production and development are on track for now. I think we’ll have to really reassess that in a month and in three months.
Kotick also went into some interesting detail we don’t often hear about how exactly Acti-Blizz is helping its employees efficiently work from home.
We’ve been doing things like encouraging our employees to upgrade their home broadband to the highest bandwidth service and we’re paying for that, we had equipment available for take home so everyone in the software development, art or animation functions, we made equipment available so they had the newest most secure devices, but I think it’s still too early to know what the consequences [on] development will be for the next year or so.
Activision Blizzard is often cast a villain by gamers, sometimes rightfully so, but it sounds like they’re stepping up to bat for their employees during these trying times. Kotick went so far as to provide his own phone number to all Acti-Blizz employees, encouraging them to contact his office if they have any health-related concerns, and apparently he’s already fielded hundreds of calls.
That said, I do hope Activision Blizzard are open to being more flexible than usual about their release dates. Part of supporting your employees is being realistic about what can be achieved during a pandemic. Acti-Blizz of course has a new major Call of Duty game, rumored to be a Black Ops reboot, in the work for this year. There are also reportedly several old-school revivals in the works, possibly including a remaster of the first two Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. We’ll just have to wait and see whether those arrive on time.
What do you think? Will we be seeing Activision Blizzard delays, or does the company have the resources to shrug off this pandemic?