Nintendo is no longer planning to hold a Direct this June due to work-from-home issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to VentureBeat.
Specifically, Nintendo’s Japanese divisions are said to be struggling to adjust to working remotely in response to the virus. As noted in a Washington Post feature, many Japanese companies operate using dated technology like fax and have “little awareness of cloud computing or video conferencing tools.” In some cases, these workers even lack computers or Wi-Fi at home, adds The Associated Press. As a result, the Japanese workforce as a whole — Nintendo or otherwise — has had difficulty adapting to remote work.
Therefore, while VentureBeat says Nintendo was looking to hold a Direct in June, it’s now possible that one may not take place until “the very end of summer.”
Traditionally, the Japanese gaming giant has streamed a pre-recorded Direct each June to coincide with that month’s Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), one of the world’s largest event video game industry events. While E3 2020 was cancelled in March due to the global health crisis, several publishers, like Xbox, Ubisoft and Square Enix, said they planned to hold their own digital events around that time instead.
Although Nintendo hadn’t confirmed similar plans, the company was still expected to hold an E3-adjacent Direct, especially since these presentations are always pre-recorded, anyway, unlike the live stage shows from the likes of Xbox and Ubisoft. Further, Nintendo, like other companies, typically uses E3 to confirm all kinds of new games and content coming to its platforms.
Last year, major announcements from Nintendo’s E3 Direct included the unveiling of a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and confirmation that Microsoft’s Banjo and Kazooie characters were coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
This year, Nintendo was aiming to use a June Direct to unveil the rest of its 2020 lineup of Switch games, according to VentureBeat. One of these announcements was expected to be the reveal of Nintendo’s rumoured Mario 30th anniversary initiative, which will supposedly see several of the plumber’s classic titles — such as the GameCube’s Sunshine and Wii’s Galaxy — remastered for the Switch.
As it stands, though, little has been confirmed about Nintendo’s larger 2020 Switch games lineup. Last month, the company held a surprise ‘Direct Mini’ to only reveal dates for games coming in the next few months, such as Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (May 29th), 2K bundles BioShock: The Collection, Borderlands Legendary Collection and Xcom 2 Collection (May 29th) and Catherine: Full Body (July 7th). Looking past the summer, however, and little is known, beyond the currently undated Bravely Default II.
With all of that said, it’s worth noting that Nintendo has previously confirmed plans to provide an update on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in June. Specifically, a new downloadable character from Arms is set to be revealed and added to the game that month — the first fighter in Fighters Pass Vol. 2, which will introduce six new characters in total. It remains to be seen whether Nintendo will use this reveal to tease a second new fighter as well.