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Phil Spencer: Impact of COVID-19 on Games Will Be Felt in 2021

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Wise Member
Aug 25, 2020
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said that, while things are looking good for games this year, we will see the impact of COVID-19 on the industry in early 2021. This is due to important areas of game production having stopped work entirely during quarantine. In specific, Spencer refers to motion capture and audio recording work, which require staff to go into recording studios. Talking to Business Insider, Spencer said “Mocap is just something that's basically stopped. We're not going into mocap studios.” [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/05/01/phil-spencer-no-delay-expected-for-xbox-series-x-but-game-production-is-bigger-unknown-ign-news"] “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 — 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.” For many games set for release this year, motion capture and audio work will have been carried out before the pandemic. However, for games set for release in early 2021 or beyond, quarantine has meant work on these elements has simply had to be indefinitely postponed. Spencer points to sports games like Madden and FIFA as to where we could see disruption. As these games are released annually, months of lockdown in 2020 could have a big impact on their 2021 release schedules. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=9-new-xbox-series-x-images&captions=true"] There is more hope for games that have already completed mo-cap and audio work, though, which includes many games set to be released this year. “Through the summer, early fall? I feel pretty good about those games,” said Spencer. “Games that were targeting a year from now or beyond? There'll be some impact, but they'll be able to react." While the status of games releasing beyond this year is an unknown quantity right now, Spencer is confident that the Xbox Series X will not be delayed, and will release Holiday 2020 as planned. Sony also has similar confidence in its own console, stating that the PS5 is still on track for a Holiday 2020 release. Here's how to help and stay safe during the coronavirus outbreak. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Purslow is IGN's UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter.

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