Thus far, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused a fair few game delays. The Last of Us Part II’s postponement counts among the most notable; it’s on hold indefinitely, along with Marvel’s Iron Man VR. However, there are companies who do not anticipate delays, such as Activision Blizzard. According to CEO Bobby Kotick, the publisher’s games currently remain on track.
In an interview with CNBC, Kotick was asked how working remotely has affected Activision’s present works-in-progress. While acknowledging that he can’t be too certain long-term progress, the CEO noted there are no major issues cropping up just yet. Kotick told CNBC, “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.”
Activision is working closely with employees to ensure they have the necessary tools to work from home. For example, the publisher encourages developers to upgrade their “home broadband to the highest bandwidth service,” which Activision pays for. Moreover, software devs, artists, and animators were issued take-home equipment. Regardless of these efforts, Kotick admitted, “it’s still too early to know what the consequences [on] development will be for the next year or so.”
The publisher’s plans for the rest of this year largely remain under wraps. Another Call of Duty entry is slated to launch sometime this fall; a report from late last month suggests it may be a “gritty Black Ops reboot.” Other possible planned releases for the year include the rerelease of some Activision classics. During a financial earnings call in February, for instance, Activision noted it will unveil “a number of remastered and reimagined titles.” As of now, it remains to be seen whether such projects are on track to launch this calendar year.
Bobby Kotick’s aforementioned interview with CNBC also saw the CEO confirm that Activision’s 10,000 employees can call cell phone at any time. Should anyone have healthcare concerns, they’re invited to contact him directly. According to Kotick, “a few hundred” have reached out, thus far.
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