The Coronavirus unexpectedly turned out to good news for one small portion of the gaming world as NDemic’s Plague Inc game has shot to he top of charts across the world as players try to simulate the latest outbreak on their iPads.
However, it is bad news for Nintendo as the Switch is manufactured partly in China, and with large chunks of the country on lock down production chains have halted.
“We will continue to work to deliver products as soon as possible while paying close attention to the effects of the new coronavirus infection, and we look forward to your understanding,” Nintendo said in a statement in Japanese via Google Translate.
The Switch consoles, Joy-Con controllers, and Ring Fit Adventure, which comes with extra hardware, will all be affected. At present Nintendo say this will only be a problem for Japan but Senior Analyst at Niko Partners and full time dad joker on Twitter, Daniel Ahmad, has a warned the Coronavirus may disrupt the manufacture of many other items.
“China is important for manufacturing of some game hardware, phones and other components, and we believe that the entire supply chain of manufactured goods will be impacted — much more than just games,” Ahmad told CNBC.
“When looking at games consoles specifically, we note that 96% of video game consoles imported into the U.S. in 2018 were produced in China. Whilst companies such as Nintendo have moved some manufacturing abroad, China still accounts for the majority.”
Many hardware companies shifted a portion of their production outside of China in recent months as the US was threatening tough trade tariffs on anything imported from the country. Sony, Panasonic, Nintendo, and others moved some of their facilities to other Asian locations including Singapore and Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Plague Inc is still the top selling game in many countries including here in the UK, the United States, China, Australia, Germany, Israel, Peru, and Spain. In fact I can’t find a country where it isn’t top of the charts, NDemic must be very happy their seven year old game is doing so well.