This is the first instance of a developer closing office due to the coronavirus.
Our ongoing coverage of the Covid-19 coronavirus’ impacts on gaming continues today with news that Destiny developer Bungie has shut down their offices. Not just their headquarters in Seattle, where the virus has recently broken out, but globally.
Announced through a blog post on Bungie’s site, the company is reacting to the spread of the virus through a “fully remote work infrastructure.” The goal of this plan is simply to keep Bungie employees away from their offices. Very few details are being offered on this plan, however, it is made clear that work will still get done. “While health and safety are our top priority,” reads the post, “we also recognize the importance of maintaining the continuity of our regular Bungie business operations and have rapidly built a remote work infrastructure to best support this.”
Of course, there’s the question that this new policy will also impact support for Destiny 2, Bungie’s main title. However, the post also clearly states that the infrastructure given to employees should keep development moving. And Bungie, in its award-winning brand of community management, plans to keep Destiny 2 players informed at every step. The developer notes that while there is a possibility that this policy change could “affect our patching cadence in the short term,” content will continue dropping. Namely, players can still expect Season of the Worth on March 10 and Trials of Osiris on March 13.
Finally, Bungie notes that these plans are extremely flexible. With news on Covid-19 and the situation around it constantly evolving, the approach being taken will be able to react to the ongoing situation. To put it simply, if news gets out that the virus is not threatening, Bungie employees will be quickly re-integrated into their offices.
The coronavirus has been plaguing the games industry lately. Notably, this is the first instance of a multi-national developer taking action against the virus. Still, it has affected nearly every facet of the games industry – from esports to manufacturing. Recently, GDC and the Indie Train Jam leading up to it have both been postponed and canceled, respectively, due to the virus.
Once again I find myself at the end of an article on the outbreak of the coronavirus. And once again, I feel the need to reiterate one of the points being made by the subject; this time, Bungie. Be safe out there, wash your hands whenever you can, and in Bungie’s words, “Be well, take care of yourself, and see you online.” If you’re wondering just what the Trial of Osiris is and how to take part, you can play Destiny 2 on Steam here.