Welcome back to your weekly summation of all things both entertainment and COVID-19 related. This is your Coronavirus Weekend Roundup #3 and while I don’t want to understate how dire things still are this week was a slow news week for disease-related nerdy news (likely because last week is when most closures and major announcements occurred.) but you never can tell for sure what future weeks may bring. So, let’s skip further dalliance and jump right into it.
The week started with a few delays. Wonder Woman 1984, the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s initial musical hit, In the Heights, and James Wan’s next film, Malignant, were all moved on down the line thanks to Covid-19.
On the gaming side of things though, while there were still delays as is to be expected nowadays (with a new Fallout 76 patch being held back this time in particular), we actually got two (somewhat) positive news stories with Sony assuring everyone that coronavirus was in no way going to delay the (non-specific) release of the PlayStation 5 and a number of copies of FFVII Remake making it out to the public early as people all over the place started to break the games street date. On top of all that, the nice people over at Mojang have been adding free educational content to Minecraft to help all the kids home from school continue to further their education in-game.
Both YouTube and Sony decided that it would behoove them to limit their streaming and download speeds, with YouTube now streaming everything in Standard Definition by default and PSN bottlenecking its download speeds in both Europe and the U.S.A.
In last week’s Coronavirus Roundup we briefly discussed the various ways in which GameStop was attempting to prevent its imminent closure as a major and non-essential business. This week we are getting reports that its smaller, regional competitor, Game X Change, is up to much the same non-sense, refusing to close or implement truly stringent anti-viral policies and earning the ire of their employees in the process.
At the end of the week, it was starting to seem like we were getting a bit of unity as people began to pull themselves and their communities together to try and do what little they could to help fight this thing in some silly and yet touching acts of nerdy solidarity. The creators of Plague Inc. are currently hard at work engineering a new game mode in which you work to stop the spread of the virus while also donating a quarter of a million dollars to help fight COVID-19. Another indie studio, QubicGames, has actually gone even further, stating that they will be donating 20% of their revenue to the continuing fight.
If you would like to help defeat the coronavirus maybe consider heading over to Twitch which just put on a 12-hour charity live stream (and there are still various anti-corona streams up and running) and donate to the cause, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund or, alternatively, if you are looking for something you can catch live, Games Done Quick will be holding a coronavirus relief marathon a few weeks from now, on April 17th.
Good luck out there. Do what you can when you can but, most importantly, try and stay safe everybody. I’ll see you back here this time next week.