Minecraft Dungeons Devs Suggest Game May Be Delayed

Minecraft Dungeons Devs Suggest Game May Be Delayed

Mojang is now "re-evaluating [its] timeline" as employees transition to work from home in response to the coronavirus.

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has already affected hardware production, caused many developers and publishers to start working from home, and delayed the release of one prominent port, but now we may see the first high-profile release of a new game pushed back due to the virus' aggressive spread.

Today, Mojang announced that its team is now working on Minecraft Dungeons remotely, and says that the impact on the team's workflows could change its development timeline. Minecraft Dungeons is targeting a release on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch sometime next month, April 2020.

Dungeons' release month was revealed at Microsoft's X019 event last November. First announced in 2018, Minecraft Dungeons is a simplified co-op dungeon crawler with procedurally generated levels but none of Minecraft's trademark building mechanics. After a demo at E3 2019, Senior Editor Caty McCarthy described it as being like "Diablo for the whole family."

With the nearby city of Kirkland, Washington being one of the first in the U.S. to emerge as a coronavirus epicenter, Microsoft quickly moved to institute a work from home policy for its Redmond, WA headquarters and other nearby offices in response to the crisis. Microsoft is also asking its global employees to work from home in any region where health officials advise it. Mojang is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and according to the U.S. Embassy in Sweden, the country's public health authority raised its risk assessment level for the coronavirus to "Very High" a week ago. It's advising that anyone exhibiting mild symptoms stay at home to prevent spread of the infection.

Mojang is not alone amongst game studios in having to adjust to remote workflows. Several high profile developers including Bungie, CD Projekt Red, and Rockstar have announced that employees have transitioned to work from home solutions for the time being. Nintendo, which also has its U.S. headquarters in Redmond, WA, has also instructed staff in Washington and California to work from home after a Redmond-based employee tested positive for the virus.

In early February, Private Division announced that the Nintendo Switch version of Obsidian's The Outer Worlds is being delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus-caused temporary closure of Virtuos, the China-headquartered studio responsible for the port. The coronavirus outbreak has also led to the cancellation of E3 2020, postponement of this year's GDC, and Nintendo production delays. Microsoft has announced that it plans to host a digital event in place of its usual E3 press conference.

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Mathew Olson

Reporter

Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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