Bungie issued a statement today regarding the impact that the COVID-19 coronavirus would have on its game development. Thankfully for gamers, it doesn’t appear that any future content for Destiny 2, such as the impending Season of the Worthy and Trials of Osiris, will be delayed. The operations team has “rapidly built a remote work infrastructure” for employees in Seattle to help them complete the new content, as well as maintain and update the game’s other aspects.
Even better news for all Bungie employees is that these measures are now being implemented around the globe, “with the goals of prioritizing the safety of our employees and continuing to develop and deliver on a game we love for our community.”
It’s possible that such measures may be more than temporary. In speaking at a teleconference today, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick expressed the opinion that the experiment that many game developers are undergoing as a response to the coronavirus could demonstrate to them that working remotely is a valid option for the long term. While admitting that he’s “not a big believer in remote work,” Zelnick also admitted that “a lot of us who were skeptical about remote work are going to be less skeptical about it.” If studios and their employees become accustomed to it, remote work is “maybe a long-lasting change” that companies will adopt.
A running joke I’ve seen on the internet is how tech companies marvel at how the internet makes everything — gaming, banking, entertainment, and so on — possible from anywhere in the world and yet requires all of their employees to be physically located in a small, densely packed part of San Francisco. Maybe Zelnick is right and the sea change brought on by the necessity of the coronavirus will stick around even after the disease has run its course.