London Games Festival has announced Now Play This at Home, a “weekend of online gameplay, creativity and experimentation for all ages and abilities to enjoy for free from home”.
Running as part of London Games Festival and taking place virtually instead of the physical event original planned at Somerset House, Now Play This at Home “embraces the experimentation and community spirit of the festival, giving regular visitors the chance to come together online for the first time to enjoy an engaging new virtual programme”.
The festival will include a number of streamed talks, workshops, interactive tours and performances, all of which will be available on nowplaythis.net and broadcast on the livestream platform, Twitch. Participants will also be able to select from a curated list of “exclusive online games and films to watch and play at home”.
The coronavirus is affecting games all over the world and in a myriad of ways. In response to the pandemic, E3 2020 has been cancelled, as has EGX Rezzed, GDC, Develop:Brighton 2020 has been postponed to November, and both Mojang and Electronic Arts have cancelled scheduled live events.
Gamescom, however, still opens to proceed as planned. BAFTA has confirmed it’s revising the format on its upcoming Games Awards in light of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), too.
Bungie, EA, Nintendo and now Rockstar have all implemented homeworking to minimise staff exposure to the virus whilst Pokémon Go developer Niantic has made changes to the game to enable players to continue participating even whilst in self-isolation. The increase in people working from home and/or self-isolating, however, has put a strain on online services like Xbox Live and Nintendo Switch Online.