Sony has confirmed it is throttling its download speeds in Europe in order to “help preserve access for the entire internet community”.
In a post on the PlayStation Blog, Sony CEO Jim Ryan said Sony was doing its “part” to “address internet stability concerns as an unprecedented number of people are practicing social distancing and are becoming more reliant on internet access”.
“Playing video games enables players all over the world to connect with friends and family and enjoy much needed entertainment during these uncertain times,” wrote Ryan. “Sony Interactive Entertainment is working with internet service providers in Europe to manage download traffic to help preserve access for the entire internet community.
“We believe it is important to do our part to address internet stability concerns as an unprecedented number of people are practicing social distancing and are becoming more reliant on internet access.
“Players may experience somewhat slower or delayed game downloads but will still enjoy robust gameplay,” Ryan concluded. “We appreciate the support and understanding from our community, and their doing their part, as we take these measures in an effort to preserve access for everyone.”
In response to the pandemic, E3 2020 has been cancelled, as has EGX Rezzed, GDC, and both Mojang and Electronic Arts have cancelled scheduled live events.
Develop:Brighton 2020, however, is still planning to go ahead in June, as is Gamescom. 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.
A number of publishers have teamed up to create GDC Relief Fund to assist indie devs who may have lost money on paying in advance for the now-cancelled GDC.