Rumors have surfaced, claiming that Nintendo will cancel its June Nintendo Direct. This is reportedly due to issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, VentureBeat has claimed that Nintendo are telling their partners it will not host a Nintendo direct this June. This is allegedly due to the coronavirus pandemic and remote working enforced by the Japanese government’s quarantine forcing Nintendo to push back its schedule.
Eurogamer also supports this claim via their own anonymous sources. “Eurogamer understands it has told publishers set to reveal games during its showcase that it needs more development time on its first-party games,” they report. “Publishers have been told not to wait if they wish to make their own reveals individually.”
Work is currently being held up as the famously-secretive company adapts to staff working remotely.” Video Games Chronicles corroborates the cancellation with “sources with knowledge of Nintendo’s plans.”
The Direct would also have been focused around the Super Mario franchise’ 35th anniversary. Rumors and possible leaks [1, 2, 3] claimed this would include remasters of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy in a bundle.
The rumor also claimed there would be a “deluxe” version of Super Mario 3D World, and a new Paper Mario that goes back to the classic turn-based RPG gameplay. “Most of Mario’s back catalogue will be remastered for Switch,” sources claimed, along with “several other Mario titles in 2020.”
Venture Beat claims that “If [Nintendo] holds another Direct, it may not come until the very end of summer.”
Is it True?
E3 2020 was officially cancelled in March (even digitally in April 2020), numerous companies including Microsoft, Devolver Digital, and Ubisoft (but not Bethesda), announced they would be hosting their own digital events around the time E3 2020 would have happened.
In fact, there have been almost 60 coronavirus stories on Niche Gamer so far. While not all of them are about cancellations or delays, it certainly shows how much of an affect it has had on the world.
While the idea of not being able to host even a digital event sounds strange at first, it does have a negative effect on overall production. Along with delays in producing the video for the Direct, Nintendo may also be unable to produce the gameplay footage they desired for trailers.
In addition to their biggest surprise possibly already being out of the bag, it is understandable Nintendo may wish to double down as best they can, and make a more grand spectacle at a later date with more surprises.
We do not like to say any rumor is 100%, unless we have the proof to back it up. Even so, we would be surprised if any scheduled plans go ahead unhindered before we hear get an “all-clear” worldwide, and the pandemic is behind us.