Video game industry feels Earthquake's effect

As the accounting of the terrible impact of last week's massive earthquake off the coast of Japan and subsequent tsunami and aftershocks continues, we're starting to learn the impact on the video game business. Online servers have been temporarily suspended to conserve electricity (this includes the Final Fantasy servers as we reported this morning), games have been delayed due to disruption of distribution channels, and others delayed or even canceled most likely out of sensitivity for the scale of the personal tragedy caused by this national disaster.

Japanese gaming site andriasang has been following the situation and reports the following developments in a series of stories on the site:

  • Konami suspends Metal Gear Online service to conserve energy: The official game site and twitter feed state that the service will be down to conserve power. When they will come back up is listed as TBD.

  • Sony delays Motorstorm 3's Japanese release: Citing "various circumstances" the release date has been changed to TBA.

  • Disaster Report 4 cancelled: While no reason was expressly given, publisher Irem issued an apology. Given that the game was based on escaping from a city devastated by an earthquake, the decision was likely made out of respect for the many families feeling the very real effects of the Tohoku quake.

  • Microsoft delays products, cancels Kinect tour: Though not headed to the north-eastern part of the country, the Kinect experience tour was canceled, and Dragon Age Origins Awakening delayed due to distribution disruption.

  • Yakuza of the End delayed: Sega changed the March 17 release date TBA also citing "various circumstances." In a blog post, Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi confirmed that the delay was made in consideration of the earthquake.