Given the seriousness of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, an increasing number of gaming publishers, developers, and studios are sending their employees home to work remotely. We're rapidly reaching a point where almost every employee in the gaming sector is working remotely and on Friday night, Blizzard Entertainment announced that it was joining those who have already sent their employees home.
We will continue to pay our on-site vendors and contractors while this work-from-home policy is in place, and our game teams will work to provide the best experiences we can for players during this challenging time.— Blizzard Entertainment (@Blizzard_Ent) March 14, 2020
"To protect the health and safety of our employees, we are implementing work-from-home policies for our Irvine and Austin offices," reads the statement on Blizzard's Twitter account. "Those in our other offices around the world have been or will be working from home as directed by local governments and health authorities."
Blizzard will cotninue to pay any on-site vendors and contractors affected by this order. With the country in an official state of emergency, Blizzard's campuses will be empty indefinitely, as there's no sign of the virus' spread stopping anytime soon. But given gaming's potential to offer catharsis during trying times, the team will remain hard at work in development on World of Warcraft, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, and the rest of their active library. Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 are expected to remain in development.
Earlier this week, Nintendo and Apple employees and Microsoft employees were sent home to work remotely for the remainder of the COVID-19 outbreak. Numerous events in the gaming and esports worlds have been either postponed or canceled due to the pandemic with more expected to be reined in over the coming weeks.
We're keeping a close watch on the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to keep up with what's off and what's on through this challenging period.