Nintendo usually holds a Direct to correspond with E3
Nintendo is reportedly telling partner developers that complications from Japan’s work-from-home order means its Nintendo Direct schedule has to be pushed back. Since 2013, Nintendo has put on a June Direct that works in tandem with E3, giving the company a chance to show off what’s next on its own digital platforms. Before 2013, Nintendo held annual stage presentations around the same time.
The June event was meant to unveil Nintendo’s first-party release schedule for the rest of 2020, which meant highlighting the Mario franchise’s 35th anniversary. Nintendo initially planned on holding a physical event at E3 this year, but when the show was canceled due to COVID-19 complications, Nintendo was reportedly seeking other ways to celebrate the plumber’s 35th birthday (he looks older than 35, tbf). As GamesRadar previously reported, it looks like Nintendo planned to release a handful of classic 3D Mario games for the Switch as part of the celebrations. If that is indeed the case, we’ll have to wait longer for any announcements regarding that.
It may be that Japan’s professional culture does not lend itself to an easily adaptable work-from-home model, suggesting that “a number of companies were not prepared for this kind of shift.” A Washington Post story is referenced, where a report explains that “Japan’s work culture demands constant face-to-face interaction, partly to show respect. Employees typically are judged on the hours they put in, rather than their output. Managers don’t trust their staff to work from home, and many companies are just not set up for telework.” Also, IT departments have reportedly remained relatively unchanged since the ’90s. Nintendo faces an interesting hurdle going forward with Direct presentations and Mario celebrations.