Gaming vs Coronavirus

How is the new Coronavirus affecting the gaming industry?
21 March 2020
Presented by Chris Berrow, Leigh Milner with Alex Rhodes. 
Production by Chris Berrow.


An artist's interpretation of a coronavirus particle.


We're back from getting married and there's a lot to discuss. The coronavirus pandemic means that people are turning to video games in huge numbers. So what should you play? And we hear from one person who is using self-isolation to catch up on her gaming backlog! We look at the Gaming BAFTA nominations, as well as Retro Revival, which this month is the Final Fantasy VII Remake. And can Alex Rhodes plan a wedding? Find out as he tackles Wedding Planner Game, which is our simulator of the month. Presented by the newly married Chris Milner-Berrow and Leigh Milner-Berrow. What a mouthful. 

In this episode

Coronavirus particles

How is the new Coronavirus affecting the gaming industry?
Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast

Chris Berrow - Leigh has been looking at the impact Covid-19 has had so far on the gaming industry…


Leigh - E3 2020 has been cancelled… the Electronic Entertainment Expo was due to take place later this year in June… but because of fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic… it has been called off.

It’s a big hit for games companies to take, they often reveal their biggest and best new games there… but many will host their own events online instead… streaming live content... so there should still be lots to look out for.

One event... The VIVE Ecosystem Conference... was held entirely in virtual reality... through VR Headsets. Fine if you’ve got one! But I bet they’ll be playing the new Half Life: Alyx at the after party!


Pokémon Go was huge when it launched, everyone was trying to catch ‘em all… and normally the best way to play is walking outside holding your phone and visiting different landmarks…
But with social distancing becoming the new norm, Niantic, the developers behind the game, have taken steps to make Pokémon Go playable indoors… including items that attract Pokémon to you, making eggs easier to hatch… and PokéStops refresh faster so you can stay in one place for longer.

The manufacture of consoles like the Nintendo Switch has been affected by factory shutdowns… and with school closures, mandatory work-from-home policies and lockdowns taking place around the world - more people are gaming than ever…

Steam on PC… drew a record 20,313,451 concurrent users recently… that’s a lot of gamers…

Online gaming services have collapsed under the strain though, including Xbox Live and Nintendo Online, which have both suffered outages.

Finally, midnight launch events have been cancelled for Animal Crossing New Horizons and Doom.


Chris - The only thing that pleases me is that there could be kids at home for a fortnight playing Fortnite… but a difficult situation for everyone, stay safe out there.

Woman sitting in the window

Gaming in isolation: how to get through Covid-19 with the help of games
Rhianon Bevan, Naked Gaming Podcast

Chris Berrow - Rhiannan Bevan who reviewed Sonic the Hedgehog the film for us last month has gone into isolation. That's what you do if you get any of those symptoms, you know maybe a temperature or a bit of a cough or whatever. So what games is she planning on playing in isolation?

Rhiannon Bevan - So like many of you, I'm now officially self isolating after waking up with a sore throat and this croaky voice I have now as grim as that is at least it gives us chance to catch up on the mountains of gains. We have uncompleted myself. I just started night in the woods and the switch, it's a nice little Lindy title about the awkward stage in between not being a teenager anymore but not quite feeling like an adult. It's very story heavy and very relatable as a 20 something. It also mainly just consists of walking for a town and talking to people so it's very easy to play while you're in bed coughing your lungs up. The next one on my list after night in the woods will be final fantasy seven for the PS one I content heavy. RPG is perfect for self isolation really, and it will prepare me for the upcoming remake on the pants for next month if that still gets released, clocking in at about 40 hours long too. Hopefully that will make the week fly by. So of all of that, and not to mention the new releases like do maternal and animal crossing new horizons, the gaming industry might just be the only industry that comes out of this pandemic. All right, we will have enough free time now. 

A picture of a trophy

09:03 - 2020 BAFTA Games Awards: The Nominations

Here's a roundup of the BAFTA Games Award nominations for 2020

2020 BAFTA Games Awards: The Nominations
Alex Rhodes, BAFTA buff

Leigh Milner - Here's Alex Rhodes with a roundup of the gaming BAFTAs this year:

Alex - Let’s start with the most bonkers game of them all - Death Stranding.

This weird walking simulator stars Norman Reedus off of the Walking Dead.

Sometimes black ink comes out of nowhere and your character is also attacked by invisible monsters.

The madness is obviously appreciated… as it has 11 nominations, which is the most in Gaming Bafta history… but it isn’t nominated in the best game category

BAFTA also announced that Hideo Kojima - the creator of Death Stranding - will receive the Fellowship, the highest accolade it can give.


Also with a record-breaking 11 nominations is a game called Control…

You play as Jesse, and she has supernatural powers - she can fly and use telekenesis to throw massive rocks at enemies… and presumably take out the bins…


Control passed under the radar for many… except for this podcast obviously


Well done us.

And finally one more to mention… Untitled Goose Game, which has 4 nominations including best game!

You rampage around a small town as a goose… annoying the residents and stealing various items… including glasses and a bra.

We’ll have the results for you next month… I’m off to play my favourite… Animal Crossing New Horizons…


What in-flight games should you play on a long-haul flight?
Leigh Milner & Chris Berrow, Naked Gaming Podcast

Leigh Milner - Now picture this, right? We're flying back from our honeymoon. Yeah. All loved up. We decided to have a look at the in-flight entertainment. 

Chris Berrow - So you've got Hangman, Tetris Luggage Lane?!

And Who Wants To Be A Millionaire!

(listen to see how they get on!)

A playstation controller

16:48 - Review: Metro: Last Light Redux

Is the Switch release of Metro: Last Light any good?

Review: Metro: Last Light Redux
Chris Berrow & Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast

Leigh Milner - Metro: Last Lght Redux has just come out on the Nintendo Switch. It's one of the first proper big blockbuster first person shooters to come out on the Switch. So it's an exciting time. Could it pave the way though for other shooters? Like Call of Duty?


Leigh - So how was it?

Chris Berrow - Yeah, really good. Surprisingly good actually. When you play the Switch, you don't imagine playing a shooter game? No, because it's a bit too compact. Yeah. The only thing that was difficult was the controllers aren't designed for it. Right. You're holding the screen there and my right thumb started really hurting because you had to do a lot of aiming. Right. The way that the angle is, it just hurt my thumb. Do you know what I mean? Like whereas if you put it in those little detachable controllers that we've got for it, much better. Really, really good though. There was only a couple of visual glitches, you know it's called Redux cause they're supposed to have worse graphics. No, but this is the first switch game that they've had as a proper first person shooter. But genuinely I'll give it a 9 out of 10 it's that good. It's so, so good. And I really enjoyed playing it originally. You can get it now on Switch for 23 quit as well, so quite cheap. You can also get Metro 2033 Redux, which is the game just before that. And it's exactly the same price. If you want first person shooters, check them out. 

A playstation controller

19:19 - Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate

Another game with a long title to review... Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition. Why?!

Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate
Chris Berrow, Naked Gaming Podcast

Chris Berrow reviews Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition...

Chris - I don't tend to play this kind of game. It's kind of weird. It's like tabletop models like Warhammer. Imagine like a big game of chess from above. It's basically like that. There's loads of texts and loads of choices and if you haven't played the first game, it doesn't make any sense, which I haven't. Lots of stats. It's like Dungeons and dragons basically. Also, this has been out for a few years on PC. It's just come to the console though. The controls just to so fiddly. I would say it's probably a 5 out of 10 for me personally, but there's so much content that you get for this. It's out on Xbox and PlayStation as being out on PC for. It's only 35 pounds.

A playstation controller

21:58 - Retro Revival: Final Fantasy VII Remake (Demo)

How is the Final Fantasy VII Remake looking? We play the demo.

Retro Revival: Final Fantasy VII Remake (Demo)
Chris Berrow, Naked Gaming Podcast

Chris Berrow plays the demo of the Final Fantasy VII Remake. 

Chris - The only thing that's different, if you're a real old school fan of Final Fantasy VII you might not like the fact they've got rid of the turn-based fights. That was the biggest thing about fun of seven so you know, you press a button and you slash the bad guys, then they slashed you, etc. This time it's more real time combat, which is a very big change up. I prefer that. That's what makes the game kind of fresh. They're twisting the plot apparently, but you don't get that far in the demo so you don't know so far what they're going to do. But honestly it has the potential to be a 10 out of 10, at the moment it's 8 because of the demo, but we'll come back to it. Now it costs 60 pounds, so it's quite some money. It is, but I think people are desperate to get hold of this game.

It's coming out on the 10th of April on PlayStation 4 at the moment.


Simulator of the Month: Wedding Planner Game
Alex Rhodes, Wedding Planner

Find out what happens when Alex Rhodes plans a wedding...



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