Monday, August 3, 2020

Major Game Services Are Struggling to Handle Quarantined Gamers

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Jessica Lamb
Jessica Lamb was born and raised in Fennville, Michigan. She attended Aquinas College where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Creative Writing. Since then, she has dedicated herself to spreading the word about all things nerd culture.

Quarantine is a dream come true for many gamers. An opportunity to stay home and catch up on all of the games in my pile of shame? Sign me up! However, it seems that there is trouble in this gamer paradise. During the last few days, every major gaming service has been experiencing outages.

Yesterday it was Nintendo. The Nintendo eshop crashed for both U.S. and UK players. Many players experienced long loading times before an error message would appear. Additionally, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s online features were not working for some UK users. On March 17, Nintendo confirmed that all of their network services in Japan failed. This is especially concerning since we are only days away from two major game releases. Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal are both available on Switch March 20th. Even more traffic on the servers likely means we will see even more outages in the coming days.

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Nintendo is not alone in their struggle though. Blizzard’s battle.net, Steam, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live have all experienced outages within the past 48 hours. Varying services in games such as Minecraft, Overwatch, GTA 5, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Destiny, Runescape, and Call of Duty have also suffered. Even game-related services are feeling the pressure. Live-streaming service Twitch has experienced multiple, sporadic outages over the past few days. Gaming chat service Discord has also struggled under the massive weight of so many people utilizing its services at once.

It will take me most of quarantine to do all the side quests in my replay of Witcher 3

As the coronavirus continues to spread, we will likely see more and more gamers taking to their favorite titles to keep themselves busy. This means the massive weight on these services will only continue to grow in the coming weeks. No companies have yet to respond with what their plans are for dealing with all of these players. Certainly, all of the affected services are hard at work trying to keep things running smoothly. So, now might be a great time to play some single player titles that don’t require online services.

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