Paramount Pictures has announced another bit of bad news for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. This time though, the bad news makes tons of sense, as the company has announced that they are delaying the Chinese release of the film in China over concerns with spreading the coronavirus. Being that China is one of the biggest markets for movies in the modern era, this is a pretty big blow.
The film was originally scheduled to launch in China on February 28th, which has now been pushed back. “Sonic will only be slowing down his pace temporarily, and we look forward to bringing him zooming onto the big screen in China once it is appropriate to do so,” Paramount said of the announcement.
The new variant of coronavirus, COVID-19, has been spreading suspiciously fast in the past few weeks. The disease has spread to more than 700,000 people, killing around 2% of all patients with a much higher mortality rate compared to other coronaviruses like influenza. The spread of the disease is alarming to many researchers, given that it will take years to create a viable vaccine and in that time COVID-19 could spread to most of the global populace.
This timeframe could result in a nightmare scenario where COVID-19 manages to spread to a critical mass that would prevent it from being fully immunized against. There are some estimates that predict global saturation of the virus within the year. This casts doubt on the idea that you can just wait it out.
Many other problems have arisen in response to this virus. Public events have been delayed or canceled, and manufacturers are dealing with major shortages. Kojima Productions is skipping GDC 2020 to prevent possible exposure. Nintendo has expressed concerns over Switch console production in the last few weeks. Other gaming and public events have been affected as well. Chinese League of Legends and CS:GO events were also canned.