In coordination with the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), game developers Rebellion, Codemasters and King are inserting messages into their games, encouraging UK citizens to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
Players of games such as Candy Crush Saga, Sniper Elite 4, DiRT Rally 2.0 and Farm Heroes will see the ‘Stay At Home, Save Lives’ message inserted in a variety of manners, emphasising the importance of social distancing during these difficult times.
Each game will have a different way of displaying the message, with the message being shown on the main menus in Rebellion’s Strange Brigade and Sniper Elite games, and with links to information about Covid-19 shown in their game launchers on PC. They’ve also offered to use advertising space in their 2000AD comic books.
“I reached out to DCMS a few days ago to say is there anything we can do,” Jason Kingsley, chief executive of Rebellion said. “A lot of people spend hundreds of hours in computer games. And in this case, we thought we could help society by reminding people of their obligations to others.”
Meanwhile, Codemasters are leveraging the advertising technology built into Dirt Rally 2.0 to display billboard adverts within the game – something they can update remotely using Bidstack technology. They’re hoping to bring the feature to the US and other European countries, tying into regional awareness campaigns.
King – a part of Activision Blizzard – are inserting the ‘Stay At Home’ messaging throughout their games, and are also donating their advertising space around London to promote the public health message instead of their mobile games.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said, “It is absolutely vital that we all follow the simple government advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. I’m delighted to see the UK’s brilliant video games industry stepping up to strongly reinforce this message to gamers across the UK.”
The DCMS have now opened the invitation to all game developers, noting that there are over 2,000 active game developers in the UK. Any company wishing to integrate this messaging can contact the DCMS via [email protected]