The video games industry has joined the fight against coronavirus.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is working with some of the UK’s leading games companies to feature the government’s clear ‘Stay At Home, Save Lives’ instruction in games.
Geotargeting technology will see the messaging appear in some of the world’s most popular games, including Candy Crush Saga, Sniper Elite 4, DiRT Rally 2.0 and Farm Heroes.
The government stated: “Young people spend more time playing video games than the rest of the population, which is why in-game messaging represents a creative, targeted, and immediate way to help reinforce the government’s Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives message, to gamers.”
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.”
Activision Blizzard King is inserting ‘Stay At Home’ messaging in Candy Crush Saga among other popular games. The firm has also donated more than 230 ‘digital poster’ advertising spaces in London, where they would normally advertise their own products, to be used for crucial public health messaging.
‘Stay At Home’ posters are already being featured in Codemasters’ DiRT Rally 2.0, played by millions of unique users since its launch in February 2019, and the company is now looking at ways to roll out more essential health messages in games across Europe and the U.S. in the coming weeks.
Rebellion will be including ‘Stay At Home’ messaging on their games landing page launch sites for their games, with the capacity for these messages to link to relevant gov.uk pages where appropriate. As well as developing games, Rebellion also publish comic books and have also offered advertising in these.
Humam Sakhnini, President of King, said: “Everyone at Activision Blizzard, and the King team I lead, are delighted that we’re able to play a small part and help with the delivery of vital public health information.
“Through our millions of players we’re able to assist Public Health England and the NHS spread their life saving message: stay at home, protect our NHS, and save lives.”
Approximately 37 million people in the UK play games, and there are around 2,277 active video game companies in the UK.