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The UK government has partnered with local game developers to promote COVID-19 health messaging within video games.
As part of the campaign, Activision Blizzard’s King is inserting ‘Stay At Home’ messaging in its mobile games, most notably Candy Crush Saga.
The firm has also donated more than 230 ‘digital poster’ advertising spaces in London, where it would normally advertise its own products, to be used for public health messaging.
‘Stay At Home’ posters are already being featured in Codemasters’ Dirt Rally 2.0, and the company is said to be looking at ways to roll out more health messages in games across Europe and the U.S. in the coming weeks.
Rebellion will be including ‘Stay At Home’ messaging on the launch landing pages for its titles, including Sniper Elite 4 and Strange Brigade.
UK Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said in a statement: “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.”
Jason Kingsley OBE, Co-founder and CEO of Rebellion, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the DCMS on this excellent initiative.
“We know how fundamentally beneficial video games, like Sniper Elite and Strange Brigade, and comics, like 2000 AD, have been and will continue to be for many of us during this extraordinary time.
“It makes total sense for us to help promote important public health messaging while keeping those fans entertained in the safety of their homes.”
Toby Evan-Jones, VP of business development at Codemasters, added: “At Codemasters we came to realise that technology within our games, which enables the remote updating of banners within the virtual environment, could be repurposed to assist with the Coronavirus communication effort.
“This week, through collaboration with Bidstack Group PLC (providers of the ad-replacement infrastructure), we began delivering a version of Public Health England’s ‘Stay Home Save Lives’ message into DiRT Rally 2.0. It’s fantastic to see conversations already being sparked amongst our community.”