A few UK-based game studios are displaying coronavirus safety ads in their titles. One theme centers on “Stay home. Save lives.” Three studios are taking part in the initiative, including Codemasters, Rebellion, and King. Codemasters, of course, is responsible for DiRT Rally 2.0, which becomes available for PS Plus subscribers this week. Rebellion and King are home to Sniper Elite 4 and Candy Crush, respectively. The coronavirus ads feature across each of these titles and others. Since the technology behind the ads is geo-targeted, only gamers in the UK will run into them.
Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley reached out to Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to ask how the company could help in these troubling times. “A lot of people spend hundreds of hours in computer games,” he told BBC News. “And in this case, we thought we could help society by reminding people of their obligations to others.”
The safety message from Rebellion will appear on a screen that pops up prior to the start of Strange Brigade and Sniper Elite. Such pages typically host ads for Rebellion’s other projects. DiRT Rally 2.0 players will see the coronavirus messages in-game, as they would any other advertisement. King, the developer behind Candy Crush, plans to include similar adverts in its mobile games.
London-based tech start-up Bidstack is supplying developers with the technology to support these ads. According to BBC News, the DCMS aims to get the UK’s 2,000 other development studios to take part, as well. It remains to be seen if other territories around the world will follow suit. Codemasters in particular hopes to localize the message for players in other European regions and North America.
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