Game developers are working with the UK government to insert ads inside popular mobile games that encourage people to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is coordinating with Activision Blizzard (which owns, among many others, the Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush Saga games) to share the “Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives” message. Rebellion, which makes Sniper Elite 4, will also include the message on the homepage of its website. The message is already featured on Codemasters’ DiRT Rally 2.0 game.
“It is absolutely vital that we all follow the simple government advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said in a statement. “I’m delighted to see the UK’s brilliant video games industry stepping up to strongly reinforce this message to gamers across the UK.”
Humam Sakhnini, President of Candy Crush maker King, added: “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.”
This is not the only digital effort the government is making to stop the spread of the coronavirus; it has also launched a chatbot on WhatsApp for people concerned about COVID-19 symptoms, and is attempting to crack down on conspiracy theories linking 5G and the coronavirus, as cell towers in the country are being set on fire.