The UK Government has partnered with a handful of game developers to encourage people in the country to stay indoors and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Companies like King, Codemasters, and Rebellion have all agreed to add essential health messaging to titles including Candy Crush Saga, Sniper Elite 4, Dirt Rally 2.0, and Farm Heroes.
King, for instance, has inserted the Government's 'Stay At Home, Save Lives' posters into Candy Crush, and has donated over 230 of its digital advertising spaces in London to help get the message out in the real world.
Similar posters are also being displayed on the circuits in Dirt Really 2.0, and developer Codemasters has pledged to add essential messaging to other titles throughout the U.S. and Europe in the coming weeks.
"At Codemasters we came to realize 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," said Codemasters' VP of business development, Toby Evan-Jones.
"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."
Commenting on the initiative, the Government's Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden underlined the importance of using social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help limit the strain on the UK healthcare system.
"It is absolutely vital that we all follow the simple government advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives," he said. "I’m delighted to see the UK’s brilliant video games industry stepping up to strongly reinforce this message to gamers across the UK."