What just happened? Getting Covid-19 safety advice to members of the public is important, which is why some companies are placing it inside their video/mobile games. Popular titles, including Dirt Rally 2.0, Sniper Elite 4, and Candy Crush Saga, will all display messages such as "Stay home. Save lives."
In Dirt Rally 2.0, an update will allow players to see the advice on roadside banners as they drive around the tracks. Codemasters told the BBC that the technology is geo-targeted, so the messages will only appear to those in the UK, but the company hopes to extend the initiative to the rest of Europe and America with localized safety advice.
With Dirt Rally 2.0 set to arrive on the PlayStation Plus subscription service tomorrow, messages in the year-old game could be seen by thousands of new players.
Toby Evan-Jones, VP Business Development at Codemasters, said: "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."
Rebellion is another studio involved in the campaign. The company is placing messages on the launcher pages, usually used to promote its other wares, in Strange Brigade and Sniper Elite 4. PC gamers will also see a link to a website with more information and advice related to Covid-19.
King, maker of Candy Crush and Farm Heroes Saga, is placing the ads in its incredibly popular mobile games. It will also be showing Covid-19 information in 230 digital advertising screens it had booked. The company last week gave away free lives in its mobile games as part of a partnership between the game industry and the World Health Organization (WHO) called #PlayApartTogether.