If you’re in the UK and you play Dirt Rally 2.0 today, you’ll notice many of the roadside advertising now features images echoing the Government’s advice of staying home to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
Codemasters told BBC News that this technology is geo-targeted, meaning only UK players will see it. But in the future Codies hopes to extend the initiative to the rest of Europe and America, with localised safety advice.
I played some Dirt Rally 2.0 earlier, and was surprised to see how prominent the message is displayed—particularly on the large banner at the start of a rally stage. There’s no escaping the advice when you play.
It’s a strange feeling seeing the real world creeping into a virtual one. Some players have complained that they find it distracting, because they play games to escape reality. But the reception has been mostly positive.
Other games including coronavirus safety advice include Sniper Elite 4 and Candy Crush Saga. Jason Kingsley, chief executive of Sniper Elite developer Rebellion, said he reached out to the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to discuss the implementation, and the organisation is now inviting other British developers and publishers to take part.