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The games industry response to COVID-19

Dan Thomas
Dan Thomas
Head of Game Services 23 Apr 20203 minutes read

With the recent upending of life as we know it, COVID-19 has seen the games industry rally efforts to help play its part in the global response to the pandemic.

Here's a look at some of the ways the industry has responded...

The UK Government teams up with games businesses

Etch Play friends and clients, Ukie have been working with the UK government to collaborate with games businesses enabling "stay at home" messaging to be positioned within games.

Stay at home banners in Dirt Rally 2.0

Digetic ads with real world messaging placed within game environments

More details of the games industry collaboration on gov.uk

Stay home, play together

EA, an industry giant, has pooled efforts across their global business and created a landing page campaign to surface events, news and live streams encouraging their massive audience to "stay & play".

EA Stay & Play campaign header

More info at EA's Stay & Play campaign home

An Esports surge

Traditional sports events have been all but brought to standstill with the social distancing measures required to tackle the pandemic. As such, interest in esports and online games has seen a rapid incline.

Google trends for "online games" searches

Searches for "online games" in the past 90 days

A large collective of significant esports and online gaming organisations have collaborated on a new online event to raise money for COVID-19 relief charities under the event and organisation name, YANA (you are not alone), scheduled to occur on 2nd May. This event is part of the #PlayApartTogether initiative, another collaboration of games businesses encouraging players to follow WHO guidelines.

Fans, communities and small businesses

It's not just huge corporations getting in on the act.

When it comes to charity, fans themselves, and their communities, are mobilising too. Whether that's through streamers like Jacksepticeye and Ninja, groups like Games Done Quick, or through events like Gamedev.world - huge amounts of money have been raised for the cause.

Outside of charity work, we've seen the community rally around each other for digital online events that help us feel connected. Even Etch Play are at it, launching a variety of online content for everyone to engage with while on lockdown, including our latest, the #GamePhotographyChallenge.

Conclusion

As we all know, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the world - politically, economically, psychologically and socially. The way we respond as game creators, publishers and players can help all of us to navigate these exceptional circumstances safely and effectively. Here at Etch Play we're proud to support the efforts of our peers and will continue to provide our insight and commentary as the situation continues to change.

For advice on how to respond to COVID-19, check out the NHS guidelines here. For advice on remote working during this time, check out Etch's guide. If you have initiatives you wish to share with us, let us know on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.