Bidstack Group PLC’s (LON:BIDS) in-game advertising technology is to be used by game developer Codemasters Group Holdings PLC (LON:CDM) to provide ads in its games encouraging players to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tech provided by the AIM-listed firm will be used in Codemasters’ Dirt Rally 2.0 game to show players the advice on roadside banners as they race through virtual tracks.
The technology is also geo-targeted, meaning only UK-based players will see the ads, however, Bidstack said on Tuesday that it is working with Codemasters to extend the initiative to other players in Europe and the Americas with localised public safety information.
The company added that it is working directly with the UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to explore how the technology can be put to work to ensure the message is delivered through other games.
“It’s important to make sure as many people as possible hear the government’s message about [coronavirus]. Our proprietary technology enables that message to be relayed seamlessly, in an unintrusive way, within a gaming environment and we are pleased to be able to assist in disseminating this important message at this time”, said Bidstack chief executive James Draper in a statement on Tuesday.
"We're at an early stage in this push, helping games developers who want to do their bit to encourage their players to sit tight and keep playing through this period of lock-down. I am pleased that Bidstack has been able to demonstrate its ability to "reach the unreachables" with this vital core message on the importance of staying at home during this unprecedented time", he added.
Aside from Codemasters, other video game groups incorporating the government ads into their games include Oxford-based Rebellion Developments Limited and Candy Crush maker King.com Limited, owned by US gaming giant Activision Blizzard Inc (NASDAQ:ATVI).
Rebellion will feature government messaging in its Sniper Elite 4 game while King will allow the ads on Candy Crush as well as Farm Heroes Saga and other games in its portfolio.
Shares in Bidstack closed 21.3% higher at 9.3p on Monday, while Codemasters shares rose 5.3% to 248p.
--Adds details from Tuesday Bidstack RNS, CEO comment and updates share prices--