Codemasters BAFTA nominated title, DiRT Rally 2.0 is one of three titles to display coronavirus safety advice within their games. Through their partnership with Bidstack, Codemasters are able to leverage Bidstack’s in-game advertising technology to geographically target gamers with the ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ message – in real time. The message is being displayed in pre-existing advertising spaces within the game such as trackside banners, check point banners, feather banners and the start / finish line.
The Amazon owned streaming platform has had one of their best quarters to date. With Q1 2020 stats released by Streamlabs reporting a 17% increase in the hours of content watched and a 20% jump in hours of content being streamed. Competitor platforms such as Youtube, Mixer and Facebook Gaming have also seen an increase in activity on their platforms too. One really positive trend that has appeared in the last few weeks from the surge in usage is the growth of charitable contributions and charity live streams.
Following on from the success of the first F1 Esports VirtualGP, Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, George Russell and England Cricket World Cup Captain, Ben Stokes joined the second round of the virtual Grand Prix. According to the original F1 schedule, the real life race would have taken place at Hanoi’s street circuit in Vietnam. However, because the circuit is not available in the game, racers will be competing at the Albert Park track instead, the home of the Australian Grand Prix.
In recent weeks, we have seen numerous national and industry coverage around the rise of gaming and esports spectatorship. We are starting to see a trend of leagues pivoting their normal business models of live events to operating entirely online. Engadget takes a dive into some of the practical changes and steps that the esports industry have taken to ensure they stay relevant during the pandemic crisis.
Bidstack CEO, James Draper, wrote a piece for the IAB that takes a look at the importance of getting the right balance between life like in-game advertising and protecting the gaming experience. He calls for brands and advertisers to get in the game and sets the bar for how in-game advertising should be enjoyed by millions of gamers globally.
Last week, Naughty Dog announced their decision to delay the launch of their highly anticipated title, Last of Us II, indefinitely, citing they want gamers to get the full experience of the game together. This created an interesting talking point around game launches and whether we should now fully pivot to digital launches, especially during these COVID-19 times or is the traditional launch still important to us?