Game publishers are stepping up in response to COVID-19 and their communities. This pandemic is an extremely important opportunity for publishers to improve their brand reputation and player sentiment. Players (especially “superusers”) really want to hear from game publishers right now and publishers have so much opportunity to choose how they respond.
We have some takeaways at the end of this post from what we have seen in the gaming community, but check out these articles that highlight companies responding to COVID-19 and giving back to their communities first:
RAID Shadow Legends Gives Players 2,000 Energy And Keeps Dungeon Multi-Battles Open For Another Month
Discord ups streaming limit to 50 people at no additional charge
“In the wake of the coronavirus, streaming platform Discord is temporarily upping the limit on its Go Live service to 50 people at a time. In a blog post, the company said that it recognized that people in areas hit by the virus are using Discord to “keep in touch and stay on track with their everyday lives, from attending classes remotely to working from home,” and that it wanted to find a way to help.”
World of Warcraft hands out 100% XP bonus for a month
“”If you’re staying inside and find yourself returning to Azeroth,” reads a post on Blizzard’s website, “… you’ll be getting a special bonus to help you on your way.” Players who log in to World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth in the next month will get a lovely buff called “Winds of Wisdom” which increases their experience gains by 100%. It’s a lovely doubling of the rate of progression and frankly, there’s no way to complain about that.”
Pokemon Go offers 3x more XP until March 30th, and more
“Your first Pokemon catch of the day now earns you 3-times more Stardust and XP than usual. You can now open up to 30 Gifts per day and carry up to 20 Gifts in your inventory at any one time. Likewise, Gifts are more likely to contain Pokeballs now.
Then there are the 1-Pokecoin bundles, which rotate weekly and are available in the shop as one-time purchases. The contents of the bundles change every week, but right now you can get one that has 100 Pokeballs. You have until Monday, March 30 to grab that bundle, at which point a different bundle will take its place.“
Square Enix Gave Away 2 Free Tomb Raider Titles
“We’re warmed by stories of communities banding together to support those in need during uncertain times, and by honoring directives intended to protect the most vulnerable among us,” Square Enix explained in a blog post (thanks, Eurogamer).
“Gamers are part of a global community. We regularly rally together online to return balance to fantasy kingdoms, recruit crew to save the universe from sci-fi threats, and indulge in healthy competition through high-octane action games. For others, shifting to both online work and play is unfamiliar territory.
“With this in mind, we’re offering a gift to our community,” the company continued. “Starting right now through Monday, March 23 at 11:59PM PDT, we’re releasing both Tomb Raider (2013) and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris for free on Steam.”
Lords Mobile Dev IGG is Battling Covid-19 with Donations to US Hospitals
“Thanks to blockbusters like Lords Mobile, IGG has become one of the most successful mobile game studios in the world, raking in unimaginable quantities of cash. Thankfully, it has the right ideas about how to spend that cash.”
“When coronavirus came along, IGG got straight down to business, setting up a donation fund for the residents of Wuhan, where the outbreak originated and was for a time the most severe.”
Tencent launches $100M fund to fight COVID-19
“COVID-19 is drastically impacting people around the world,” Tencent President Martin Lau said in a press release. “We are facing this challenge together and Tencent is committed to supporting the international emergency response. Based on the experience in China and feedback collected from hospitals around the world, we recognize there is an urgent need for PPEs and other medical supplies, particularly at the onset of the pandemic, when traditional supply channels cannot meet the sudden surge in need.”
Torque Esports Partners With Faze Clan For Charity
“More than ever, gaming will be a driving force of entertainment in light of the many industry shutdowns,” says Lee Trink, CEO, FaZe Clan. “We can create a large amount of collective good and raise funds to support local strained organizations and charities impacted by coronavirus.”
Funds that will be donated to local charities selected by the winning team and raised by the community, FaZe Clan, Call of Duty and Softgiving.”
Over $53,000 has been raised through the #Fight2Fund website: https://fight2fund.org/
Gameloft Offers Free Bonus Content in Over 35 Games
“Gameloft is going to offer free content in its games so that players can have fun and keep in touch with friends while staying at home.
Over 35 Gameloft games, including Asphalt 9: Legends, Overdrive City, LEGO®Legacy: Heroes Unboxed, Disney Getaway Blast, Disney Magic Kingdoms, SongPop 2 and Dragon Mania Legends will receive free content Paris, March 20, 2020 – Gameloft, a leading developer and publisher of games, today announced that gamers will receive free content and gifts in a number of Gameloft games on the App Store, Google Play, Microsoft Store and Nintendo Switch™, so that they can continue to have fun while staying safe and secure at home.”
Candy Crush Reminds Players To Wash Their Hands
“I thought that was so sweet. Something so simple and pounded into us as kids, is now not just a suggestion or a sign in every public bathroom – but it could save your life. Or at least help stop the spread of this unknown virus that is effecting every corner of the world.”
Responses from players in our community
Here are some responses from superusers on our survey to the question “What games have responded to COVID-19 in a way you liked and why did you like the response?“:
War Planet Online Gave Free in-game Currency to Help With progression
“War Planet Online, gave players gifts so they could continue to play, while people are unemployed and do not have disposable income anymore”
Call of Duty offered discounted in-app purchases
“CALL OF DUTY Responded by acknowledging that they’re community of Gamers are going through a hard time and offered highly discounted in game purchase in Efforts to ease some of the pain of being out of work or sick with the Virus.”
“«Two Dots». Gave out freebies that let players have something to do while in quarantine”
“Guns of Glory…the devs cancelled a plague event after feedback from players and gave every player $30 worth of gifts.”
Our Suggestion To Publishers
We interact with superusers in our communities every day. They are talking about COVID-19 and want to hear what publishers are doing in response to this crisis. Sure, a lot of people want “free” stuff, but a lot of superusers want to see publishers donating to disaster relief or charities.
Publishers, this is your chance to connect with your community by showing them you care about what is happening, you care about your players, and you are being proactive in your consideration of what their lives are like right now. Your superusers will be playing more now than before. Use this opportunity to come up with some creative packs or events to connect people and engage them in your game. And finally, identify a charity or non-profit to support. Show your players that the money they spend in your game doesn’t just fill up a bank somewhere, it can also be used for good when something bad happens to all of us.
Want Authentic Insights For Your Game?
If you feel disconnected or in the dark about what your superusers really want from your game, let’s talk. GamerSpeak delivers authentic insights from your most valuable superusers. Click here to schedule a call.
Did we miss a game or publisher that is giving back? Leave a comment below and let us know!