COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTRE
IGEA and our member companies remain committed to supporting all of our stakeholders and the wider community through the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we undertake social and physical distancing practices, games have the power to connect people, foster community, encourage creativity, educate and help people live well. Games are inherently social and we are increasingly seeing global citizens turn to games for entertainment and connection in these unprecedented times.
Here are some evolving resources and updates from the video games industry as we work together through these unchartered waters.
A message from our CEO Ron Curry on the Power of Games, 27 March 2020
IGEA is conducting a survey with our members and wider stakeholders to determine the impacts COVID-19 is having on business operations. You can help us by completing the survey via this link. The results of the survey will help us build a robust picture of how coronavirus is affecting the sector and liaise with government stakeholders accordingly.
IGEA industry specific resources for COVID-19
COVID-19 is undoubtedly having an impact on the video games industry, just as it is impacting on the wider economy and society. Many video game companies have already had to adapt to a remote working environment, while the long term impacts of disruptions to supply chains and physical retail stores in Australia and New Zealand caused by COVID-19 are still uncertain, like everything else about these times.
To all of our members, we’re here for you and we’ll keep you updated about the changing environment. Please reach out to us if there’s any way that we can assist you.
IGEA has compiled a list of key business support programs as part of the government’s effort to combat the economic fallout of COVID-19.
IGEA has created a document that outlines all of the government incentives available to Australian game developers.
IGEA undertook a survey on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on The Australian Game Development industry. \The industry is resilient and with the right levers can assist Australia to export it’s way out of the current economic situation. Depending on the size and maturity of the game development studio, the industry was not totally immune to the effects of COVID019.
CONNECTING THROUGH GAMES
As many of us find ourselves physically and socially isolated in order to help stem the coronavirus pandemic, many of us remain socially connected by playing video games. Playing games has always been an important way for families and friends (old and new) to have fun and maintain contact and now it is more important than ever.
We are seeing that games are providing a diversion and a support for wellbeing in these challenging times and there are many titles that also enable people to get physical exercise indoors.
There are some simple steps that parents can undertake to help ensure children have a safe, enjoyable and age-appropriate experience.
- Setting up parental tools and controls and tools and supervising and checking in on them while they play
- Obtaining content classification information on games in Australia and New Zealand
- The eSafety office in Australia provides a wealth of information to educate and ensure Australians have positive online experiences. Further to that, they have created some great resources to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Netsafe in New Zealand helps people take advantage ofthe opportunities available through technology by providing practical tools, support and advice for managing online challenges.
VIDEO GAMES INDUSTRY RESPONSE TO COVID-19
We know that games have the power to connect. Moreso than ever in these necessary times of social distancing and self-isolation, people are turning to games for entertainment, enjoyment, mental stimulation, exercise, education and maintaining connections to family, friends and their community. However, as a result, there are times when connecting online to play games may contribute to a higher than usual impact on internet traffic and put pressure on internet capacity globally.
IGEA are liaising closely with governments and the telecommunications sector in Australia and New Zealand during this period of heightened reliance on the internet to manage the impact of video gaming on internet capacity to ensure that essential functions are not affected.
Below is a snapshot of how IGEA members and the video game industry internationally have responded to COVID-19.
- Bethesda donates $1 Million to COVID-19 Relief
- Overwatch League Matches Moving Online
- Call of Duty League Shifting Currently Scheduled Live Events to Online Competition
- World of Warcraft is doubling all XP gains to keep its players indoors
- Blizzard and Paradox arrange care packages for remote-working staff during coronavirus lockdowns
- Games Industry unites to promote World Health Organization Messages agains COVID-19; Launch #PlayApartTogether campaign
- Stay safe. Stay home. Play together.
- An EA Update on the Coronavirus Situation
- An Important Update on EA’s Upcoming Competitive Gaming Events
- The Microsoft response https://news.microsoft.com/covid-19-response/
- A Message to the Gaming Community on What We’re Doing to Help Todayhttps://news.xbox.com/en-us/2020/03/24/phil-spencer-message-to-community/
- Minecraft Education free contenthttps://www.minecraft.net/en-us/article/free-educational-content-minecraft-marketplace-
- Family settingshttps://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/for-everyone/responsible-gaming?xr=shellnav
- Donate to the CDC Foundation by Playing Xbox
- Nintendo donates 9,500 face masks to US emergency services
- The creators of Animal Crossing hope New Horizons can be ‘an escape’ in difficult times
- Wellbeing resources for young people and families. A series of clinically approved resources that explain how gaming, specifically esports can be used to promote health and balance in young people.
- Sportsmanship resources and lesson plans– a series of lesson plans which covers the 6 aspects of sportsmanship which can be taught in and around League of Legends. These lesson plans are designed to take approximately 40 minutes and could be carried out in the home.
- Game Design– this 6 module curriculum teaches on the importance of fun and balance in game design, and could be a really engaging home based family activity.
- Riot Games Donates $1.5 Million to Coronavirus Relief in LA
- Preserving Internet access for the entire community
- Sony sets up $100million COVID-19 relief fund
- Free games from Sony
- Sony announces a $10 million fund to assist independent game developers impacted by COVID-19
- Take-Two’s COVID-19 response
- Play Your Part, Play At Home – Ubisoft Update
- Ubisoft Free Events
- Twitch Stream Aid: Ubisoft matches all donations up to $150K to benefit the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Fund
- Play Child of Light and Other Ubisoft Games Free
IGEA works with a vast array of stakeholders and industry professionals. We’ve all seen the increased popularity, and again the power of games in keeping people connected in these unprecedented times. As we navigate unchartered waters in dealing with a global pandemic, we’ve continued working with our games industry leaders and stakeholders on numerous projects and issues as they’ve arisen.
Recognising we all have a role to play in flattening the curve and stopping the spread of COVID-19, we thought it would be an opportune time to talk to leaders and policy makers about the entertainment they are consuming and how they are practising self-isolation and social distancing. We know many of them love digital games let’s talk to them about it, see what they are playing, what they recommend playing and if they have any tips or resources to share with the community.
Julie Inman Grant, the eSafety Commissioner
Kylie Munnich, CEO of Screen Queensland
David Shanks, Chief Sensor New Zealand
Margaret Anderson, Director Classification Board
Michelle Rowland MP, Shadow Minister for Communications
Helen Connolly, South Australian Commissioner for Children & Young People
Jo Mitchell, Co-Founder of The Mindroom
Professor Jeff Brand, Bond University
Alex Sangston, Screen Tasmania