Dozens of game companies have banded together to offer a free video game to NHS staff, with over 85,000 keys up for grabs in all. That's sweet, that. I've received a wee peek at the giveaway and seen its lineup includes big-name desirables like Doom Eternal, Dreams, and Fifa 20, and games for platforms including PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Vita, Android, iOS, and Oculus cybergogggles.
NHS staff can claim a free game from today by putting their name and NHS e-mail address into the Games For Carers site.
The range of games is a broad one, coming from big and small companies including Activision, Bethesda, Bungie, Bossa Studios, Electronic Arts, Introversion, Konami, Mode 7, Sega, Team 17, THQ Nordic, Xbox Game Studios, and Za/um (ooh so Disco Elysium's in there too). I don't know what the subscriptions are. The number of keys available for each is limited, so best you look sooner rather than later or the best ones will go and you're left with a copy of Kevin Keegan's Perm Simulator for the Commodore 64.
Some developers have already worked with the government to share the "Stay At Home, Save Lives" message in games. Football Manager offered billboard space in its virtual stadiums to mental health charities too.
"The UK games industry has been proud to play its part in conveying these vital public health messages during this national emergency," said Jo Twist, the CEO of UK industry body Ukie, in today's announcement. "Now our community has united again to say thank you to the truly extraordinary people who make up the NHS frontline team."
As weird as some of the rhetoric around medical workers is getting, with the most egregious trying to paper over how the NHS has been intentionally gutted and neglected for years, right now it's nice to offer something that might help them unwind.