British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is set to target UK gamers via in-game Xbox Live advertisements. The British intelligence agency, which oversees both internal agency MI5 and external agency MI6, confirmed its plans for a six-week campaign on the platform in such games as Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Assassin’s Creed II.
In a statement, the GCHQ said that many of its recruitment criteria are "reflected in gameplay experiences on Xbox, such as quick thinking, problem solving, and teamwork." It is looking to "fill around 250 predominantly IT and technical roles at graduate and professional level, many of which require specialist skills which are likely to resonate within the online community."
In addition, the agency is hoping the ads will raise awareness about the type of work that it undertakes on a daily basis to "protect the security and well being of the United Kingdom." As well as static and video ads, the campaign will feature downloadable themes and gamer pictures.
This is not the first time the GCHQ has targeted gamers in this way. A 2007 campaign on Ubisoft's Rainbow Six Vegas and Splinter Cell: Double Agent and Activision’s Enemy Territory: Quake Wars encouraged players to apply for jobs using static in-game adverts. That campaign resulted in a 500 percent increase in hits to the GCHQ recruitment Web site and raised global interest in GCHQ's work, according to the agency.