Pottering around a Viking-era version of your home in Assassin's Creed Valhalla is an enormous amount of fun - as I discovered from my adventures in Gloucestershire - but could it also encourage others to visit your country? That's what Tourism Ireland is banking on, as the organisation has teamed up with Ubisoft to use Assassin's Creed Valhalla in a promotional campaign.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla's first expansion, Wrath of the Druids, brings Viking protagonist Eivor across the seas to embark on new adventures in Ireland. Locations such as Dublin, Benbulben, the Giant's Causeway and the Hill of Tara are all visitable in-game, and Tourism Ireland has collaborated with Ubisoft to create a comparison video showing the game versions and their real-life counterparts:
The campaign doesn't end there, however, as streamers in Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Scandinavia will help showcase Irish landscapes in Wrath of the Druids as part of the collaboration. This is the first time that Tourism Ireland has worked with gaming content creators.
"Ubisoft has done an incredible job in bringing aspects of Celtic Ireland to life in amazing detail," said Tourism Ireland central marketing director Mark Henry. "This campaign is a fun and innovative way to bring Ireland to the attention of a new audience of gamers.
"We want to spike players' curiosity about the featured locations and inspire them to come and explore them in the real world."
Encouraging players to check out Valhalla locations in real life seems like an ingenious way to boost tourism, particularly when everyone has been locked inside with their games for a year (and are now feeling pretty keen to get out). I'll be booking my tickets to Sligo soon... Covid-permitting.