from the gaming-for-good dept
Once again, here comes the video game industry to do good in the world. Despite being the easy villain for many, including grandstanding politicians, video games and their communities can often be seen doing good for the world. A couple of weeks back, we discussed how one itch.io game bundle was offering thousands of dollars worth of games in a bundle that had over 1,000 titles to raise money for charities supporting Ukrainians. Despite a minimum price of $10 in a “pay what you want” format, that bundle had already raised $2 million from a $100k goal and was then aiming at $4 million instead.
Well, the bundle blew past that goal as well. Instead, that bundle ended up raising over $6 million.
Originally the bundle had a comparatively small goal of $100,000. That goal was smashed quickly and after only 24 hours the indie bundle had already raised just over $1.5 million. It ended yesterday, reaching a grand total of $6,370,557.
Pretty impressive. Especially when you consider that the itch.io bundle wasn’t the only game, pun fully intended, in town when it came to raising funds for charities supporting Ukrainians. Humble Bundle got into the act as well, raising an almost identical sum.
As I’m writing this now, the bundle has already passed $6 million. Considering the incredible selection of games on offer and the fact that the whole thing only costs $40, I suspect that by the time this bundle wraps up in a week it will end up raising considerably more than $6 million.
Add both up and that’s over $12 million in charity! (And like I just mentioned, the Humble Bundle will likely raise that number up even more by next week.)
$12 million raised for charity for innocent people living hundreds or thousands of miles away is simply nothing to sneer at. This is the sort of thing that never gets the headlines it deserves. That headline space is apparently instead reserved for whenever there is some violent shooting out there that can be blamed on video games.
But we’re still not done. While these indie sites did great work raising $12 million for these charities, you sort of have to stand in awe of what Epic managed to do by pledging the first two weeks of Fortnite’s 3rd season revenue to charities supporting Ukraine.
Yesterday, Epic launched the next season of Fortnite, and announced that for the following two weeks all the money it makes from in-game purchases in the popular battle royale will be donated to charities supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. Now, just 24 hours later, and with 13 days remaining, Epic has revealed that it has already raised an eye-popping $36 million.
According to Epic, all the money earned will be donated to a selection of organizations, which includes Direct Relief, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the World Food Program. Epic says it will add more charities in the weeks to come.
In addition, Epic isn’t waiting for the actual money to filter in from their partners and affiliates. Instead, it is firing the money off to charities as soon as the purchase is reported. That’s also no small thing.
The point here is not that all video games and gamers are good all of the time. That would be absurd. Instead, the point here is that the gaming industry and community, so often the scapegoat for many of the world’s ills, is not actually the world’s villain.
That would be Vladimir Putin, frankly, and the gaming industry is trying to help.