Epic Games – the company behind Fortnite – has raised more than £53 million for humanitarian projects in Ukraine following the Russian invasion.
The developer pledged to donate all proceeds from in-game purchases to humanitarian relief between 21 March and 3 April. This included all in-game items and virtual currency, as well as new sign-ups or renewals for its Fortnite Crew membership programme.
For its part, Xbox also donated the fee it would usually take from such purchases to the fund as well.
Epic Games initially announced that it has raised more than $50 million (over £37m) for the fundraising effort, but an update shortly after revised the total to $70 million (over £53m) – which even eclipses the totals donated by some countries.
Not only did Epic Games raise the money, it also pledged to donate it as quickly as possible. This involves logging transactions and sending the money shortly afterwards, instead of waiting for the funds to reach them from payment and platform partners, which could significantly delay the process.
The funds are being split between Direct Relief, Unicef, the United Nations World Food Programme and The UN Refugee Agency. Explaining why it had chosen these organisations, Epic Games wrote in a blog: “They are on the ground providing emergency aid, including health support, food and clean water, essential supplies, legal aid, and shelter.
“More organizations will be added to this list in the coming weeks.”
Epic Games isn’t the only developer helping support the people of Ukraine. Humble Bundle has also pitched in, with its latest fundraising round generating over £15 million.
Humble has long supported developers and charities by bundling together independent games and selling them at a discounted rate compared with the total RRP. The fundraising campaign for Ukraine pulled together 120 games and items, selling it for a minimum of £30.52, instead of the £1,800 at which it would typically be valued.
Speaking during the fundraising period, vice-president of social impact at Humble, Kamini Tiwari, told BBC News: “We’re very, very happy that our community is leaning in to support us. I think they also, like us, recognise that need is so great. Particularly during times of crisis and disaster, it’s been great to see that across the gaming industry so many others are leaning in as well.”