Thanks to his video game FortniteAmerican company Epic Games will contribute USD 144 million (EUR 131 million) to humanitarian aid in Ukraine. Announced in a press release on Monday 4 April, the amount of this important fundraiser equates to the entire profit the company has made over the past two weeks from the famous shooting and survival game. Xbox, the video game division of Microsoft also contributed to the donations by donating all profits generated by Fortnite of its consoles in the same period.
This free game, which has more than 350 million users worldwide, is funded by purchases made by players during their games. In fact, its economic model is mainly based on integrated purchases that make it possible to obtain personalization elements (outfits, dance moves or characters for example) in exchange for a few euros.
Launched on the occasion of the launch of the new season of the game, on March 20, the collection was intended to participate in “emergency aid” and “to the victims of war” in Ukraine. The money is distributed among various international organizations: UNICEF, the World Food Programme, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the associations Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen.
Epic Games, 40% owned by Chinese group Tencent, saw its valuation soar to nearly $29 billion in 2021 after raising funds from several investors, including Sony. The company also owns the online game sales platform Epic Games Store and the studio Psyonix, behind the hit game Rocket Leaguethat combines motorsport and football†
A highly mobilized industry
Many video game studios have raised money to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and more broadly in Eastern Europe. From the first hours after the Russian invasion on February 24, Polish studio 11-Bits has announced that a portion of the profits from its pacifist game This war of mine would be donated to humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
The movement in the middle of the video game then gradually gained momentum. The humble platform has in particular made it possible to recover 18 million euros thanks to the sale on the Internet of a batch of 120 games or software whose publishers have sold all the rights for the occasion. The Riot Games studio, creator of the famous League of Legends† raised over $5.4 million (4.9 million euros), while Japanese publishers bandai namco †Elden Ring) and Square-Enix (series Final Fantasy) donated $848,000 (EUR 772,000) and $500,000 (EUR 455,000) respectively.
Other companies have chosen to do it differently: sony (PlayStation) and nintendo have stopped selling their consoles and games in Russia, while Microsoft announced that it would withdraw its products from Russian stores, without disclosing any specific information about its Xbox consoles. A large number of video game publishers have also stopped selling, both in the country and in Belarus, such as: Niantic †pokemon go† Activision Blizzard †Call of Duty: Vanguard† electronic art †FIFA 22) or Wargaming (World of Tanks), which was founded in Minsk, Belarus.
Ukraine is a very dynamic country in the video game industry. Many major industry groups have set up studios there, such as French companies Gameloft and Ubisoft. Structures made in Ukraine have also made a name for themselves with players around the world, such as the GSC Gameworld studio (STALKER) or 4A games (Subway 2033 Where Subway: Exodus), which was moved to Malta in 2014.
More than 4.2 million Ukrainians have fled their country since the February 24 invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to UNHCR figures on Monday, April 4. Europe has not seen such a flood of refugees since World War II.