Fortnite Chapter 3, Season 2, the very popular survival game developed by Epic Games, was highly anticipated among video game players.
The group has just launched this new season without any major announcement and for good reason because it falls into the Russian war in Ukraine.
Entitled Resistance, this 20th season of Battle Royale (certainly developed for several months) does not necessarily come at the right time because unequivocally staging scenes of War and fights between the two camps. As we can see on the launch trailer, it is with tanks, missiles, bombings and other explosions that the two sides will oppose on the island to try to win enemy territories.
Aware of the context and no doubt for fear of being seen as tone deaf, Epic Games has just made a particularly unexpected gesture.
Big Donation Ahead
All profits from in-game purchases -- outfits, accessories, monthly club and battle passes -- between March 20 and April 3 will be donated to a fund in support of victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"Support Humanitarian Relief for Ukraine," Epic Games wrote on the Fortnite Twitter account. The message is inscribed below the Ukrainian flag.
"Epic is committing all its Fortnite proceeds from March 20, 2022 through April 3, 2022 to humanitarian relief for people affected by the war in Ukraine," the company said, adding a link for people to learn more.
This decision could make it possible to collect a large donation for Ukraine because it is a new season and the players will undoubtedly jump on the new paid Battle pass in order to discover the novelties of the game and have an advantage over the others.
"Xbox is joining Epic in support of the people of Ukraine by contributing net proceeds for Fortnite during this time," the company said.
"You can also donate your Microsoft Rewards points through April 30th and Microsoft will match your contribution." You can find details on that via Xbox's tweet.
The Video Game Industry Has Chosen Its Side
The money raised will be given to Direct Relief, Unicef, the United Nations World Food Programme, and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
Epic Games says that more agencies will be added to that list in the following weeks, which are "on the ground providing emergency aid, including health support, food and clean water, essential supplies, legal aid, and shelter."
Epic also says that it will be sending funds to these organizations as “quickly as we can."
"We’re not waiting for the actual funds to come in from our platform and payment partners, which can take a while depending on how the transaction was processed. As transactions are reported, we’ll log them and send the funds to the humanitarian relief organizations within days.”
The reaction of the organizations concerned was quick and largely positive.
"Thanks to @Xbox for highlighting UNICEF’s lifesaving emergency response efforts in Ukraine to their community of gamers. Through April 30th, your donated Microsoft Rewards points can go further — every point donated to UNICEF will be matched, doubling your impact!" Unicef USA posted on Twitter, thanking Microsoft's XBOX.
The support of Fortnite and Xbox, two of the big names in the video game industry, crowns the mobilization of the sector for Ukraine. It should probably push competitor Sony (SNE) - Get Sony Corp. Report and its PlayStation to do the same.
The video game industry has already raised millions of dollars to help Ukrainians. Game developers and creators have already been able to raise nearly $6.4 million by creating a Ukraine-focused Humble Bundle, a collection of over 900 indie games and more with all proceeds going to charities providing relief assistance in the country.
"The people of Ukraine are under attack," says the collective, which now brings together more than 700 video game creators. "As game developers we want to create new worlds, not to destroy the one we have. That's why we've banded together to present this charity bundle to help Ukrainians survive this ordeal and thrive after the war ends. This cause has resonated with creators around the globe, to the extent that our bundle contains almost 1,000 games, tabletop RPGs, books, etc."
All proceeds from this bundle will be split between two charities: the International Medical Corps and the Voices of Children.