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Video game industry pledges support to Ukraine with game sales, donations

By Kara Santos Published Mar 02, 2022 1:55 pm

Video game development studios around the world have expressed their solidarity for the people of Ukraine, while others have pledged donations from sales directly to help the victims in the ongoing crisis of the Russian invasion.

Last Friday (Feb. 25), 11 Bit Studios, the Poland-based team behind the anti-war game This War of Mine released a statement and announced that all the profits earned from This War of Mine until March 3 would be donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross. 

“As a Polish game studio and creators of the globally recognised anti-war game, This War of Mine—one that directly speaks about the suffering and misery of civilians who are affected by war - we’d like to hereby announce our company statement: we stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” they wrote. “For the next seven days, all profits from This War of Mine, all its DLCs, on all stores and all platforms will go to a special fund. A week from now, this money will be donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross to directly support victims of war in Ukraine.”

Their #FuckTheWar initiative managed to raise $160,000 (P8.2 million) in less than 24 hours. Less than a week after they posted the call, 11 Bit Studios managed to raise $715,000 (P36 million) as of Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2022.

Inspired by 11 Bit Studio’s act, other gaming studios around the world have followed suit, by issuing statements condemning Russia or donating directly to humanitarian efforts.

The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 Studio CD Projekt Red will be donating PLN 1 million (equivalent to $233,973.90) to the charity Polska Akcja Humanitarna.

"We cannot remain indifferent in the face of such injustice and we ask everybody to join in and help in any way you can. Together we can make a huge difference," the studio stated.

Gameloft, which has offices in the Ukrainian cities of Kharkiv and Lviv, also issued a statement, following the invasion.

Triple A and indie game studios alike are raising money for donations to Ukrainian charities and humanitarian efforts through special game sales. Gamers in different parts of the world, who want to do their part, can support initiatives by purchasing select games.

This War of Mine from 11 Bit Studios is a grueling survival strategy game originally released in November 2014, that puts players not in the position of elite soldiers, but rather as a group of civilians trying to survive a besieged city, struggling with lack of food, medicine and constant danger from snipers and hostile scavengers. 

The base game, which provides an experience of war seen from a different angle, is currently priced at P495.95 on Steam. The Complete Edition is priced at P503.93.

RedDeer.games announced that it is donating 100 percent of its profits from all sales of the arcade puzzle game Cyber Protocol for the month of March to a charity supporting Ukraine. The charity will be selected together by the players. RedDeer has also created 15 job offers for people of Ukraine migrating from their home country to Poland.

Cyber Protocol is an arcade puzzle game with retro aesthetics where you impersonate the main hero in a mission to bring your friend back to life.

The California-based indie team Crytivo are also helping the Ukrainian Red Cross, by donating all the profits earned from their store until the end of March (as well as the end of February). 

Their titles include Universim, a godlike sim where players take charge of the development of civilization through the ages and Today is My Birthday, a classic horror game where players are tossed into insurmountable odds with only a few tools at their disposal to escape death.

State of Play, the studio behind the award winning puzzle adventure Lumino City, is donating all its earnings from Steam, Google Play and the App Store to the Ukrainian Red Cross. 

Another game from State of Play is South of the Circle, set against the backdrop of the Cold War. The narrative adventure game deals with memory, survival, and the consequences of not dealing with the past. 

Swedish video game studio Thunderful Games is donating all profits earned from the sales of the RPG shooter SteamWorld Heist and puzzle simulation Bridge Constructor, on all platforms, until March 7 to the Ukrainian Red Cross.

Polish indie studio Crunching Koalas, whose games include action survival horror Darkwood, WWII-era tactical RPG Warsaw, and first-person shooter Project Warlock, are donating all their profits from all sales (across all platforms) to the Ukrainian Red Cross until March 4. 

All In! Games is donating all profits from Chernobylite and Paradise Lost earned until March 4.

Chernobylite is a science-fiction survival horror RPG set in the hyper-realistic, 3D-scanned wasteland of Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone. Paradise Lost, is a post-apocalyptic survival adventure set as an alternate history version of WWII that combines Slavic mythology and retrofuturistic technology.

Similarly, all profits earned from Beetlewing's strategy game Slipways will be donated to the Polish Red Cross’ “help Ukraine fund.”

Slipways, which takes the space grand strategy genre, paints a world free of war and military conflict. 

As reported by The Gamer, the game storefront GOG also announced that it will be supporting the developers who pledge to donate money made from their games to Ukrainian causes, including for Slipways and This War is Mine.