Saturday, May 21, 2022

‘Fortnite’ maker raises US$144 million for Ukraine

Video game makers and companies in other markets have raised money to help humanitarian efforts in Eastern Europe.

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Video game maker Epic Games said Monday that US$144 million made from its popular “Fortnite” battle game will go to help the people of war-ravaged Ukraine.

Epic committed the “Fortnite” proceeds from the past two weeks to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and said that the Xbox gaming unit of Microsoft is doing the same.

“Really incredible to see how the gaming community can have impact beyond the playing of games,” Xbox head Phil Spencer responded to Epic’s announcement about the donation on Twitter.

Battle royale game “Fortnite” boasts more than 350 million players worldwide, releasing a new season late in March.

The game is free to download and play, with the company making money from optional transactions such as digital costumes for characters, dance moves for avatars and tournaments.

Spencer thanked Epic for organising the fundraising effort.

The money raised is being routed to aid groups including Unicef, the UN Refugee Agency and the World Food Program, according to Epic.

The World Food Program has reached a million people in Ukraine with food and cash assistance, the organization tweeted Monday.

Thousands of people have been killed and more than 4.2 million Ukrainian refugees have fled the country since the Russian invasion in February, the UN says.

Video game makers and companies in other markets have raised money to help humanitarian efforts in Eastern Europe.

For example, “League of Legends” maker Riot Games announced recently that it had raised US$5.4 million for the cause.

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