Epic has announced that it has already raised a whopping $36 million towards humanitarian relief in Ukraine via Fortnite. This news comes after the company pledged all of its proceeds from Fortnite to Ukrainian relief over the next two weeks.
How has Fortnite made so much money for Ukrainian relief?
Yesterday, Epic announced that it would commit all of its Fortnite proceeds to various charities currently focused on Ukrainian relief owing to the Russian invasion. Today, Tim Sweeney's studio revealed that this decision has already yielded $36 million for the cause. Epic says these proceeds will be shared between UNICEF, the World Food Programme, UNHCR, and Direct Relief, and will go towards health support, clean water, food, and other essentials for those affected by the war in Ukraine. This may not be Epic pledging its entire net profit for 2022 to support Ukraine in the way that work-for-hire studio Room 8 Group did, but it's still a huge deal.
Beyond being a great achievement in terms of humanitarian aid, this announcement demonstrates just how much Fortnite usually makes. This news comes at the advent of a new Fortnite season, so the amount is naturally higher right now than it would be in a few weeks. In addition, the involvement of charity, along with Microsoft's decision to donate its own net proceeds from Fortnite to charity, probably inflates the figures somewhat. Still, even if we assume that Fortnite usually makes around $25-$30 million at the outset of a new season, that shows just how all-encompassing Epic's battle royale truly is.
Epic's achievement isn't the only way the gaming industry is raising funds for Ukraine. The recently-closed Itch.io Bundle for Ukraine managed to raise a staggering $6.3 million for humanitarian relief, which is impressive considering Itch.io is a fraction of Epic's size. The new Humble Stand With Ukraine Bundle, which went on sale on Friday, currently stands at around $10.3 million, and there are still four days left for that number to climb even further. Whether big or small, gaming companies are stepping up their efforts to raise money for Ukraine.
The gaming industry's wider response to the Ukraine crisis
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, the gaming industry has responded in a variety of ways. Overwhelmingly, the industry has condemned the invasion and pledged to support Ukraine in whatever way it can. Major companies such as Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and Games Workshop have all suspended their services to greater or smaller degrees in Russia. Elsewhere, studios like Chernobylite's The Farm 51 are creating new products (such as DLC packs or ancillary content for their games) specifically to support relief efforts.
Thanks to developers such as Sherlock Holmes and Sinking City luminaries Frogwares, the gaming industry is also getting an idea of what life on the ground is like during the war. Hopefully, efforts like those being undertaken by Epic, Microsoft, and other major gaming companies will be able to make a difference to Ukrainian people's lives and perhaps contribute towards ending this horrific war as soon as possible. We'll bring you more on this as soon as we get it.