Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis is not yet over. But against a backdrop of continued heartache and suffering, so many people around the world have stepped up to contribute to Aussie bushfire relief in some way, including many of gaming’s most prolific developers. These are the companies that have helped out so far.
To help raise funds for the Australian bushfire crisis, Activision and Infinity Ward released DLC known as the ‘Outback Relief Pack’, which includes a range of Aussie-themed cosmetic items like charms, weapon skins, emblems and a nice hat.
The pack raised $2.3 million, with the money going towards charitable fund Direct Relief, which will distribute donations amongst Australian communities and local charity grou
Bungie released a limited edition t-shirt to raise funds for Aussie bushfire release via their webstore, with proceeds from sales split between WIRES and the NSW Rural Fire Service.
Bungie’s t-shirt campaign will run until February 18, with final donation figures being announced at its conclusion.
The bushfire crisis has devastated communities across the nation and the scenes of loss are heartbreaking.
We’ve heard the calls requesting we create in-game items to encourage donations, however this takes considerable development time and we feel immediate action is required. pic.twitter.com/7JPg0QPOqQ
— Ubisoft Australia (@UbiAustralia) January 9, 2020
Ubisoft Australia donated $30,000 out of their own pocket to the Australian Red Cross Disaster and Recovery Relief Fund, while encouraging its audience to make further donations to organisations across NSW and Victoria.
Wargaming/World of Tanks ANZ
World of Tanks ANZ had an initial fundraising goal of $10,000 when they kicked off their campaign, which included livestreams, a silent auction, donations and contributions from its community. In total, the final amount raised was over $90,000, with funds being donated to BlazeAid, a volunteer organisation that helps out people effected by disasters.
Digital Extremes, the creators of Warframe, made a donation of $US15,000 ($22,281) to both the Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund and the Bendigo Bank Bushfire Appeal, while encouraging its audience to also contribute to these organisations.
Sony Foundation Australia is running a streaming campaign until February 23 to raise funds for young Australians affected by the bushfires. Several prominent streamers have joined the appeal, and all money raised is being donated to the Sony Foundation Australia Bushfire Appeal.
Crytivo, creators of The Universim announced in January that they would donate 100% of net revenue from their online store and 30% of all sales from Steam to to aid those affected by Australia’s bushfire crisis. In a blog post, they announced that these funds would go towards firefighters working around the clock.
➡️Pillars of Eternity Mega Collection Auction ????????
— Obsidian (@Obsidian) January 17, 2020
Developer Obsidian, responsible for recent hits like Pillars of Eternity and The Outer Worlds auctioned off a Pillars of Eternity ‘Mega Collection’ on Twitter that included signed collector’s editions of their games, a plush toy, a soundtrack, figures and other goodies. The winning bid reached $1,600.
Riot Games released a grant through International Medical Corps (IMC) and Plan Australia to support young kids effected by the bushfires. This was part of an ongoing partnership Riot has with IMC to help provide disaster relief.
Bethesda and 2K Games
This week, Bethesda and 2K Games announced they would be teaming up for a Twitch charity stream featuring both companies playing each other’s games with the aim of raising funds for Australian bushfire relief. You can watch the stream live on Saturday, February 15 on the Bethesda and Borderlands Twitch channels.
In addition to this, Bethesda hosted a 24-hour sale for bushfire relief in late January, with net proceeds from the sale being donated to the Australian Red Cross. Kotaku Australia has reached out to Bethesda to confirm the amount raised in the sale, and will update the story when we hear back.
Importantly, it’s not just major games developers that have contributed to Ausralian bushfire relief. Developer Impbox Games recently released a game called Bushfire Rescue Tactics, available on itch.io, with all proceeds going towards WIRES and Wildlife Victoria. Through hashtags like #GameDevsForFireys, many other indie developers have rallied to raise bushfire donations by offering skills and consultancies in exchange for donations.
This included offers for headshots, illustrations and design work, mentorship, PAX badges and game prototypes. Other developers like Monomi Park (Slime Rancher), League of Geeks (Armello) and Terrible Toybox (Thimbleweed Park) also contributed various items for auction.
Every community is doing their bit to help Australia right now - even the furries - so it's no surprise that Australian game devs would get involved. Inspired by Australian authors auctioning off their their works and special releases for charity, a group of local makers have started Game Devs For Firies.Read more
Many Australian indie developers also contributed games to the Humble Bushfire Relief Bundle that raised over $2.21 million, including Team Cherry, League of Geeks, Defiant Development, SMG Studio, Big Ant Studios and more. In total, over 60,000 bundles were sold.
Humble Bundle's stock in trade is raising money for charity, and naturally, they weren't going to let the Australian bushfires go past without doing something. Early Friday morning, they announced what might be their best bundle to date, and the bundle has already raised more than $1.77 million for the WWF, WIRES and the RSPCA.Read more
Editor’s Note: Readers may notice that the mentions of various developer efforts don’t include direct links. That’s a legal requirement: Australian publishing law dictates that we can only link out to fundraising efforts linked to registered charities in Australia, which doesn’t include some fundraising platforms that are only registered overseas. So if you want to find any of the individual drives not directly linked here, you’ll have to do a quick Google search.