Yesterday, Epic launched the next season of Fortnite, and announced that for the following two weeks all the money it makes from in-game purchases in the popular battle royale will be donated to charities supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. Now, just 24 hours later, and with 13 days remaining, Epic has revealed that it has already raised an eye-popping $US36 ($50) million.
In a blog posted yesterday on Epic’s official news page, the company announced its plans to donate proceeds from all “real-money” purchases made in Fortnite between March 20 through April 3. According to Epic, this includes the purchasing of V-Buck packs and cosmetic packs sold for real money. Epic says proceeds from retail in-store purchases of V-Buck cards will also be included, but only for those redeemed in-game during the two-week window. Xbox is also donating all proceeds made in the Xbox version of Fortnite for the next two weeks too.
What’s wild is that Epic also explained that it will be donating the funds it earns as quickly as it can and won’t be waiting for the “actual funds to come in from our platform and payment partners” as this process can take a long time. Instead, Epic will send the funds to the charities only days after the “transactions are reported.”
According to Epic, all the money earned will be donated to a selection of organisations, which includes Direct Relief, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the World Food Program. Epic says it will add more charities in the weeks to come.
This money is much-needed by folks living in Ukraine who are dealing with the ongoing and horrific invasion by Russia. The war has already led to thousands dead and injured. It has also forced over 3 million people to flee the country, creating a large and growing refugee crisis. Since the start of the invasion in February, many companies around the world — like Sony / PlayStation, Twitch, Netflix, EA Games, and Witcher devs CDPR — have pulled support from the country. Meanwhile, a growing list of nations has enacted and continued to impose strict economic sanctions against Russia.
Over the weekend, two different video game charity bundles raised over $US12 ($17) million to help support the people in Ukraine suffering from the war.
The latest season of Fornite Chapter 3 went live yesterday, bringing in some big changes and new characters to the free-to-play online shooter. One of the biggest tweaks was the removal of building, one of the game’s now-defining features, from some modes of online play. There are also some new parkour features and Dr. Strange from Marvel is hanging out here alongside Jonesy, that weird cat man, and God’s ultimate sin: Peely.