A fundraising effort by video game Fortnite and Microsoft’s Xbox has generated $144 million for organizations seeking to help Ukraine.
Six weeks after an invasion by Russia, millions of refugees have fled Ukraine, while those remaining face dire needs in terms of basic supplies and shelter. In a tweet, the Epic Games brand confirmed the news. “Our deepest thanks to everyone who joined us in supporting humanitarian relief efforts for people affected by the war in Ukraine.”
The funds will go to Direct Relief, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations World Food Programme and the United Nations Refugee Agency.
Epic had previously announced it would redirect all proceeds from the game, along with Microsoft’s, to Ukrainian relief efforts for a period of two weeks. The first day alone brought in $36 million, fueled by the release of a new version of Fortnite, which is always a major event in the gaming world.
Because Epic Games is a privately held company, numbers for Fortnite are relatively hard to come by, but in mid-2020 the company said there were 350 million registered users. In the company’s recent legal battle with Apple, documents indicated Epic booked more than $9 billion in revenue from the game in 2018 and 2019.
The fundraising effort followed a period when a range of tech companies (along with a significant number of businesses overall) withdrew from Russia as a response to the invasion.
Independent video game developers also banded together to provide The Bundle for Ukraine, which offered nearly 1,000 titles for a $10 donation. That initiative raised $6 million.
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