Less than one week into the new in-game season, Fortnite players have already donated a staggering amount of money to help the situation in Ukraine. The game’s developer, Epic Studio, announced on March 20 that it would send all the proceeds gained from in-game transactions directly to a number of humanitarian organizations supporting those affected by the war in Ukraine. The gaming company announced that it gathered more than $50 million just two days later — a sum which then grew to more than $70 million by March 25.
Epic’s latest update announced that the company had raised more than $70 million in aid for charities and various humanitarian groups supporting Ukrainians during the ongoing armed conflict and the Russian invasion of the country. As reported by Kotaku, it took Epic Games a single day to raise over $35 million to help Ukraine using its profit-driving product, Fortnite, and only five days for that sum to reach the aforementioned $70 million. The fundraising event is just five days from ending, and who knows just how much the charitable sum will grow until then.
What’s more interesting is the fact that the Fortnite developer announced it wouldn’t be waiting for the funds to clear before donating the raised money, as it would take too much time. Instead, the company is using its own funds to help the charities only days after the transactions are reported and then replenishing its monetary reserves from the in-game purchases. Clearing transactions is usually pretty quick and happens within hours after the transaction is made, but sometimes, it may even take a day or two — the amount of time charitable organizations across Ukraine might not have.
That’s actually a good way for Fortnite developers to put their money and resources to good use and help speed up the process of funding charities in Ukraine. All funds raised, according to Epic, will be donated to a number of organizations, including Direct Relief, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Children’s Fund, and the World Food Program. Truly admirable and far from being the only good news, as other gaming companies also run their own fundraising programs to help their colleagues in Ukraine.
For example, Xbox is also donating all proceeds made in the Xbox version of Fortnite for the next two weeks, the Humble Bundle (a digital storefront) raised over $20 million, and Itch.io raised over $6 million. Ubisoft, which has studios in Ukraine, announced that they have been providing financial support to their teams stationed in the country, and CD Projekt RED also made significant donations. Nintendo even postponed the release of Advance Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp due to the prominent presence of an army, which is analogous to that of Russia.
The raised funds are much-needed by the people of Ukraine who are dealing with an ongoing and deadly invasion of Russia, which has already led to dead and injured civilians in the country. The conflict also forced over 3 million people to flee the country, which only adds to an already large and ever-growing refugee crisis. Fortnite’s humanitarian relief program will continue until April 3, 2022.