At a glance:
- Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and more have pulled sales to Russia
- Proceeds from sales of multiple games will be donated to support humanitarian efforts
- Companies donating to aid efforts include Bungie, 11 Bit Studios, GSC Game World, CD Projekt, and more
- Studios with employees in Ukraine, including Ubisoft, TinyBuild and Playrix, detail support and relocation efforts
Games companies are calling for industry and player support as Ukraine suffers attacks from Russian military forces.
According to the New York Times, the United Nations has reported that 227 civilians were killed and 525 were injured between the beginning of the invasion on Thursday, February 24 and Tuesday, March 1. The UN noted that this number is likely lower than the reality.
Many of the games companies based in Ukraine, including Frogwares, Vostok Games and Sengi Games, have made statements via social media regarding Russia’s actions, while some have called for or promised more active support.
Industry professionals have also been sharing a link to a website that provides more donation links for those wanting to fund medical supplies, resources for the military, support for children affected by the war and the journalists reporting on the conflict.
Below is an ongoing roundup of industry aid efforts:
Thursday, April 21
Today game publisher SciPlay announced that it has raised $100,000 for humanitarian aid group Direct Relief. The funds will go towards the nonprofit’s medical aid support efforts to Ukraine’s Ministry of Health.
“SciPlay stands with those who are surviving the war and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” said SciPlay CEO Josh Wilson.
Thursday, April 7
Blizzard has reportedly altered two skins in Overwatch belonging to Russian hero, Zarya. The company has removed a ‘Z’ symbol from two of the character’s outfits, following the letter’s pro-war implication in Russia.
A noted by Polygon, the firm didn’t announce the changes, but the absence of the letter was noticed by players and shared to Reddit.
Monday, April 4
Epic Games announced that the Fortnite community has raised a total of $144 million for its Ukrainian donation initiative. The donation program ran from March 20 to April 3.
The company said the proceeds will go to non profit organizations Direct Relief, UNICEF, World Food Programme, the UN Refugee Agency, and World Central Kitchen.
“Our deepest thanks to everyone who joined us in supporting humanitarian relief efforts for people affected by the war in Ukraine,” Epic Games said.
World of Tanks maker Wargaming has announced that it will cease operations of its businesses in Russia and Belarus.
The company has transferred its live businesses to Russian firm Lesta Studio, and its products will remain for sale in both territories via the new owner.
It is also set to close its Minsk office.
Thursday, March 31
Riot has donated $5.4 million raised from battle pass sales from multiple games to support humanitarian relief in Ukraine.
The funds ($4.4 million) were generated between March 5 and 12 across Valorant, Legends of Runeterra, Teamfight Tactics and Wild Rift, as well as the Bee skin line in League of Legends.
In addition, Riot donated a further $1 million to the fund which will be split across three nonprofits: International medical Corps, Doctors Without Borders and International Committee of the Red Cross.
Monday, March 28
Fortnite players have raised over $70 million for humanitarian relief in Ukraine, making the company the largest corporate donor to the cause so far.
The funds raised are part of the company’s pledge to donate all proceeds from in-game purchases to support those affected in the country. The initiative will run until April 3.
Humble’s Stand for Ukraine bundle set up to support humanitarian aid in the country has closed, raising over $20 million.
The bundle launched on March 18 and contained over 120 items with a value of over $200. The company also said that 100% of the proceeds will be donated to charity.
Thursday, March 24
Mykhailo Fedorov, the vice prime minister of Ukraine and minister of digital transformation of Ukraine, has thanked Epic Games for its donation efforts to support the country.
As of March 22, the company’s battle royale title Fortnite has raised $50 million in aid relief during the war. Proceeds will continue to go UNICEF, World Food Programme, UNHCR and Direct Relief until April 3.
“Thank you [Epic Games] for understanding that people’s lives are not a game. Your support is crucially important for us,” Fedorov said.
UK retailer Fanatical announced that it has joined over 50 game studios and industry figures to launch the Stand With Ukraine Charity Games Bundle.
The collection features over 50 games and the company said that all revenue generated from the bundle will be donated to the Red Cross for Ukraine war relief.
“We at Fanatical have watched in growing disbelief and frustration as the violent invasion of Ukraine has unfolded…When we were approached by fellow games industry folks about hosting a fundraising bundle for Ukraine, it was the easiest decision we’ve ever had to make,” said managing director of Fanatical Craig Johnson.
Wednesday, March 23
CSG Game World
While it’s not a complete relocation, the studio confirmed that “part of the team” is heading to the Czech Republic, so the developer can continue its work on Stalker 2.
Tuesday, March 22
Mobalytics and a number of other Ukrainian game companies have joined to launch the Gamers With Ukraine initiative. With the project people can find programs, resources, donations, and other ways to assist those affected by the Russian invasion. Its goals are said to be for showing support for Ukraine, directing people to aid, and providing donation assistance.
Epic Games and Xbox have raised over $36 million in 24 hours for humanitarian relief in Ukraine, Epic announced. This follows the announcement yesterday that all Fortnite proceeds would be donated to charity until April 3. The funds will be split across Direct Relief, UNICEF, World Food Programme, and the UN Refugee Agency.
Trove publisher Gamigo has announced new in-game items across its portfolio of titles, with proceeds from their sale going to charities supporting Ukraine.
Shaiya, Aura Kingdom, Grand Fantasia, and Echo of Soul all will offer special items with prices starting at €5. Gamigo had already announced a similar initiative across a first wave of titles, with Trove, Fiesta Online, Last Chaos and Wizard101 already offering such items for sale, with profits donated to charity.
Monday, March 21
Epic Games announced on Twitter that all proceeds from Fortnite sales until April 3 will be donated to humanitarian relief for people affected by the war in Ukraine.
Following this announcement, Xbox said on Twitter that it’d join Epic and also donate proceeds from Fortnite sales to charity for the same time period. Microsoft had previously announced that it was halting sales of its products in Russia.
A few days after announcing it would stop selling its products in Russia and Belarus, Humble launched a bundle gathering over 120 games, with all proceeds going to charity. At the time of writing, the bundle had already raised £7.5 million, in four days. The funds will be split across Razom for Ukraine, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, and Direct Relief.
Another bundle, on Itch.io, raised over $6.3 million over the past couple of weeks.
Friday, March 18
Indie publisher Wired Studios has donated $75,000 to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. The money will be split between Red Cross, Unicef and MSF.
“We are saddened angered and sickened by the war in Ukraine, we condemn this unjustified and unlawful invasion by Russia, lives are being lost,” the company said in a statement. “Together with our wonderful development partners we have collectively managed to raise $75,000 to support those affected.”
Thursday, March 17
EA has stiffened its measures against Russia and Belarus, saying it would remove the two countries from its esports programs.
In a statement, the company said the measure is effective immediately, adding: “Players and teams in Russia and Belarus are ineligible to participate in the Apex Legends Global Series and the EA Sports FIFA 22 Global Series.”
EA halted sales of all its products in Russia and Belarus last week in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
Wednesday, March 16
In an update from CEO Lars Wingefors shared yesterday with shareholders, the Embracer Group said it’s estimated that it will dedicate $5 million to humanitarian aid for Ukraine during the quarter ending March 31, rather than the $1 million previously announced.
“Our first priority right now is to provide the safety of our staff and their families,” Wingefors said. “By the end of 2021 we engaged approximately 250 people in Ukraine, 1,000 in Russia, and 250 in Belarus. We have been working hard to support the relocation and safety of many of our employees and family members who are willing to leave. However, by no means is everyone out of danger yet. I believe that humanitarian aid is one of the best investments we can make in the given situation. If we fail to act with compassion and humanity, we will fail as a business and an employer.”
Ukrainian developer Ternox Games has created a Steam bundle, announcing that participating studios have pledged to donate the proceeds to help the country’s Armed Forces.
The initiative was announced on Twitter, with the bundle currently featuring 11 games from 11 Ukrainian studios.
Tuesday, March 15
Stream for Ukraine update
The Itch.io bundle by Necrosoft Games is received a further boost thanks to an event organised by Global Game Jam, IGDA, Itch.io and StreamLabs Charity.
Stream For Ukraine will run from Wednesday, March 16 to Thursday, March 17 and calls on any and all content creators to livestream their sessions playing titles from Bundle for Ukraine, in the hopes of encouraging viewers to buy the compilation and contribute more support to this this fundraising initiative.
The bundle includes almost 1,000 pieces of content, including almost 600 games and is available for $10, although users can pay more if they so choose. All revenue is split between International Medical Corps and Voices of Children, who are each contributing to aid efforts in Ukraine.
Launching on Monday, March 7, the bundle has already raised more than $5 million.
Those wishing to take part in Stream for Ukraine can sign up here.
Monday, March 14
The Japanese publisher announced via Twitter it is making a ¥100 million ($850,000) donation to Save The Children to help fund the charity’s aid efforts for people affected by the invasion of Ukraine, including those seeking refuse in other countries.
“We hope that the people and communities affected by this crisis will be able to return to peaceful days as soon as possible,” the company wrote.
As of Friday, March 11, Russia has been added to the list of countries ineligible for cash prizes in competitive Fortnite tournaments, according to a blog post by Epic Games.
Players based in the country can still earn cosmetic rewards but are urged to go through Epic’s prize verification process for any unclaimed money won in previous tournaments. The deadline is Tuesday, March 22 — after which all unclaimed cash prizes will be frozen until Epic’s payment service resumes support for people residing in Russia.
Gardenscapes developer Playrix has told GamesIndustry.biz that Hit Games LLC, the Ukrainian company in its group, is donating $500,000 to the Ukrainian Red Cross, as well as detailing how it is supporting staff in the area.
All Ukrainian employees have been on paid leave since the invasion began and will be “until they feel ready to get back to work.” All employees have also been paid an extra month’s salary.
Support teams are operating 24/7 to offer aid where needed, whether it’s financial, legal or help with relocation. The company is also helping employees and their families move to Western Ukraine or Playrix’s temporary hub in Poland.
“The Playrix subsidiary in Ukraine employs more than 1,500 people, and the safety and well-being of all those employees and their families have been our top priority since day one,” said Hit Games CEO Stanislav Udovichenko.
“We stand in solidarity with our fellow Ukrainians and feel it is our duty as a company to help in every way we can.”
Friday, March 11
The publisher behind Elden Ring announced that it has decided to make a donation of ¥100 million ($852,000) to the charity Save the Children. The company said that the fund will go to people seeking support and refuge from the crisis.
BGI and the National Videogame Museum issued a statement of solidarity for the people of Ukraine. It went on to say that it condemns the invasion and is calling for peace.
“The hearts of our charity’s trustees and staff go out to everyone caught in this terrible war and we recommend the public supports the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine appeal,” the organization said.
Eurogamer’s charity stream has generated over £11,000 in donations for support to the people in Ukraine. The publication’s fundraiser is still ongoing.
Developer Niantic has shared that its games are no longer available for download in Russia and Belarus, and that gameplay in the countries will soon be suspended. This includes Pokémon GO, Ingress, and Pikmin Bloom.
“We stand with the global community in hoping for peace and a rapid resolution to the violence and suffering in Ukraine,” the company said in a statement. “Niantic’s games are no longer available for download in Russia and Belarus, and gameplay will also be suspended there shortly.”
Indie publisher and retailer Humble has announced that it’s halting the sale of its products in Russia and Belarus.
In an announcement shared on Twitter, the company said it condemns “the violent and unlawful invasion in Ukraine” and is currently working on a bundle with proceeds going to charity. More details will be shared over the next week, it added.
Thursday, March 10
Plarium has pulled all of its games from app stores in Russia and Belarus until further notice. In a statement, the developer said it has also stopped accepting Plarium Play and Plarium.com payments in both countries.
“We remain focused and committed to providing financial, operational, and emotional support to all our employees who are regrettably caught in the middle of this,” the company said. “The safety of all of our employees and their loved ones is our top priority.”
The Kyiv-based developer has announced that it has “taken a break from our work due to obvious reasons.” In a Twitter post, the studio said it has taken, and is continuing to take efforts to ensure the team are safe.
“Part of the team has moved from Kyiv [to Western part of Ukraine or other places in the country]. The rest are in Kyiv and are currently staying at their respective homes,” it said. “So far everyone is alive and safe.”
The Switch maker joins Sony and Microsoft in halting sales to Russia. In a statement, the company said it is no longer shipping to the country “for the foreseeable future, due to considerable volatility surrounding the logistics of shipping and distributing physical goods.”
PlayStation has now withdrawn sales to Russia. A Sony representative confirmed the move to GamesIndustry.biz , saying, “Sony Interactive Entertainment joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine. We have suspended all software and hardware shipments, the launch of Gran Turismo 7, and operations of the PlayStation Store in Russia.
“To support humanitarian aid, Sony Group Corporation announced a US$2 million donation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the international NGO, Save the Children, to support the victims of this tragedy.”
Angry Birds maker Rovio has removed all of its games from app stores in Russia and Belarus, and in-app purchases for those markets have also been disabled. Additionally, incoming updates for games will not be rolled out in those areas. The developer is also dedicated all of its in-game ad space to humanitarian organisations in order to support Ukraine.
Bungie has stopped sales of Destiny 2 in Russia and Belarus. Players will still have access to the free base game and any content they have bought previously, but won’t be able to buy other premium content or in-game currency moving forwards. The studio also released a blue and yellow player emblem for players to express support for Ukraine.
Wednesday, March 9
As reported and translated by Siliconera, Japanese game publisher Koei Tecmo announced that it has donated $500,000 to the non profit The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The contribution will go towards relief efforts in Ukraine and its surrounding areas. In addition, the company said that it will also be collecting more donations from its employees and the public.
The Itch.io bundle launched by Necrosoft smashed its initial $1 million target raised for Ukraine, and at the time of writing had raised over $2.3 million, in just over a day. The new goal has been set at $4 million, with a little over eight days to go before the end of the offer.
The bundle includes around 1,000 games worth over $6.500, with all proceeds donated to charity.
Tuesday, March 8th
Warsaw-based game developer QLOC announced that the group which it is apart of has donated 1 million PLN for aid to Ukraine. The company said that the funds will go to the Polish Medical Mission, which will be used to purchase supplies to provide support in the country.
Room 8 Studio
Ukrainian game developer Room 8 announced that it will donate its net profit of 2022 to humanitarian response efforts in Ukraine. “We take comfort in knowing that during this difficult time, the world stood alongside Ukraine and demanded peace and welfare regardless of the nation in which they were born,” the game company said.
The planned indie games compilation has now launched. Bundle for Ukraine is available via Itch.io, and aims to raise $1 million that will be split equally between International Medical Corps and Voices for Children.
The bundle features almost 1,000 items, including 572 games, plus an assortment of tabletop RPGs, comics, books, music, software tools and game assets. Titles featured include Skatebird, Celeste, Bury Me My Love, Superhot, Minit, A Short Hike and Baba Is You, with a combined value estimated at around $6,500.
The minimum spend required to purchase the bundle is $10, although Necrosoft is encouraging people to donate more. At the time of writing, the bundle is nearly halfway to its goal at just over $450,000 raised from a little under 30,000 people.
Bundle for Ukraine will be available until Friday, March 18.
Monday, March 7
Multiple companies cut off sales in Russia
Following the lead of CD Projekt and Bloober Team, several major publishers — including Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard and Epic Games — have all halted sales of their games, services and in-game purchases in the market.
Meanwhile, Nintendo has suspended all eShop payments for Russian Switch users.
The Swedish games industry trade body is raising awareness of local companies offering sanctuary for game developers fleeing from Ukraine.
Several games clusters and incubators across the nation are providing workplaces, including equipment and software, for developers who have escaped, as well as shelter for them and their families. There is a Discord for those seeking help.
The organisation is also calling on its members to stop selling games in Russia and Belarus, as well as blocking user accounts from those markets.
Former Goldeneye developers
David Doak, formerly of Rare, has donated a boxed copy of Goldeneye 007 for Nintendo 64 to an auction to raise money for the Ukrainian Red Cross. The cartridge and box are both signed by Doak — who worked as a game designer on the title and even had a cameo as an in-game character — and multiplayer coder Steve Ellis. Martin Hollis, who led the Goldeneye team, has also agreed to sign.
Friday, March 4
Sega announced that its making a meaningful donation and is matching the donations by its staff to Ukrainian support causes for those affected by the invasion. “We’re all hoping all for a swift and peaceful resolution for the people of Ukraine and everyone affected by the current situation,” the company said.
11 Bit Studios
This War of Mine developer 11 Bit Studios has raised a total of $850,000 for Ukraine. The developer said “The amount of your goodwill is exceptional. Our fundraiser has ended.”
The developer of Control announced that it has donated €50,000 ($54,555) to the Red Cross to aid those affected by the war. The studio went on to say that it has provided support to its Ukrainian employees and remains prepared to help their loved ones back home.
Sony Interactive Entertainment appears to have quietly stopped sales of Gran Turismo 7 in Russia. The PlayStation exclusive launches March 4, but as spotted by Eurogamer, the release date in the country is now “pending confirmation.”
Sources told Eurogamer that the PlayStation moved to stop the launch last night.
Red Thread Games
Norwegian indie studio Red Thread Games has announced that throughout March, it will be donating all sales revenue across all platforms to Red Cross, in order to support humanitarian work in Ukraine.
The Finnish firm has called for donations to go towards several organisations on the front line in Ukraine, including the UN Refugee Agency, Red Cross, UNICEF and International Medical Corps. The company also said it will match donations up to €1 million.
“Everyone at Supercell is horrified by the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” it said. “We want to try and play a part, however small, in alleviating that suffering.
Developer behind horror title The Medium is halting all sales of its games in Russia and Belarus amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, in what the studio said is “one of several steps” to support people in the country.
The ban will come to Steam first, and the company is working with other platform holders to have the games removed from other stores.
“We understand that our decision might affect many Russian and Belarussian players who are not involved in this invasion, but we strongly believe that every step that can help stop the war is worth taking,” the studio said.
Cyberpunk 2077 developer has also ceased digital and physical sales of its games in Russia and Belarus, including across its own storefront, GOG.
Last week, the company donated 1 million PLN to Polish humanitarian organisation PAH, and halted sales of This War of Mine on GOG.
Battalion 1944 developer Bulkhead Interactive announced that it has donated £1,000 to the Ukrainian Red Cross and will donate its proceeds from the next week’s worth of sales of its game The Turing Test.
“Whilst this gesture may be small, we are a business and we have a responsibility to make the world a better place,” the company said. “We strongly believe actions speak louder than words. We implore the games industry to respond in kind.”
Thursday, March 3
The Pokémon Company announced that it has made a donation of $200,000 to the nonprofit GlobalGiving. The business said that the organization will direct its funds to local Ukrainian-led community groups to provide aid to people affected by the invasion.
Germany-based game studio AssembleTeam announced that sales from its “Save the World” editions of its titles on Steam will go towards Ukrainian relief efforts. The company said that revenue generated from March 1 to March 31 will be given to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
11 Bit Studios
This War of Mine developer 11 Bit Studios has raised PLN 3 million (a little under $700,000) for Ukraine so far. The developer had previously announced that all profits from This War of Mine’s sales across all platforms this week would go to a fund to be donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
Czech-based studio Bohemia Interactive has created a special Arma 3 Charity Bundle, with all net revenue take in the next two weeks to be donated towards aid charities, including the International Committee of the Red Cross. The bundle includes the main Arma 3 game plus the Laws of War DLC, which aims to teach players about international humanitarian law.
Ironically, footage of Arma 3 has already been mistakenly used by news broadcasts as footage from the invasion, something that has also happened in previous conflicts.
GSC Game World
Alongside its continued efforts to raise money for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the developer has revealed development on Stalker 2 has “shifted to the sidelines” until “after the victory” as it focuses on supporting its staff and their families.
The Doom creator has created a new level for Doom 2 and is selling it for €5, with all proceeds being split between the Red Cross and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.
The engine maker’s employees have made donations to four international humanitarian charities, with Unity and its leadership triple-matching these. According to the company’s statement, over $623,000 has been donated to supporting aid efforts in Ukraine.
There are also two initiatives on the Unity Asset Store to raise further funds. All proceeds from a Ukraine Mega Bundle, which includes 32 assets donated from developers around the world, will go to humanitarian charities. Meanwhile, all of Unity’s revenue from sales of assets by Ukrainian publishers will go toward relief efforts throughout the rest of the year.
Wednesday, March 2
Czech Republic-based studio Amanita Design said that this week’s earnings from its games Machinarium, Chuchel, and Creaks will be donated to Člověk v tísni (People in Need), a non profit organisation based in Prague that focuses on humanitarian relief.
The indie publisher also announced that it will donate all profits from its store in February and March to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
“Our friends and family are being affected by this invasion and it hurts us to our core,” the company said on Twitter. “We will also be providing our employees in Ukraine paid leave until they can either get to safety or the situation improves enough to allow them to work in a safe environment.”
State of Play
The Lumino City developer announced that its earnings this week will be donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross. In a message shared on Twitter last week, the company said it stands “in solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” with earnings from its games on iOS, Android and Steam going to the charity “to help those affected by this unjust war perpetrated by Russia.”
Polish studio Thing Trunk said yesterday on Steam that all income coming from the sale of its game Book of Demons will go to “NGOs that take care of refugees.”
“Here in Poland we still remember horrors of war from our grandparents’ stories,” the statement read. “Now we witness them at our doorstep. We support our neighbours from Ukraine in this dark time. Members of our team are privately driving to the border refugee camps every day and transporting mothers and children fleeing the war-ravaged country. It’s all not enough. There is a river, an ocean of people crossing the border every minute. Often with nothing more than a child or a cat cradled in their arms. This madness is hurting innocents, mothers, fathers, and gamers like us.”
The studio also increased the price of Book of Demons in Russia, to ₽6,666 (roughly $8,870) as “a temporary measure to bring attention to this statement.”
“This is a drastic measure, as we are aware that some of our greatest fans are from Russia, the country where love for the ARPG and the original Diablo is strong. Most of them probably are aghast with war crimes their government is committing on innocent Ukrainians. We know this might feel like punishment to some of them. Yet if this makes new players check our post for an explanation and thus allows us to be heard and reach those who are not aware of what the Russian government is really doing, then it will be worth it. We don’t blame regular Russians, we are all brothers and sisters. It is their government that is to blame. The price will remain increased until further notice.”
Tuesday, March 1:
The publishing group has said it will donate $1 million to charities providing aid to those impacted by the invasion. The donation will be split between the International Committee of the Red Cross, SOS Children’s Villages and ACT Alliance.
The publisher also announced its CEO, Lars Wingefors will match this donation, pledging another $1 million “to support our employees and contractors who are directly impacted by this crisis.”
The International Game Developers Association condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and called on the games industry to similarly denounce the country’s actions.
“It is crucial for the game development community to come together and extend support for those impacted by the horrific violence from Russia’s military invasion,” the IGDA said before directing people to a variety of charity donation round-up stories and social media threads.
Studio director Brandon Sheffield is organising an indie bundle to help raise further funds for two charities: International Medical Corps and Voices of Children. The bundle is being compiled on Itch.io, and developers have until the end of this week to submit their title.
The aim is to launch the bundle on Monday, March 7 and all money raised will be split equally between the charities. You can find more information on how to submit your game here.
Polish studio RedDeer Games has announced all profits from sales throughout March of its debut game, arcade puzzle title Cyber Protocol, will be donated to aid efforts. The developer will also be asked players to help choose the organisation that will receive the raised funds.
A pair of industry organizations have added their own voices, with TIGA and the IGDA both issuing statements today.
The team behind Euro Truck Simulator 2 revealed in a blog post that it has already donated €20,000 to multiple unnamed charities, with more financial support to come “in the upcoming days and weeks.”
The studio has also dedicated part of its team to developing a Ukrainian Paint Jobs Pack DLC for the game, and is “racing to bring [it] to the Steam Store as soon as possible.” 100% of the income from this pack will be donated to aid efforts.
PCGamesN notes that the next major DLC planned for Euro Truck Simulator was to be set in Russia. The blog post does not address whether these plans have changed.
SCS Software also added some detail on what it is doing to support team members from Ukraine, offering financial support for extra costs, extra days off and flexible working times, mental health support, and even the use of company property as accommodation.
The UK trade group called on the government to relax visa rules for Ukrainians, from allowing extended family members of UK residents to join them in the country to creating a new humanitarian visa route for those fleeing wars and persecution.
The World of Tanks firm’s Kyiv studio has donated $1 million to the Ukrainian Red Cross, with its parent company sharing more about how it’s supporting more than 550 staff in the area.
The company has also arrange early salary payments, as well as additional funds to assist with travel and relocation, as well as providing alternative housing where possible. It is also helping employees’ families travel to neighbouring countries and arranging accommodation for them.
These efforts were revealed after the company confirmed it fired creative director Sergey Burkatovskiy following his pro-Russia social media posts.
Monday, February 28
The indie developer behind sci-fi strategy game Slipways announced it would donate all profits from sales of the game for the next week. Proceeds will go to the Polish Red Cross’ fund to provide aid for Ukraine.
The Destiny developer announced on Friday that it would donate 100% of the proceeds from the first two days of its Game2Give drive towards humanitarian aid efforts supporting victims of the invasion.
Another Polish studio has also pledged all profits from every game it has published will be donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
The developer has ten games across PC and console, including Bonkies, Darkwood and My Memory of Us, and will donate seven days’ worth of proceeds to the organisation.
Founder and CEO Raphael Van Lierop said the Long Dark developer has made its own donation to support Ukraine.
“We look around us at the state of the world and we feel helpless to change it,” Van Lierop said in a post on LinkedIn. “We feel that we ‘only make video games’ and that this isn’t important or meaningful in light of international events. That may be true. But we still have to try, and believe, and hope. We *can* make a difference. We must make a difference.”
To that end, Hinterland is donating $125,000 CAD ($99,000) to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
Thunderful Games announced it will donate all sales from SteamWorld Heist and Bridge Constructor from the next week to the Red Cross, and included a link to the organisation for those who wish to donate directly.
“We thank our friends at 11 Bit Studios and others for leading by example. We encourage our fans and peers in the industry to support the victims in Ukraine in whichever way they can,” the company wrote.
CEO Alex Nichiporchik detailed how his company has been supporting its staff in the region, having “ran through possible scenarios” weeks ago. The indie publisher accelerated relocation procedures and offered more support to anyone trying to move to the Western part of Ukraine.
“We have a team of strong leads coordinating efforts of getting people to safety,” Nichiporchik wrote. “Logistics, finance, housing. The best thing to do is keep a cool head, think pragmatic and anticipate the situation. Nobody gets left behind.”
Saturday, February 26
The Gardenscapes developer has also detailed the measures it has taken to support more than 1,500 staff it has in Ukraine.
As of Thursday, February 24, all employees in the region have been on paid leave. Several 24/7 hotlines have also been set up to assist with financial aid, legal support, relocation and more.
“We’re monitoring the situation and will expand our support measures accordingly,” the company told GamesIndustry.biz in a statement. “In addition, we’re reorganizing our projects’ update schedule and will work on ensuring the stable operation of our games.”
Friday, February 25
CD Projekt Group
In addition to the donating its share of This War of Mine sales on GOG, the CD Projekt Group has pledged 1 million PLN ($242,000) to the Polish humanitarian organization PAH, which operates in Ukraine as well as a number of countries in Africa and the Middle-East.
Ontario-based Digital Extremes also announced that it has donated $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to assist with Ukraine humanitarian efforts, saying, “Our hearts are with the people of Ukraine and those affected by this needless violence.”
The European Games Developer Federation has also condemned Russia’s actions and called upon the European Union to take action.
“Many European game developers and game developer studios are highly worried about the fate of their friends, colleagues, business partners and subcontractors fighting for their freedom and lives in Ukraine or suffering under the Putin regime in Russia and Belarus,” the group said.
“We honour those who stay and fight. For those who cannot or do not want to fight and are forced to flee their home countries, we ask all European countries to provide a clear fast-track for work and residence permits.”
Indie publisher Raw Fury has also joined the call for support, promising to make a donation to the Ukrainian Red Cross and urging others to do the same.
“War devastates all it touches, and this is a time where we all need to come together as a community to help,” the publisher wrote. “One of the tenets of Raw Fury is that we treat humans like humans, and when conflicts like this arise, it is more important than ever that we show empathy for each other.”
The Assassin’s Creed publisher has also released a statement regarding its own development teams in Ukraine.
“The safety and wellbeing of our teams and their families is our primary concern, and Ubisoft is fully mobilized to support them moving forward. Over the past few months, Ubisoft has been closely monitoring the situation and has put in place measures to help protect our teams,” the company said. “Last week, we recommended our employees take shelter in a place they consider safe.
“Ubisoft has provided all team members in Ukraine with additional funds to help them cover exceptional costs, such as those related to their travel and relocation, and has paid salaries in advance to account for any potential disruption to banking systems. Ubisoft is providing housing in neighboring countries where teams and their families can take shelter if they wish and are able to do so. To ensure we stay closely connected with all teams, we have set up hotlines to respond to their questions and needs and have put in place an emergency communication system should infrastructures grow unstable. We will continue to adapt and reinforce our assistance as the situation evolves.”
Thursday, February 24
11 Bit Studios
The Polish developer has announced that for the next week, all profits from sales across all stores and platforms of its acclaimed anti-war game This War of Mine, including its DLCs, will go into a special fund.
After seven days, this fund will be donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross to support victims of war in the country.
“We stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” the studio said in its statement. “Just words would be empty without a meaningful act though.”
It continued: “Let this message resonate with everything you know about this way and how war kills people, devastates their lives and homes. Let us — players and developers together — do everything we can to support victims of war in Ukraine.”
GOG.com, the PC digital marketplace owned by CD Projekt, confirmed it would be donating all profits from sales of the game and its DLC to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
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The Stalker developer is calling for donations to a special fundraising account set up by the National Bank of Ukraine to raise money for the country’s armed forces.
In its statement, the studio said: “The future is unknown, but we are sure of our Armed Forces and country. We ask all: do not stand aside and help those in need.”
It added: “Through pain, death, war, fear and inhuman cruelty, Ukraine will persevere. As it always does.”
The indie studio behind Ostriv — a city-building game set in 18th Century Ukraine — simply posted a link to a Reddit forum listing 29 charities that are supporting victims of the war, or other issues that face people in Ukraine.
In its tweet, the company said: “If you want to help us defend our freedom, here’s a list to consider.”