Epic Games and Microsoft, through Fortnite in-game purchases, have raised over $70 million to be donated to humanitarian aid in the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war. And there’s still a week to go.
Epic has promised that from March 20 to April 3, all income from real money purchases in Fortnite would be donated to four humanitarian organizations currently operating in Ukraine: Direct Relief, UNICEF, the UN World Food Program and the UN Refugee Agency. The company says that “more organizations will be added to this list in the coming weeks.” Xbox has agreed to partner with Epic on this and has committed its Fortnite net revenue during this time.
On a blog post Epic clarified that it would not expect transactions to be fully processed, but has committed to distributing any funds raised “within days”.
Together, we have already raised $70 million in humanitarian aid funds for Ukraine. Congratulations and thanks to everyone + @xbox for joining this effort! pic.twitter.com/C09uffbjPFMarch 25, 2022
Putting this sum in context is difficult, but, if you look at the list of foreign aid given to Ukraine during this period, the value that Fortnite is contributing is more than a few small countries. In terms of other companies, this seems to be the biggest contribution made by far (Meta Platforms, i.e. Facebook donated $15 million; Amazon $10 million; Samsung around $6 million), though of course not all donations can or have been quantified financially – SpaceX’s involvement in offering its Starlink system, for example.
The Fortnite pledge lasts another seven days, and you wouldn’t bet against the $100 million mark – in fact, you might have already, because the $70 million figure is now a few days old. Fortnite already appears to be the biggest corporate donor to the Russo-Ukraine conflict, and by the end of the pledge period, the figure will be even higher.
Epic and Microsoft deserve all the credit for this, especially since the former chose to launch the donation campaign at the same time as Epic. Chapter 3 Season 2 was released on March 20th: exactly the time players will buy their battle passes and new skins. Epic will continue to donate proceeds to Ukraine until the campaign ends on April 3.