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Video game companies help fight coronavirus as Sony donate £80 million

Covid-19: treat it like an end-of-level boss (pic: New Scientist)

As major companies like Sony and Microsoft help with coronavirus , publishers such as Rockstar and CD Projekt are also doing their part.

Sony has set up a ‘Global Relief Fund for Covid-19’, worth the equivalent of £80 million, to help people around the world affected by the pandemic.

The money is meant for three main areas: helping those engaged in frontline medical and first responder efforts, support for children and educators working remotely, and support for employees in the entertainment industry at large.

The move is by Sony as whole, not just its PlayStation division, but is just one of the ways that many games and game-related companies have been helping out during the crisis.

Microsoft has been donating cash, products, and services directly in China since the earliest days of the crisis, as well as organising data projects such as a confirmed case tracker and a supercomputing collaboration with company ImmunityBio to map the spike protein of the virus itself.

In terms of games-only companies, Rockstar has committed to donating 5% of revenues from GTA Online and Red Dead Online to fight to the pandemic – a figure that could run to around £1.6 million in just one month.

Meanwhile, Nintendo donated 9,500 face masks to the state of Washington, which is one of the hardest hit in the US and houses Nintendo’s main North American packaging and distribution centre; the masks were then distributed to ordinary people by local Fire & Rescue teams.

GTA Online – play it now and help fight the coronavirus (pic: Rockstar Games)

As well as giving away free games to those stuck at home, Ubisoft has donated £120,000 to the WHO’s Covid-19 relief fund, following a Twitch Stream Aid event.

The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt donated the equivalent of £767,000 to the Polish healthcare system, half of which came from the board of directors and major shareholders.

Meanwhile, League Of Legends publisher Riot Games has donated £1.2 million to relief efforts in the L.A. area, with almost half coming from company founders Brandon Beck and Marc Merill.

Influencer Ninja donated £120,000 to food bank charity Feeding America, while Plague Inc. developer Ndemic Creations has donated £213,000 to help the WHO and the CEPI find a cure for the virus.

More: News Man fined £1,400 after coronavirus lockdown party at his flat Gary Neville reveals what he told David Beckham before he left Manchester United Peter Andre saved by wife Emily during homeschooling struggles

Finally, there’s a new Humble Bundle called Conquer Covid-19 that includes multiple DRM-free games from various publishers, including Darksiders 1 and 2, Sniper Elite 3, Psychonauts, and indie classics Undertale, Into The Breach, and Hollow Knight.

In total it has over £860 worth of games and yet the minimum donation is just £25. 100% of the proceeds go to charity and so far over £2.3 million has been raised – although the bundle will only be around for a week.

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