Games For Ukraine.
The Month of War:
Financial Report

"What's at stake in Ukraine is the direction of human history".
Yuval Noah Harari, philosopher, author of Sapiens, Homo Deus

Introduction

Disclaimer

The following report was made for informational purposes only. It was conducted by the members of the volunteering initiative Games for Ukraine and published on its homepage www.g4u.dev

Preface

The following report is dedicated to the financial and non-monetary support that Ukraine was receiving from the game industry during the first month following the Russian invasion, from 24th of February to 24th of March. This report can hardly be called a conventional one for many reasons. For one, it is most likely the first report of such kind in history, as there were no precedents for the game industry creating an impact of this scale for a military conflict of such magnitude and a humanitarian crisis that followed. For another reason, the military conflict, further referred to as the Russian invasion, or the war in Ukraine, is highly unprecedented as well:

  • It is strongly regarded as the largest war in Europe since 1945

  • It is recognized by the democratic world as an unprovoked invasion under false premise

  • It is estimated that approximately 200 000 Russian soldiers participated in the invasion

  • It is estimated that 3 million of Ukrainians have left the country during this month

  • It is estimated that the number of civilian casualties in Ukraine is more than 2500 people

  • It is confirmed that Russia has been using unconventional munition including white phosphorus bombs, cluster bombs and vacuum bombs, in addition to aviation and ballistic missiles

Unconventional events call for unconventional measures. An unlikely helper, the video game industry, provided unprecedented support for Ukraine, its people and workers of the well developed Ukrainian game industry. The measures taken by the game companies include but are not limited to:

  • It is estimated that the game industry as of March 24 2022 donated $88.4 million to support Ukraine

  • Many of the game companies left the Russian market or stopped selling products and services on the country’s territory

  • Many of the video game companies released statements in support of Ukraine and these that condemned the Russian aggression

  • Many of the video game companies participated in various non-monetary initiatives in support of Ukraine

The authors of this report would like to thank the video game industry professionals who contributed their efforts to help Ukraine during this month of war. One of the reasons that motivated us to write this report was the desire to highlight the best practices the game companies creatively came up with, which turned up to be vital for some of their supportive initiatives. The list of suggestions and of key learning can be found in the Best Practices section at the end of this report.

State of Game Industry In Ukraine

From the perspective of an international game industry professional or a gamer it could be difficult to relate to Ukrainians or Ukrainian game industry professionals without knowing them personally. To improve this situation, we are offering some facts about the state of the game industry in Ukraine:

  • Famous video games fully developed in Ukraine: Metro 2033 trilogy, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. trilogy, Warface, Sherlock Holmes series, Tom Clancy’s RAINBOW SIX: Shadow Vanguard, Asphalt Nitro

  • Famous international video game companies in Ukraine: Ubisoft Kiev, Ubisoft Odesa, Gameloft Kharkiv, Gameloft Lviv, Wargaming.net Kyiv

  • Ukrainians are found in the teams of multiple game companies around the world and credited in the many video game hits

  • Following the start of the Russian invasion to Donbas region and annexation of Crimea in 2014 many of the Ukrainian game developers started supporting the Ukrainian army financially, some volunteered to join the Ukrainian army to protect their country

  • Since 2014 many of the Ukrainian game companies have been raising funds for the defense equipment for the army (including armor, thermal sights and drones), some established the registered initiatives

Data Availability Problem

The specifics of analyzing the donation data is that the donation amount is known only if the donor decided in favor of mentioning it in a public statement. When analyzing the available data, we encountered several cases when such data was not available:

  • Companies stated the fact of the donation made, but not the amount

  • Companies did not update the statement about the amount of the donation, even if donation amount changed

  • Companies were reported fundraising and donating, but did not make a statement

  • Companies were not raising donations

This limits the data availability for this particular report to the data that was available on March 24 2022, from the public sources.

There is also a possibility that some of the data might not be reflected properly due to a human error, missing information or conflicting sources. If you encounter any problem with data mentioned in the report as not corresponding to the actual data, please let us know about the problem at games4ukraine@gmail.com, so we can resolve it. 

Summary

During the first month following the Russian invasion, from 24th of February to 24th of March, the international game industry raised for Ukraine an estimated amount of $88.4 million. 

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This amount is distributed accordingly:

  • Direct donations from the companies, including:

    • Funds donated by the company

    • Funds donated by the employees

    • Funds matched by the company in response to donations made by the employees

    • Funds solely donated by the top managers of the company (e.g. CEOs)

  • Fundraising campaigns:

    • Game bundles (e.g., Humble Bundle Stand with Ukraine)

    • Game promotions for charity (e.g. Fortnite)

    • Establishing publicly available direct fundraising initiatives matched by the company (e.g. Supercell Gives Back initiative)

  • Non-monetary initiatives by game companies:

    • Making statements and inviting the social media channel subscribers to join the donation

    • Dedicating internal ad traffic for charity initiatives (e.g. Rovio)

    • Creating in-game content dedicated to Ukraine for fund-raising purpose (e.g. Gamigo)

    • Other non-monetary initiatives (collecting humanitarian help, helping to relocate Ukrainians, etc.)

The companies stepped forward with many creative ideas.

The donations raised were distributed between humanitarian initiatives involved in resolving the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

 

Part 1. Direct Corporate Donations

Overview

 

Video game companies donated more than $17 million for Ukraine during a month from 24 February to 24 March 2022.

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Every company that made a donation also made a public statement in support of Ukraine. Additionally the statement detailed other non-monetary initiatives set in place by the company. 

 

The list of statements of the companies that donated could be found at: www.g4u.dev/donors 

 

There is a possibility that some of the companies did not make a statement regarding their donation at the time of writing, despite some being reported of raising donations and matching these made by the employees. Due to the absence of the data regarding the donation amount of such companies, they were not included on the list.

 

Distribution

 

The sum of a single company donation ranged from $55 000 (EUR 50 000) to $5 000 000. This makes a 90 times difference between the smallest and the largest donation amounts.

75% of the total donations were made by 8 companies with donations ranging from $5 000 000 to $600 000.
25%, the remaining donations, were made by 18 companies with donations ranging from $500 000 to $50 000.

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Donations By Geography of the Companies

 

Although the companies making donations represented most of the geographical regions, there were 2 tendencies spotted that could be explained geographically.

Among the companies that made donations several groups stood out which could be united by the geographical principle:

  • 4 Eastern European companies, including

    • 4 Polish companies (11Bit Studios, CD Projekt Red, Techland, and a group of QLOC, Cenega and Muve.pl)

  • 5 international companies with studios in Ukraine:

    • Ubisoft (Ubisoft Kyiv and Ubisoft Odesa)

    • Gameloft (Gameloft Kharkiv and Gameloft Lviv)

    • Wargaming (Wargaming Kyiv, Frag Lab)

    • Plarium (Plarium Kharkiv)

    • Playrix

 

Companies from Eastern Europe also reacted among the first ones. The number and timing of reaction of these companies, as well as the spirit and content of the messages from their statements suggest that there was more awareness in Easter Europe regarding the war in Ukraine. This is most likely due to the geographical proximity and cultural and economic ties between Poland to Ukraine. The number of employees of Ukrainian origin in these studios could also be an important factor. Another factor was the game portfolio of 11Bit studios, the maker of the one of the most famous anti-war games The War of Mine, set in the Eastern Europe. The company served as a leading voice in the region and was among the first ones to start a fundraising initiative for the general audience which generated a total of $850 000 in the first week.

 

The international companies with studios in Ukraine not only made statements and donations, but also provided other types of assistance to their employees and their families. Some of the companies provided counseling and helped with relocation to other offices within the country or the international offices inside the corporation (Gameloft and Ubisoft), as well as with other monetary and non-monetary assistance.

Donations By The Company Type

 

Certain similarities could be spotted in a way the statements and donations were made taking into consideration the corporate structure of the companies. For practical reasons 3 types of the companies were distinguished in this report: large corporations that consist of several 1st party studios, mid size indy companies or mid size indy studios, and smaller indy studios.

The majority of the large corporations made a joint statement and a donation on behalf of all the studios inside corporation:

  • Sony

  • Square Enix

  • Bandai Namco

  • Activision Blizzard

  • Ubisoft

  • Embracer Group

Sony made a joint statement and a donation of $2 million for the entire Sony Group Corporation, which did not separate Sony Interactive Entertainment or its studios from other divisions: of electronic, entertainment and financial services. For this reason we are not considering this donation as the one originating exclusively from the game industry, and it is not featured in some sections of this report where only video game companies are taken into consideration.

Companies inside Tencent corporation, such as Digital Extremes, Funcom and Supercell, as well as indirectly related Epic Games (Tencent is reported to own 48.5% stocks of Epic Games) all made individual statements and ran independent initiatives.

Mid-size companies and indy companies predominantly made individual statements and donations.

Some smaller companies like Wired group of companies and the Polish company group of smaller indy companies QLOC, Cenega and muve.pl united their fundraising efforts with their partners to make a joint statement. These collective measures allowed them to raise the amounts comparable with the amounts of mid-size companies and even some corporations (e.g. $250 000 donated by the Polish indy QLOC, Cenega and muve.pl sit between $200 000 donation by Ubisoft and $300 000 donation by Activision Blizzard). 

Donations vs Revenue

Despite the wide range of 9000% difference between the minimum and maximum donation amount, there was no correlation found in the quarterly revenue of the company and its donation amount. 

Only 7 of 20 companies from the list of Q3 top companies by revenue were found among those who donated.

The donation amount of top 20 companies by revenue to their Q3 revenue was rather consistent within 0.02% - 0.11% range. If half of the $50 million revenue from Fortnite is included into Tencent's donation amount (Tencent owns around 48.5% of Epic Games stocks), that ratio will equal 0.33%.

Despite the unconfirmed information that some studios inside Microsoft and EA corporations were said to be raising funds, no statements about donation amounts raised made by these companies at the time of writing were found. 

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Donations Timeline

 

There was no insightful moving average trendline found in the amount of the donation on a month's horizon, which suggests that there is a lack of continuous correlation between the amount of the donation and time it was made on.

 

However some smaller trends and events were spotted from the historic perspective:

  • Among the first studios which reacted to the Russian invasion into Ukraine within the first 24 to 48 hours were the following studios: 3 polish studios 11Bit Studios, CD Projekt RED and Techland, as well as the Canadian Digital Extremes, a Tencent family studio. The immediate reaction of the Polish studios could be explained geographically. The role of 11Bit studios, the creators of the famous anti-war game The War of Mine, was of the great importance for both the region and the industry, as it started the powerful social media fundraising campaign that concluded in a week with a staggering amount of $940,000, an incredible achievement of the initiative ran by an indy studio. The immediate reaction of the Canadian Digital Extremes could be explained by the corporate culture with high moral values and the rich history of charity initiatives. The influence of the Ukrainian ethnic group which makes up 4% of the Canadian population and Ukrainian employees in the company might be an additional factor.

 

  • The first donation surpassing the mental number of $1 million was first made after a week from the start of war. This might be explained by inertia inside large companies when the situation requires them to make a financial decision of this scale. Additional factors would be the progressing conflict and the devastation caused by it, both calling for more decisive measures.

 

  • The second week from the start of war saw at least 5 donations equalling or surpassing the $1 million psychological threshold. All of these with the exception of Moon Active were made by large corporations (Embracer Group, Unity, Wargaming) and top-grossing mobile studio Supercell of Tencent corporation. The donation of $1 million made by Embracer group was matched with another $1 million by its CEO. Supercell also established a fundraising initiative and promised to match 1-to-1 all donations made by the general audience.

 

  • Embracer Group was the only company that increased its initial amount of $1 million to an absolute record of $5 million 2 weeks after the original donation. CEO Lars Wingefors explained such a decision: “Our first priority right now is to provide the safety of our staff and their families. 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”. 

 

  • The first bundles were created in the 3rd week of war. It could be explained by the logistic complexity of such undertakings and the amount of time needed to launch it. The first bundle by Necrosoft and other creators on itch.io platform was created on March 9. The bundle raised more than any individual company’s donation and concluded with the amount of $6.3 million. The first statement with the intention to make a bundle was made on March 11 by Humble bundle, and the bundle went live March 18 and concluded with a staggering amount of $20.7 million a week later.

 

  • At the end of the month of war Epic announced that all proceeds from the new season of Fortnite will be given to Ukraine, with $50 million dollars raised in the first 2 days. Despite the fact there were earlier statements by smaller companies about designating the amount of funds raised by their products for Ukraine, this was an important and hopefully a trendsetting event. $50 million makes up %57 of all the donations raised for Ukraine in the first month of war.

Part 2. Fundraising Campaigns

Overview

 

The fundraising campaigns conducted by video game industry in the first month of war in Ukraine could be arranged into the following groups:

  • Establishing publicly available direct fundraising initiatives matched by the company (e.g. Supercell Gives Back initiative)

  • Game bundles (itch.io Bundle For Ukraine, Humble Bundle Stand with Ukraine)

  • Game promotions for charity (Fortnite)

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Public Donation Initiatives

 

The most successful public donation initiative appears to be the one by 11Bit which was able to raise an amount close to $1 million, an unprecedented achievement for an indie company. There are several factors that contributed to its success:

  • The initiative was started by a company famous for one of the best anti-war games, A War of Mine, set in Eastern Europe. This brand recognition allowed the company to raise public awareness by drawing the parallels between the horrors of war in Ukraine and the horrors of war depicted in their product.

  • The geographic proximity to Ukraine triggered social media response in the Polish games community. 

  • In a vacuum of other campaigns it stood as a sole and a key fundraising campaign, playing an important role.

The fundraising campaign introduced following a week with matching by the top grossing mobile games company Supercell had moderate success, gathering slightly less than a quarter of its target of $1 million designated to be matched by another $1 million by the company.

Bundles

 

Bundles for charity have been a common practice for many years already, allowing the companies to unite their forces to raise money for charity and sometimes for profit too, with buyers being able to commit with their idea of a fair price.

This time the same idea was used with slight adjustments:

  • Bundles had a minimum price to limit the scenario of penny donations. The lower threshold was set to $10 for Bundle for Ukraine and around $40 for Humble Bundle Stand With Ukraine.

  • 100% proceeds went to charity.

  • The bundles offered a generous selection of titles. Bundle for Ukraine had an estimated worth of $6,577 and nearly 1000 products in a package. Humble Bundle Stand With Ukraine worth more than $2,500 if its contents were to be purchased separately.

The composition of the bundles and their timing were among factors defining their success.

The composition:

  • Bundle for Ukraine had only a couple of games considered to be critically acclaimed or financially successful, including Baba Is You and Super Hot. The rest of the offered 1000 products were less popular or profitable games to say the least, some of them most likely hobbyist’s, students’ games or even prototypes.

  • Humble Bundle, despite also offering numerous content, included some of the commercially successful or well received games. Interestingly enough, some of the game companies that made statements in support of Ukraine but did not disclose any donations made included their AAA games into the bundle: Metro Exodus by 4A Games normally priced at the same price point as the bundle and Ryse: Son of Rome by Crytek were the among honorable mentions and the gems of this package. Quantum Break by Remedy, which made the donation earlier, was also included in the package. The inclusion of game hits from the back catalog of AAA companies could be one of the additional factors in the success of the bundle.

Timing:

  • As with other sales and promotions continuity and avoidance of overlaps between the campaigns is important. The authors see 11Bit fundraising campaign, followed by Bundle for Ukraine, followed by Humble Bundle as 3 phases in fundraising for Ukraine continuous timeline.

  • The composition of mostly indie games allowed the Bundle for Ukraine to be successful without being overshadowed by competition and it was important for such an offer to appear earlier than a bundle made of games by the industry leaders.

Both bundles should be seen as examples of fundraising success, with Bundle for Ukraine generating $6 500 000 and Humble Bundle Stand with Ukraine $15 000 000, more than the sum of all individual donations made by the game companies.

Time-Limited In-Game Campaigns with Proceeds Collected for Ukraine

Despite several games announcing donating time-limited proceeds from their games for Ukraine, Fortnite was the first to release the amount raised and most likely the most successful to date with $50 million proceeds collected for Ukraine in only the first 2 days. The campaign will last for 2 more weeks.
 

Part 3. Creative and Non-Monetary Initiatives

Limiting Access To Game Products and Services in Russia and Belarus

 

Many of the game platforms and game companies decided to suspend sales and services on the territory of Russia and Belarus. Many mobile game companies were forced to do so due to Google blocking microtransactions and key banner networks blocking ads, even if they initially intended to continue monetizing their games, which eventually became impossible.

Proceeds Collected From Territory of Russia and Belarus

 

Some of the companies decided in favor of donating proceeds from the countries of Russia and Belarus to Ukraine, rather than blocking sales of products or services in these countries.

Using Social Media Channels

Many companies expressed their support to Ukraine by making public statements on their corporate social media accounts. This greatly contributed to the awareness about the war in Ukraine and helped the general audience to understand the nature of the conflict by condemning the actions of Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. Some of the companies used social media channels to empower the players to donate to humanitarian organizations in support of the people of Ukraine.

Dedicating Ad Traffic for Charity Purposes

 

Some of the larger came companies and corporations, as well as game platforms, are known to have their internal proprietary ad networks. The first company to make a statement like this was Rovio.

Selling Thematic In-Game Content

 

Some smaller companies started selling in-game items dedicated to Ukraine, with all proceeds going to humanitarian organizations helping Ukraine. Gamigo implemented such initiatives in a line-up of its games.

Other Initiatives

 

Other initiatives set in place by the companies included but were not limited to:

  • Fundraising for defense equipment for the Ukrainian army and territorial defense (predominantly Ukrainian companies)

  • Helping in relocation of employees of their companies (Ubisoft, Gameloft, Embracer Group)

  • Helping the Ukrainians fleeing their countries (to the great extent the companies in Poland, many companies in Europe and UK)

  • Collecting physical goods, food and medical donations

  • Raising the awareness around the world by participating in pro-Ukrainian rallies, giving interviews to the press, and posting on social media

  • Providing psychological help lines for the employes affected by war or those with families and friends affected by war

  • Other important initiatives

Part 4. Organizations

Gathering Data Challenges

 

Some of the companies and campaigns (bundles and time limited proceeds from the game) were distributing donations between multiple organizations. In most cases the ratios of how these funds were distributed between the organizations, were not specified. This creates a challenge for the analyst to retrieve the precise data for every of those fractional donations.

In the following sections there are 2 series of data: number of mentions and the total amount received by the organization. When the number of mentions is a number supported by data (the number of times the organization’s name appears in the statements), the amount is a result of approximation and should be considered as such, approximate. The researchers still decided in favor of including it in the report, rather than omitting it.

The fractional donations of every organization inside a group mentioned in the statement was calculated by dividing the total amount by the number of companies mentioned. E.g., if Fortnite donated $50 million to UNICEF, Direct Relief, UN World Food Programme and UNHCR, it is considered that every company received $12 500 000.

Distribution by Organizations

  • All donations were made to humanitarian organizations.

  • UNICEF is the 1st choice by the amount of donations and certainly the 2nd most popular choice (5 companies choose to donate to it).

  • International organizations UNICEF, Direct Relief, UN World Food Programme, UNHCR UN Refugee Agency received more than $50 million thanks to being present on the list of organizations Epic’s Fortnite was cooperating with.

  • International Medical Corps was the 3rd most popular choice (4 mentions in the statements).

  • Razom is believed to be the top grossing organization of the 3 Ukrainian organizations selected to be on the list. It is also one of the most popular organizations to donate to in Ukraine.

  • The International Red Cross Committee was the leader by the amount of mentions (15 companies had chosen to donate to it), yet it is calculated to collect 3 times less than the leader by the amount of donations UNICEF. There is a recent controversy in the media regarding the company which might explain why it is not selected as a preferable organization by any of the large fundraising campaigns.

  • Voices of Children was the 2nd top grossing Ukrainian organization of 3 presented in the selection, with 2 mentioned and around $3 million raised.

  • Polish Humanitarian Action was a popular choice among Polish companies with confirmed $667 000 raised and 2 mentions from Polish companies followed by a mention by Facepunch. Polish Medical Mission was the second Polish organization on the list.

  • United Help Ukraine, the 3rd one of the Ukrainian organizations that made it to selection, was one of the least donated to, despite being one of the popular selections in Ukraine.

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Organizations By Geography

When grouped by the geographics principles, all organizations that video game companies and campaign participants donated to fall into 3 categories:

  • 13 International organizations - $88 450 000 (88,4%)

  • 3 Ukrainian organizations - $9 930 000 (10.5%)

  • 2 Polish organizations - 1.0%

The noticeable inclusion of the Polish organizations could be explained by several reasons:

  • Polish companies were anticipating the influx of Ukrainian citizens fleeing war to their country (close to 4 million Ukrainians relocated to Poland during the month of war)

  • Polish companies were more active and educated in the subject to give preference to carefully selected local organizations rather they trust than selecting a popular international option

Results

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Best Practices

 

From the monetary perspective the best practices could be visualized on this distribution pie chart.

 

The key best practice for game companies can be formulated like this:

Using brand awareness and empowering the audience can be more effective for fundraising, than making direct donations.

The 2 main success stories during this month were:

  • Time-limited donation of proceeds from the new season of Fortnite for Ukraine which raised $50 million in only 2 days (57% of total amount raised by the game industry)

  • Charity bundles for Ukraine: Bundle for Ukraine and Humble Bundle: Stand With Ukraine ($21.3 million raised at the time of writing, or 24% of the total amount raised by the game industry)

Potentially Effective Practices

The authors of this report believe that some of the practices implemented by the individual companies have a strong potential to produce effect and turn out to be really successful if implemented widely as well as by large companies and game platforms.

  • Dedicating ad traffic for charity purposes. The authors of this report have worked in the company with one of the most advanced ad networks in the mobile games industry, with access to hundreds of million players. Even if a fraction of this reach is used to redirect the general audience to charity initiatives, this could serve as a vital tool for fundraising and helping in crises like the war in Ukraine. The authors of this report believe that this tool is greatly underused now and that the companies might achieve superior results if they choose to use the power of their brand, their social channels and platforms (Steam, Epic store, GOG, Xbox, Sony, Nintendo marketplaces, as well as Google Play and Apple AppStore). 

  • Selling thematic in-game content. Despite the use of this initiative only in indie games, selling thematic in-game content (e.g. cosmetics) could help to generate profits that could be further donated to Ukraine. This could turn out to be the most effective if the game’s economy heavily relies on selling in-game content, customization and is enjoyed by the large audience. As ethnic Ukrainians, the authors of this report believe there is no moral problem in creating and selling such thematic content, as long as proceeds are used to support Ukraine.

  • Donating proceeds collected on the territory of Russia and Belarus. Many of the companies blocked the sales of their products or services in Russia and Belarus. For the companies that for some reason decided to continue operating on the territories of Russia and Belarus, this solution might turn out to be a moral one. Such practice can be related in spirit to reparations, paid by the aggressor country to compensate for the destruction it had caused.

Trends

 

One of the most obvious trends spotted was an almost exponential growth that was introduced with bundles (Bundle for Ukraine, Humble Bundle Stand With Ukraine) and in-game proceeds donation in Fortnite. This is illustrated on the chart below.

Considering all 3 spikes in the donation amounts were introduced at the end of the researched timeframes, the authors interpret it as a phase transition of the innovation / adoption life cycle, from Innovators and Early Adopters stage to the Early Majority.

 

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Considering this observation is the correct one, the authors of the report see the phases matching the following events:

  • Innovators. Span: week 1 and 2 (from the beginning of war). Direct donations made by the companies.

  • Early adopters. Span: week 2 to 4. Multiple game companies combining their efforts and providing their games for charity bundles (Bundle of Ukraine, Humble Bundle).

  • Early majority. Span: starting week 4. Flagship companies using the power of their brand for charity (Fortnite).

Forecast

The aforementioned trend of following an innovation / adoption lifecycle suggests that Ukraine will see more help from the flagship companies, as they are looking forward to joining efforts with their user bases.

It is expected that:

  • More bundles, sales and promotions will appear on industry leading game platforms and marketplaces: Steam, Epic Games store, GOG, Ubisoft’s UPlay, EA Games Origin store, Sony Playstation and Xbox stores, Nintendo store, Apple Appstore and Arcade, Google Play, and others.

  • More flagship game companies will contribute their hits from back catalog as well as underperformed or overlooked recent games to game bundles for charity.

  • More flagship game companies will donate proceeds from their brands to Ukraine. This is the most applicable to live service games.

  • More companies from the top 25 list by revenue will implement similar initiatives. The companies which were reported raising funds and matching donations (EA, Microsoft) could make a statement detailing the amount contributed.

  • Around ⅔ of the total amount of support for Ukraine could be raised in the next 2 months, if the trend continues to follow the Innovation / Adoption lifecycle pattern.

  • More companies could dedicate their ad traffic to charity, as well as more platforms could integrate donation options into their interface.

  • The practice of selling in-game thematic content to support Ukraine could gain more popularity and ramp up after the content which takes time to create will finally be shippable.

  • Video game companies might pay more attention to choosing the correct organizations to give their donations to, following the recent controversy in the media with some of the international organizations, and the fact that Ukrainian organizations are under-represented.

Concerning Organizations

Regarding the organizations, there are several observations the authors would like to point attention at:

  • The Red Cross was the most popular organization of choice, especially in the first half of the month. There is a decent amount of controversy reported in the media regarding the organization, and the donors should be aware of it. Doing your own research is recommended before committing to donating to this organization.

  • Undoubtfully, there is logic in international game companies donating to international organizations. However, the ratio of 90/10 with Ukraine-based organizations being an extreme minority suggests that distribution of donations is highly imbalanced, not in favor of the humanitarian organizations based in Ukraine.

  • 100% of all donations by game companies and campaigns were designated for humanitarian causes. This category excludes all the vital necessities of individual protective equipment, such as helmets and armor for the Ukrainian defenders.

The list of verified Ukrainian organizations to donate to could be found on the site of Games for Ukraine initiative: www.g4u.dev/donate 

Importance of Supporting Ukraine

Interpretation of the results of this report depends on the interpretation of the role that the war in Ukraine plays in human history, and our perception of the importance of support from the game industry in this war.

It is highly unconventional to use epigraphs in financial reports, yet the authors found it important to quote Yuval Noah Harari, the modern philosopher and the author of bestselling Sapiens and Homo Deus books. In his article for The Economist, he argues that human history is at stake in the war for Ukraine.

If Yuval Noah Harari is right, and the conflict in Ukraine is ultimately important for the direction of human history, then it is of ultimate importance for all opinion leaders and economic entities to support Ukraine. It is crucial to remind that game companies, with billions of followers and billions in profit, are both opinion leaders and economic entities. As poetic as it sounds, Fortnite and the likes of it will have already been remembered from the history books, for their support of Ukraine in this dark month and the months that will follow. 

Future Research

The authors plan to continue gathering and analyzing data. New reports are considered as well as the corrections for the existing one. The updated report and new reports could be found at www.g4u.dev in the Reports sections www.g4u.dev/reports 

28 March 2022