Fortnite maker raises $144 million for Ukraine

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 05 2022 06:19 AM

Bodies lie on a street in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, on Saturday, as Ukraine says Russian forces are making a
Bodies lie on a street in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, on Saturday, as Ukraine says Russian forces are making a "rapid retreat" from northern areas around Kyiv and the city of Chernigiv. The bodies of at least 20 men in civilian clothes were found lying in a single street Saturday. Ronaldo Schemidt, AFP

SAN FRANCISCO, United States - Video game maker Epic Games said Monday that $144 million made from its popular "Fortnite" battle game will go to help the people of war-ravaged Ukraine.

Epic committed the "Fortnite" proceeds from the past two weeks to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and said that the Xbox gaming unit of Microsoft is doing the same.

"Really incredible to see how the gaming community can have impact beyond the playing of games," Xbox head Phil Spencer responded to Epic's announcement about the donation on Twitter. 

Battle royale game "Fortnite" boasts more than 350 million players worldwide, releasing a new season late in March.

The game is free to download and play, with the company making money from optional transactions such as digital costumes for characters, dance moves for avatars and tournaments.

Spencer thanked Epic for organizing the fundraising effort.

The money raised is being routed to aid groups including UNICEF, the United Nations Refugee Agency and the World Food Program, according to Epic.

The World Food Program has reached a million people in Ukraine with food and cash assistance, the organization tweeted Monday.

Thousands of people have been killed and more than 4.2 million Ukrainian refugees have fled the country since the Russian invasion in February, the UN says.

Video game makers and companies in other markets have raised money to help humanitarian efforts in Eastern Europe.

For example, "League of Legends" maker Riot Games announced recently that it had raised $5.4 million for the cause.

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© Agence France-Presse

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