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Sony’s $100 Million Pandemic Donation is a Gaming Industry Wake-up Call

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:48 PM
Jasmine Henry
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:48 PM
  • Sony announces a $100 million global relief fund to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • First, $10 million is being given to the World Health Organization’s pandemic fighting force.
  • In comparison, other gaming companies have offered just thousands of dollars to fight the pandemic.

In a press release, Sony announced the Sony Global Relief Fund for COVID-19 . This fund offers $100 million for medical teams and first responders fighting the pandemic, children and educators, and those in the creative industry.

Sony is first giving $10 million to COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO which can “assist medical workers and others on the frontline of response efforts to the virus.” Sony said that it is looking at several other ways it can support the treatment of COVID-19.

Sony isn’t the only gaming company that is putting money towards pandemic relief efforts. Microsoft has also announced that it has donated $1 million to Paget Sound’s COVID-19 relief efforts, is helping teams doing remote work, is providing data support, and has donated to local groups in Italy and China.

Gaming Industry Pools In

Ubisoft has donated $150,000 to the same WHO fund as Sony. Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt RED has donated nearly $1 million to a local medical charity and Mixer streamer Ninja has donated $120,000 to Feeding America.

However, there are also several companies that work in gaming that could do so much more. Google has announced an $800 million fund but most of this figure is for ad credits. This will help businesses affected by the pandemic but as one non-profit adviser said in a Vox article , “you can’t make payroll on ad credits.”

Apple, which sells its Apple Arcade gaming subscription, has given around $18 million to COVID-19 relief with its first $15 million donation and a decision to double its donation to China. This may seem like a huge figure but in 2019, Apple became the first company to pass a $1 trillion market cap. If you had $1,000, this would be like donating two cents.

Rockstar Games’ decision to donate 5% of its GTA Online and Red Dead Online profits between April and May but the company doesn’t pay taxes. It’s unclear if these companies have donated money without making a press release about it, but now, many are wondering what more they could do.