PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds enabled its players to support charity by purchasing keys to unlock crates during its prerelease Early Access phase on Steam last year, and now developer PUBG Corp. is revealing how it’s going to distribute that money. The studio announced today that it is spreading out $2 million from the Gamescom Invitational Crates to the Extra Life Charity Marathon, Gamers Outreach, and a new charity campaign that is going to happen later this year.
PUBG Corp. had previously donated $100,000 to Twitch’s Winter Charity Invitational for the last-player-standing shooter in December. Later this month, $300,000 will go to the PUBG Extra Life Marathon that supports the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In April, PUBG will use some of the $2 million to match donations as part of a Gamers Outreach LAN event in partnership with Gamers for Giving. Gamers Outreach provides entertainment to children dealing with illnesses. Finally, PUBG Corp. is holding onto another $1 million with plans to donate it as part of the aforementioned, unannounced 2018 charity event.
This isn’t the only charity work in the gaming space. One of the best examples of how to use a game’s popularity for good is the Call of Duty Endowment, which provides grants to organizations that help prepare veterans for jobs after they leave the military. PUBG’s efforts aren’t as sophisticated as the Call of Duty Endowment, but the studio says that it wants to amplify these efforts over the next 12 months.
“We know from past events like the Twitch PUBG Winter Charity Invitational and the PUBG 2017 Charity Invitational that our community has a passion for giving back and helping others,” PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds lead community boss Sammie Kang said. “It’s been great to see content creators and their audiences using their talents for worthy causes, and PUBG Corp. is committed to supporting charity efforts with the same enthusiasm our players have shown. We’ve made an impact in the gaming world over the past year, and we’re hoping to have even more of an effect on some outstanding charitable organizations in 2018.”
The developer raised this money as part of its early tests with in-game purchases. PUBG Corp. partnered with esports organization ESL for a $350,000 invitational tournament as part of the Gamescom fan event in Germany.
Here’s how ESL put it in July:
“A staggering $350,000 USD prize pool will be up for grabs! Additionally, starting from August 3rd, players will have the opportunity to purchase exclusive vanity items in PUBG, with the proceeds directly supporting the Gamescom PUBG Invitational as well as charities of Bluehole’s selection.”
This got me wondering if PUBG Corp. is confirming that it generated $2.35 million in proceeds from the key sales with $350,000 going toward the prize pool and $2 million going toward charities. I’ve reached out to PUBG Corp to ask for details about how this all breaks down, and I hope to get an answer soon. I’ll post any updates on GamesBeat, so stay tuned.