UPDATE 21/3/22: Epic Games has raised $36m in 24 hours from sales within Fortnite, the company has announced.
That money equates to proceeds raised from in-game sales beginning yesterday morning, when Fortnite's new season went live and millions snapped up its new battle pass. Xbox has also chipped in by waiving its standard platform fees, meaning even more money going to humanitarian relief charities.
Fortnite's new season is distinctly war themed, with drivable tanks and other combat additions. It received an unusually muted launch with no prior marketing build-up.
Profits from this new season will continue to go towards Ukraine aid until 3rd April, Epic promised previously.
ORIGINAL STORY 20/3/22: Epic Games has confirmed that from today, 20th March, until 3rd April, all its Fortnite proceeds will be donated to "humanitarian relief for people affected by the war in Ukraine".
In partnership with Xbox - which is also "committing [its] proceeds for Fortnite during this time" - the drive hopes to generate funds for relief organisations that provide emergency aid, health support, food and clean water, essential supplies, legal aid, and shelter.
"All real-money Fortnite purchases made between March 20, 2022 and April 3, 2022, will be distributed," Epic said on the official Fortnite website. "This includes V-Buck packs, Fortnite Crew, gifted Battle Passes, and cosmetic packs such as the Voidlander Pack sold for real money. Retail store purchases of in-game cosmetics and V-Bucks cards will also be included if they are redeemed in-game during this window.
"Using V-Bucks in Fortnite will not be included as those are not real-money purchases."
Epic adds that 100 per cent of Fortnite's proceeds is "equal to the gross purchase price of all Fortnite in-game purchases or retail purchase redemptions [...] from sales throughout the world, excluding taxes, third-party platform fees, refunds, returns, or reversals".
The initiative does not affect the earnings of participants in its Support-a-Creator scheme, and although Epic welcomes donations from affiliate earnings, members are advised to "partner directly" with charitable organisations. There is no option for players to "opt-out", either; if for some reason you don't want your money going towards the efforts, Epic suggests you "hold off buying anything with real money" until 4th April.
Epic Games has also suspended sales of its products in Russia whilst its unprovoked war against Ukraine persists but stopped short of restricting access for Russians entirely in order to "keep all lines of dialogue open".
Yesterday we reported that Humble Bundle's Stand with Ukraine bundle had already generated over £3 million to aid humanitarian efforts following Russia's violent and illegal invasion of Ukraine. Today, that number stands at almost £6 million.
The bundle - which features over 120 items worth over £1800 ($2500) - has been bagged by over 172,000 people. 100 per cent of the proceeds will go to Razom for Ukraine, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, and Direct Relief to "support vital humanitarian crisis relief efforts for the people of Ukraine today".
As Matt told us earlier this week, Humble Games' announcement follows significant donations and fundraising efforts across the industry in support of Ukraine. Itch.io's recent bundle raised over $6m USD, and large donations have been made by the likes of The Pokémon Company, Bandai Namco, CD Projekt Red, game engine maker Unity, This War of Mine developer 11 Bit Studios, Clash of the Clans maker Supercell, THQ/Gearbox owner Embracer, Square Enix, and more.