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Social, MMO Game Studios Raise Money For Haiti Relief

Social, MMO Game Studios Raise Money For Haiti Relief

January 29, 2010 | By Eric Caoili

January 29, 2010 | By Eric Caoili
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Helping fund relief efforts for those affected by Haiti's devastating earthquake earlier in the month, many MMO and social gaming studios have raised money through virtual goods sales for donations. The latest companies to launch campaigns and contribute to Haiti aid include Outspark, Frogster, and Tall Trees.

Free-to-play MMO publisher Outspark is selling "Help Haiti" in-game bundles in four of its popular titles -- Fiesta, Secret of the Solstice, Wind Slayer, and Project Powder -- for $5, donating all of the proceeds to Yele Haiti, musician Wyclef Jean's relief organization. That campaign launched in January 15th and ends on the 31st.

London-based developer Tall Trees has contributed $20,000 to UNICEF's relief efforts in Haiti, which it raised through the sale of virtual Haitian cichlid fish in its Facebook game Fish World. The aquarium simulator began offering the fish to players last week for $2.

Runes of Magic publisher Frogster also sent 40,000 ($55,476) to Save the Children Deutschland e.V. The charity is devoted to helping kids grow up healthy and attend school, protecting children from exploitation and violence, and helping families in emergency and disaster situations, such as the earthquake in Haiti. Frogster raised the money with a promotion selling an in-game mount to Runes of Magic players late last year.

These efforts follow similar fundraising promotions from other online game companies like Zynga and Sony Online Entertainment. Zynga raised more than $1.5 million through virtual good sales in titles like FarmVille and Mafia Wars, while SOE raised $25,000 doing the same in titles like Free Realms and the EverQuest series.

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