Indie gaming storefront Itch.io is currently offering arguably the best video game bundle in history: more than 1,500 games and counting for just $5, with all proceeds going toward the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Community Bail Fund. Now, the deal, called the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, has passed more than $5 million in proceeds for charity as of Thursday afternoon.
It’s more money than any of the biggest gaming corporations have thus far donated amid Black Lives Matter protests following the killing of George Floyd, whose death at the hands of former Minnesota police officers has sparked worldwide outrage and a national reckoning on police brutality and racial justice.
Many gaming companies, including the world’s most valued publishers, have issued empty platitudes and half-hearted shows of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Some, like League of Legends and Valorant developer Riot Games, have donated actual funds, with Riot putting aside $1 million last week to support reform, fight bias and discrimination in the workplace, and other causes. (Pokémon Go creator Niantic, to its credit, is donating a minimum of $5 million from proceeds of its 2020 Pokémon Go Fest ticket sales, while indie studio Klei Entertainment is matching some of the industry’s largest studios with $1 million in donations to the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.)
But few have even gone so far as to contribute real money, choosing instead to voice support through social media. And as The Verge reported last week, those same companies were largely silent six years ago, after the Black Lives Matter movement first formed in the wake of the shooting of Trayvon Martin and when it achieved mainstream recognition in the demonstrations following the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
That makes Itch.io’s effort that much more remarkable. The company is still courting new developers for the pay-what-you-want bundle, and many high-profile developers now participating have never before supported a game bundle out of concern for the economics of the format, reports Polygon.
If you haven’t yet purchased the bundle, it’s a no-brainer, and you have another four and a half days to do so. Polygon has put together a guide here to highlight some of its more well-known titles, including indie hits like Celeste, Minit, and Oxenfree. On top of that, the bundle is full of some really rare gems and experimental indie projects that are otherwise hard to find.