Rockstar Games, makers of Red Dead Online and GTA Online, have pledged to aid in the fight against Coronavirus. Since the initial outbreak of COVID-19, many companies have made efforts to help combat the spread of the virus and limit the economic impact of the disease. Rockstar is the latest in the gaming industry to join the fight.
In a Facebook update posted yesterday, Match 31, Rockstar announced that 5% of revenue for their two current live online games, GTA Online and Red Dead Online for the period between April 1st through the end of May will be donated to relief efforts for COVID-19. No specific aid organization was named as the beneficiary for the funds in the post with this being the most direct statement:
“These funds will be used to help local communities and businesses struggling with the impacts of COVID-19, both directly and by supporting some of the amazing organizations who are on the ground helping those affected by this crisis.”
Rockstar and their publisher Take 2 Interactive rarely make detailed revenue updates but estimates put quarterly revenues for GTA Online alone over $300 million. This would put the total for the GTA Online part of this initiative in the ballpark of $10 million. Adding in the revenue from Red Dead Online, which tends to underperform GTA, would make the effort even more significant.
This announcement from Rockstar is the latest response to the COVID-19 crisis from the Games Industry. Esports Peripheral maker Razer has reworked production lines to produce protective masks for healthcare workers. Longtime gaming charity organization Humble Bundle is currently, at the time of this writing, raising funds in support of the fight against the virus. Graphics card manufacturer Nvidia offered free access to analytic software to combat the disease. There have also been numerous charity tournaments and streaming events raising funds to help with treatment and relief efforts.
Say what you will about Rockstar’s business practices and workplace culture, this is a welcome move from an industry giant.
Stephen Krusel, known as Sven Kroosl to some, has played video and tabletop games since 1987 and has written about the gaming industry since 2008. He has yet to be convinced that Final Fantasy Tactics is not the pinnacle of gaming.