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Blizzard’s efforts to make Overwatch a better place inside the game have spread out into the real world as well. The Overwatch Pink Mercy skin and associated merchandise that went on sale in May raised $12,703,828 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The BCRF claims that this is the “largest donation by a corporate partner within one year” in their 25-year history. The developer sold the skin for $14.99 from May 8 to May 21 on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Streamers also helped raise even more money. In addition to the $12.7 million, 14 various stars on Twitch raised an additional $130,000 in donations. This brings the total to around $12,833,828. Viewers were able to earn in-game items through these streams, accumulating sprays and player icons every two hours (up to six total hours).
Aside from the charitable donations, fans showed off their artistic skills through (SFW) illustrations and cosplay. Blizzard showed off some of this art on their post about total donation. Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard, expressed his gratitude for the fans as well as the BCRF on the BCRF’s website.
“BCRF does critical work every single day to support women’s health and develop new research and strategies for preventing, treating, and curing breast cancer, and we’re proud to make this contribution to their efforts,” he said. “I’m grateful to all of the Overwatch players around the world who made supporting such a good cause possible with their enthusiasm for the game and their generosity.”
This large donation is not surprising, given the game’s popularity and the numbers Blizzard announced during the campaign. In only nine days, Blizzard revealed that they had already raised almost $10 million, shattering their low minimum contribution of $250,000. These contributions were 100% of the skin sale proceeds. While console makers usually get a cut from items sold on their digital storefronts, Sony had to come out and say they were not profiting from the Overwatch Pink Mercy skin, despite confusing messaging.
The BCRF is the highest rated breast cancer organization in the United States according to Charity Navigator. Chief Strategic Alliances Officer Stephanie Kauffman released a statement on behalf of BCRF.
“Blizzard Entertainment’s record-breaking commitment to activate change for women’s health by mobilizing the gaming community worldwide will have a lasting impact,” said Kauffman. “Blizzard’s support of BCRF will help accelerate breakthroughs in prevention strategies, improved treatments, survivorship and quality of life for breast cancer patients worldwide.”