Call to Action: Game Industry Support for Ukraine10 Mar 2022
Dear Game Industry Leaders,
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine initiated on the 24th of February 2022. It is our hope your loved ones are safe.
As the world’s largest non-profit membership organization with a mission to support and empower game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers, the IGDA takes strong stances on issues impacting members of our community, their craft, and ultimately, their lives. We recently posted our statement about the situation here.
The IGDA has ties with game developers around the world, including members of the IGDA Chapter in Kyiv and over 50 IGDA members affiliated with Ukraine. After checking in with members of our community, many of whom are living in a state of fear and anxiety, we have identified key ways industry leaders can visibly and meaningfully support those impacted by the violence and warfare.
Today, we are calling on game industry leaders to take additional measures to express support for those impacted by this needless warfare.
You can support this cause in several ways:
- Issue a Statement and Call to Action
- Support Humanitarian Efforts through Donations
- Suspend or Restrict Sales of Products/Services in Russia for Duration of the Conflict
- Counter Misinformation Campaigns and Propaganda
- Contact Your Government Officials
We’ve included examples below for each approach listed above. It is the IGDA’s hope that the games industry will unite together and denounce the violence and warfare occuring in Ukraine, and support game developers affected by the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine.
We invite you to reach out to us if you wish to discuss any of these approaches in greater detail. Thank you for your time and consideration.
The IGDA Board of Directors & Staff
Issue a Statement and Call to Action
Take a clear stance on the war conflict and communicate that to your community. There are a number of ways you can approach this, such as:
- Clearly and publicly denounce the violence and warfare resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For example, in CD Projekt’s statement, the studio acknowledges that although they are not a political entity, the team believes that commercial entities can inspire change and solidarity across the globe. Additional examples of strong statements include ones published by Ukrainian-based GSC World and Polish studio, 11 bit studios.
- Express your support for and solidarity with Ukraine by sharing donation links, resources, and other information with your community. The IGDA has identified many resources that can serve as an effective starting point for you. See the IGDA’s list of resources here.
- Join the IGDA in calling upon other industry leaders to express their support for Ukraine and take necessary steps to support Ukrainian game developers.
Support Humanitarian Efforts
We acknowledge that your first priority may be ensuring your employees, contractors, partners, and other members of your organization in Ukraine are safe. We hope you have been able to support them to the best of your ability. Here are some ways other studios and organizations have supported their communities:
- Developex put together a list of resources for their employees and contractors based in Ukraine, as well as individuals who wish to offer aid.
- Savage Game Designs helped secure donations to fund the refuge of one of their developers.
- Ubisoft provided additional funds and relocation support for its employees in Ukraine.
In addition to supporting humanitarian efforts for employees, your organization may wish to consider support options listed below:
- Develop donation drives within your organization to fund charities providing humanitarian relief and assistance to those impacted by the war. For example, Doom co-creator, John Romero, released a new Doom II map to help raise funds.
- Match donation funds like Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, which matched employee donations 2:1 for charitable organizations in support of Ukraine.
- Host events or activities that can raise funds for humanitarian efforts. For example, Necrosoft Games created an itch.io Bundle for Ukraine for sharing proceeds of sales with two organizations: Voices of Children and International Medical Corps. Other studios have leveraged games as a medium for donations, including Beetlewing and CD Projekt Red, both donating proceeds of sales from their games, Slipaways and This War of Mine, respectively.
- Consider ways to help with relocation and recruitment of Ukrainian game developers. For example, your company may sign up for the initiative organized by InGame Job and led by Values Value, Games Gathering, DevGAMM, GDBAY and other Ukrainian community leaders, who are working together to collect information about studios willing and able to hire Ukrainian game developers. Studios may also indicate their ability to support in other ways, such as providing housing, legal advice, temporary office space, and more.
Suspend Sales and/or Restrict Access to Your Products & Services in Russia
Suspend commerce or new sales of your products, software, and/or services in Russia, as called for by Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov. Companies that have taken this approach include the following:
- Activision Blizzard suspended new sales of games in Russia while conflict continues.
- EA stopped sales of games and content, including virtual currency bundles, in Russia and Belarus.
- Epic Games stopped commerce with Russia in their games.
- DirectTV, TikTok, Meta, Google, PayPal, and many others companies have restricted or removed products or services in Russia for the time being.
Counter Misinformation Campaigns and Propaganda
- Remove Russian misinformation on your community boards, forums, or other communication hubs, like Facebook and Twitter have done.
- Suspend broadcasting of propaganda and misinformation related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Companies who have taken measures similar to this include YouTube (Google), Meta, and TikTok to name a few.
- Compile and share assets for developers to integrate into their games, including:
- A factual statement in English/Russian about the current war.
- A video of speeches by Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskyy and include Russian subtitles.
Contact Your Government Officials
Lastly, consider reaching out to government officials and asking them to support and aid Ukraine. A helpful list of who you can contact in your country/area can be found here, including template letters and websites for government representatives. (Be sure to set the viewing mode as Viewing and not Editing.)