The Overwatch community is huge, and its members recently proved they've got a heart befitting that massive size. In recent weeks, a special Mercy skin was made available for purchase, with proceeds going to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The result was a donation of nearly $13 million, which should go a long way toward helping finally find a cure.
The Overwatch donation drive promotion was a simple one, and not unlike similar promotions we've seen before. In short, players had the opportunity to throw a few bucks toward a new skin for the character, Mercy, which would deck the character out in appropriately pink attire. Other developers have orchestrated similar fundraisers to benefit cancer research and various other causes, including specific promotions benefiting a single member of the community.
But, when you've got a community as the one following Blizzard's FPS mega-hit, you're able to pull in some seriously impressive numbers. From the skin sales alone, the Overwatch community helped raise a whopping $12.7 million to support BCRF which, according to the official announcement, is the largest donation made by a corporate partner in the 25-year history of the organization. That's something worth being proud of, and every Overwatch player who chipped into the campaign helped make that outstanding benchmark possible.
Believe it or not, even more funds were raised through side promotions tied to the game, including livestreams and T-shirt sales. Blizzard is reporting that thousands of Pink Mercy T-shirts were sold over the course of the fundraising promotion, with charity streamers earning an additional $130,000 in donations simply by playing the game and asking the community for support on Twitch.
To help spread the word about the Pink Mercy promotion, a bunch of fanart and even cosplay started popping up across social media, which Blizzard showed off in that same blog post.
This is obviously a pretty fantastic feat, made even more impressive when you consider the fact that Overwatch has been able to build such an impressive community over the course of just two years. Back in early 2016, the question was whether or not this arena shooter with MOBA elements would even be able to capture an audience, something that was confirmed in record time. The community grew like wildfire and, by year two, Overwatch League was already taking shape. Now we've gone through the first season of that competition and, though there have been some speedbumps along the way, the broadcasts continue to draw a crowd and keep the community engaged.
It feels like video games and the folks who play them have been under fire lately, so this definitely serves as a nice counterweight to the negativity. Congratulations, Overwatch players. You folks came together to do a very good thing.