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As video gaming surges during pandemic, these European startups raise relief funds to fight against COVID-19 – Silicon Canals


The video gaming industry is much much larger when compared to the movie and music industry combined and it has been growing consistently in the last 10 years.

With this, companies in the gaming sector are intended at making video game streaming simple, just like Netflix and also accessible via smartphones. Virtual Reality (VR) is another trend which is making waves in the gaming industry.

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But with the pandemic, new reports have revealed that while people are staying at home a lot more than the usual, there is an increase in the use of content streaming services and online games. Reports also suggest that the two biggest names in the video gaming industry – Call of Duty (CoD) and Fifa have witnessed a major surge during the lockdown.

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In fact, the European startups are also testing the waters of this developing sector in the tech industry. And now many are competing with the likes of global giants like Facebook, Google, and others. Today, we take a look at the top ones from the region which are supporting the fight against the pandemic with relief efforts.

Picture credits: CCP Games

CCP Games (Iceland)

CCP Games was established in 1997 by Reynir Hardarson and Sigurdur Arnljotsson with the vision of harnessing the communication potential of the Internet to create new and unique forms of collaborative entertainment. CCP Games has received €60.3 million funding from New Enterprise Associates, Novator, and Pearl Abyss. With the launch of Eve Online in 2003, the CCP established itself as one of the most innovative companies in interactive entertainment.

Now, the company is hosting the Plex For Good campaign in Eve Online and accepts contributions via in-game currency for Eve Online. The real-world monetary value of the same will be donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Picture credits: CD PROJEKT RED

CD Projekt (Poland)

CD Projekt is a Polish developer founded by Marcin Iwinski in 2002. The Cyberpunk 2077 developer has already organised a donation of $950k (nearly €876k) to Fundacja Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy, a non-profit organisation to fight against the spread of the virus in Poland. The investment that CD Projekt has raised is mainly from its major board of directors and shareholders including Marcin Iwinski and Blackrock.

Picture credits: Gfinity

Gfinity (UK)

Established by Neville Upton back in 2012, Gfinity operates the ePremier League Invitational tournament that helps in securing funds for the NHS. It has already secured nearly £7 million (nearly €7.9 million) funding from Allenby Capital Limited among others. The tournament hosted by Gfinity saw contestants from Premier League football players. It is a part of the UK football league’s stars initiative #PlayersTogether that intends to raise funds for the NHS.

Picture credits: Jagex

Jagex (UK)

Cambridge-based Jagex, an award-winning game studio and the developer behind RunScape was established in 2001 by Andrew Gower, Constant Tedder, Ian Gower, and Paul Gower. The game studio that is a part of the Play Apart Together campaign is backed by Insight Partners, Index Ventures, Shandong Hongda Mining, and Macarthur Fortune Holding. It has raised £100k (nearly €112k) to the mental health charities – CPSL Mind, The Princes Trust, and Rise Above the Disorder that work towards supporting those in need during isolation. Jagex also provides mental health advice to its players along with Mind.

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Picture credits: MAG Interactive

MAG Interactive (Sweden)

Swedish mobile game developer MAG Interactive founded in 2010 by Daniel Hasselberg is popular as each game released by the company has reached a multi-million player base and topped the charts in many countries. Till date, MAG Interactive has secured €14.3 million funding from NGP Capital and Swedbank Robur among others and has donated all the revenue from QuizDuel, its popular game to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Also, MAG Interactive has joined hands with German health authorities for a COVID-19 awareness quiz game.

Picture credits: Oh BiBi

Oh BiBi (France)

Oh BiBi is a Paris-based gaming developer that was formed in 2012 and has released seven games since then including 2017’s Sup Multiplayer Racing, which has generated €12 million in revenue over the past year. The studio was founded by Martial Valery and Stanislas Dewarvin, who previously led development on some of Gameloft’s biggest hits, such as Minion Rush and Asphalt. It has raised funding from leading VCs including Atomico, Korelya Capital and more. This French mobile publisher has donated €10,000 to the International Red Cross to fight against COVID-19.

Picture credits: Paradox Interactive

Paradox Interactive (Sweden)

Paradox Interactive is a leading global publisher of strategy games for PC founded in 1999 by Fredrik Wester. The renowned publisher has announced that it will donate sales proceeds from notable games to the United Nations Foundation and WHO. The proceeds from sales of ten games and their editions in the first week of the month has been donated to the charities to help them ease. Recently, the company revealed via Twitter that has secured more than $500k (nearly €461k).

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Picture credits: Playrix

Playrix (Ireland)

Playrix is a mobile game development company founded in 2004 by Dmitri Bukhman and Igor Bukhman. Mobile game developer Playrix headquartered in Ireland announced that it will pay $650 each to 2100 employees and donate nearly $1.35 million to supports its staff during the COVID-19. It has been announced that the mobile game developer has allocated funds to purchase disinfectants, medical equipment, and protective materials to hospitals in Ukraine and Russia.

Picture credits: QubicGames

QubicGames (Poland)

QubicGames, a Polish cross-platform video game developer and publisher studio backed by CEO Jakub Pieczykolan since 2004 is known for its creation, B2B Games Showcase. The company pledged to donate 20% of its total revenue generated from games in the Nintendo Switch portfolio in the next three months to COVID-19 relief organisations. Also, 100% of sales from Geki Yabi Runner and Robonauts will be donated for the purpose. Besides these, QubicGames will donate more than $75,000 worth surgical masks to Polish hospitals.

Picture credits: SideQuest

Side Quest (UK)

Side Quest is a new initiative in the UK that wants 100,000 young developers to make their first games as they stay at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. Launched on May 4, it challenges game developers aged between 13 and 17 to build games within a week. And, participants were given free access to GameMaker Studio 2 by YoYoGames.

Stock photo from REDPIXEL.PL/Shutterstock

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more European technology news.


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