We don’t often think too deeply about where our money goes when we make a video game purchase. Microtransactions are pretty standard in today’s video game industry, much to the dismay of many. It’s not hard to see why. Microtransactions make billions for game companies. Fortnite reportedly made $318 million dollars in revenue in May 2018 - and it’s a free to play game! Sure, you buy something in game for a few bucks and don’t really think much about it beyond the fancy new item you get to flash around in game. But, Fortnite is an interesting case and inspires some digging as to where your money goes beyond the in-game effects.
WHAT’S IN A DOLLAR?
WHERE DOES IT GO?
Once all of the expenses like servers, marketing, software and staff etc, are all paid, there’s still a staggering amount of revenue being generated by Fortnite. Fortnite is owned by Epic Games, a studio also known for its releasesGears of WarandInfinity Blade series. They’ve had a huge success in a lot of these endeavours but the truly unique and, in my opinion, awesome thing that they are doing is putting that money towards the environment.
Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games, has been using his money for philanthropy with a particular focus on North Carolina, where the company is now based. Sweeney donated $15 million to protect 7,000 acres of the Box Creek Wilderness in November 2016 which helped protect more than 130 rare plant and wildlife species that live in that area.
Sweeney went on to buy 193 acres of Alamance County from Sizemore Brothers LLP for a handsome $1.97 million merely a year later and has since chosen to leave it undeveloped. He intends to hold on to it until he can find a suitable conservation home for it. Sweeney has made many similar purchases over the years and donated much of the land to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and to national parks.
Philanthropy is not a new trend. However, it is comforting and inspiring to see these “new” industries such as gaming take note of their environmental impact. It makes you think more about where your money is being spent once you hand it over to a company. Fortnite is just one example but there are many more. Next time you’re online and you want to get that extra skin, consider researching where your money goes. You might be pleasantly surprised.