Sony has established a $100 million COVID-19 relief fund designed to support those impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
The fund is looking to support frontline workers, children and teachers forced to work remotely, and creatives making music, art, games, and animation, particularly early-career artists that have been impacted by the cancellations of projects and live events. Sony is also open to suggestions from its partners on where else it can funnel financial aid and support the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
As reported by Eurogamer, $10m of the fund has been earmarked for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO – which is managed by the UN Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“Sony extends its condolences to the families of those who have passed away as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and extends its sympathies to all those who have been impacted,” said Sony CEO, Kenichiro Yoshida said. “In order to overcome the unprecedented challenges that as a society we now face around the world, we will do all we can as a global company to support the individuals on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, the children who are our future, and those who have been impacted in the creative community.”
The coronavirus is affecting games all over the world and in a myriad of ways. In response to the pandemic, E3 2020 has been cancelled, as has GDC and EGX Rezzed – although it subsequently ran as a digital event – and Develop:Brighton 2020 has been postponed to November. Both Mojang and Electronic Arts have cancelled scheduled live events.
Gamescom, however, still opens to proceed as planned. BAFTA revised the format on its Games Awards in light of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), too.
Bungie, EA, Nintendo and now Rockstar have all implemented homeworking to minimise staff exposure to the virus whilst Pokémon Go developer Niantic has made changes to the game to enable players to continue participating even whilst in self-isolation. The increase in people working from home and/or self-isolating, however, has put a strain on online services like Xbox Live and Nintendo Switch Online.