A number of big-name developers have joined forces to create a game compilation in aid of charity War Child.
Halo's 343 Industries, Total War's Creative Assembly and Football Manager's Sports Interactive will be joined by Curve Digital, Bossa, Spilt Milk Studios, Team 17, Hardlight, Carbon Games, Torn Banner and Hinterland (with more to come) in a global six-day game jam to create games that will be bundled together for a release called HELP: Real War is Not a Game.
Tech firms Unity, Unreal and Gamemaker are also on board to supply tools to the teams.
A War Child games committee has also been formed, comprised of Alex Chapman (Sheridans), Ciarn Brennan (Sports Interactive), Elisabeth Little (War Child), Imre Jelle (Bossa), John Clark (Sega), Miles Jacobson (Sports Interactive), Rupert Loman (Gamer Network) and Stuart Saw (Twitch).
The move comes 20 years after bands such as Oasis, Blur, Paul Weller and The Stone Roses united to release the HELP album, raising more than 1.5m in the process.
War Child's work is amazing. It revolves around a simple premise... no child has started a war, so no child should be affected by one,” Sports Interactive studio director and founder of the global games jam committee Miles Jacobson said.
Whether it's rehabilitating ex child soldiers in Democratic Republic of Congo, creating child helplines in Afghanistan, providing safe spaces for Syrian refugee children, or the work in so many other countries – wherever they are they make the world a better place for children forced to live with war. For so many studios to have got involved in this project at such an early stage is really humbling. I hope many more join the cause and get involved in something that will be fun, rewarding and make a huge difference in children's lives across the world.”
War Child UK CEO Rob Williams added: We're incredibly excited about the launch of HELP: Real War is Not a Game. It's been amazing to be part of this initiative which is set to raise vital funds for children whose lives have been torn apart by war. In the 20 years since the music industry came together to create the HELP album, we've seen new records for the numbers of children affected by conflict. Today, the gaming industry is changing the game, with exactly the kind of creative and collective response required to help War Child change more lives.”
HELP: Real War is Not a Game will be released through Steam and other digital download platforms in late March 2016.