Donation made by Japan-based games publishing consortium

Industry elite unite for $12m earthquake fund

Some of the biggest publishers in the games business are donating millions of dollars to a relief fund following Japan’s earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Sony and Nintendo are both pledging $3.6 million each to help fund the island’s recovery, according to Kotaku.

Sega Sammy, meanwhile, is putting forward $2.4 million. Its UK arm has begun a separate charity drive with the help of UK studio Sports Interactive.

Kotaku reports that Namco Bandai and Koei Tecmo will each contribute a $1.2 million donation.

Together the consortium is to raise $12 million to help Japan recover from the disaster.

Social games firm Zynga has also begun a new charity initiative to help children affected by the devastating tsunami. The firm is introducing donation options within games such as CityVille, FarmVille, Zynga Poker, FrontierVille and Words with Friends.

These games will have donation buttons appear as people purchase Facebook credits. The money, Zynga said, will be given to the Save the Children charity. Following the destructive earthquake that struck Haiti last year, Zynga was able to donate over $1.5 million through the same initiative.

On Friday an 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck just north east of the Japanese coast. It was the biggest ever on record to hit the island. The resulting tsunami has swept devastation across the country, with areas in the north east – closest to the earthquake’s epicentre – worst affected.

Over 1,000 people are reported to have died, while at one stage as many as 88,000 people were said to be unaccounted for.

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