8 Gaming Brands With High Scores In Social Impact

Gaming companies are the new player in corporate responsibility. Whether by selling in-game virtual goods or harnessing the power of social media, they are aligning their brands with impactful initiatives.


Until recently, many companies in the sector didn’t focus on corporate social responsibility. A top executive at a gaming company once told us, “I don’t see opportunity for gaming companies to do good.” But lately we’ve seen incredible generosity unleashed by the gaming community, with games raising funds for everything from hurricane and earthquake relief to education for children in Uganda.

Here are some of my favorite initiatives:

    1. ZeniMax Online Studios

    The Elder Scrolls Online from ZeniMax Online Studios is linking in-game activity with charitable giving. For every five dragons players defeat, the company will donate $1 to pet welfare charities vetted by GlobalGiving. Gamers can raise up to $200,000 through the in-game challenge, and are also encouraged to donate online.

    2. Humble Bundle

    Both a digital storefront for video games and an incredible engine for good, Humble Bundle is celebrated for its cause-oriented product collections where all proceeds go to charity. In September, they raised millions of dollars for disaster relief with their Hurricane Relief Bundle. Since 2010, they’ve raised more than $154 million with similar programs.

    3. Big Huge Games

    Big Huge Games is another company giving their players in-game opportunities to make a difference. Players of its DomiNations game from 117 countries contributed $16,835 through in-game purchases to benefit GlobalGiving’s Puerto Rico & Caribbean Relief Fund. The DomiNations team shared a message of appreciation via their Facebook account, “We have all been heartened to see our DomiNations world leaders take up the task of helping others throughout the real world.”

    4. Sega

    When a character from Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog game was made into a highly problematic meme, Sonic stepped in on social media with a way to take meaningful action. The Twitter account for Sonic the Hedgehog tweeted a meme to 5 million followers accompanied by the message, “Let us show you the way… to make the world a better place.” With that single tweet, the Sonic brand drove thousands in donations for vetted GlobalGiving projects in Uganda from organizations, including Arlington Academy of Hope and The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project.

    5. 343 Industries

    Virtual goods can make a real impact. 343 Industries’ Halo offered a Relief and Recovery Req Pack that supported several GlobalGiving disaster relief funds. A member posted his reaction on a Halo forum saying the initiative was, “Definitely an awesome cause with everything that has happened. I do love how they’re handling this. I haven’t bought a single pack in Halo ‘til now and I feel no buyer’s remorse knowing it’s all going to a good cause.”

    6. Riot Games

    The company behind the massively popular multiplayer game League of Legends, Riot Games, has matched millions in donations made by their global eSports community. Players had the chance to vote for one of three organizations to receive the majority of the funds raised, and they enthusiastically supported an organization addressing mental health needs. One player wrote in response, “I speak for every person who voted or directly supported this effort when I say thank you.”

    7. Games for Change

    One of several organizations nurturing the social good potential of the gaming community, Games for Change supports game creators in developing games that make the world a better place. It also hosts an annual Games for Change Festival for changemakers to swap ideas.

    8. Entertainment Software Association Foundation

    As the philanthropic arm of a gaming industry trade group, Entertainment Software Association Foundation seeks to create opportunity for youth in the United States through scholarships and grants.

Want more corporate giving insights? Subscribe to get the best content from the Learn Library once a month.

Featured Photo: Skills for Employment for 100 Youth in Kalimantan by Yayasan Usaha Mulia.

You may also be interested in

Looking for something specific?

Find exactly what you're looking for in our Learn Library by searching for specific words or phrases related to the content you need.

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.