Microtransactionsover the past year, but Blizzard proved that even video game skins can be used for good.
A $15 pink costume for Overwatch healer Mercy was introduced back in May, with Blizzard pledging to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The gaming giant announced Monday that $12.7 million has since been raised.
That number was bolstered by a $30 limited edition Mercy T-shirt, the proceeds of which also contributed to the donation. Blizzard said “thousands” of shirts were sold, meaning the bulk of the $12.7 million total came from the Mercy skin. Amazingly, all those skins were bought in just two weeks, as Pink Mercy was only available from May 8 to 21.
Overwatch is a squad-based shooter that was released in 2016, but Blizzard’s games are known for expanding, not diminishing, in popularity over time. At last word the game had 40 million active players across PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Rare skins are coveted by many players, but are usually only available through loot boxes. Loot boxes are either earned through accumulating experience points or bought with real money. Once you pop a loot box, you’re given four items at random — then have to hope for the best. Pink Mercy’s only being available for two weeks was likely a strong incentive for the skin collectors out there.
The money will go toward “prevention strategies, improved treatments, survivorship and quality of life for breast cancer patients worldwide,” said Stephanie Kauffman, Chief Strategic Alliances Officer at BCRF.