In the two weeks that the hats were available, Valve was able to raise more than $400,000 in relief charity for the earthquake and tsunami affected areas in Japan. $430,543.65 was raised through Team Fortress 2 over the course of two weeks as players were given the opportunity to buy Japanese themed hats. The hats, which you can see above, are limited edition and were only available during the sale.
The gaming industry at large has been exceptionally charitable throughout the terrible events unfolding in Japan. The disaster struck exactly a month ago yesterday, and since then gaming companies from around the world have been donating money through selling content. In addition to Valve, companies like PopCap, Capcom and Bungie have all held donation events to help raise awareness through product sales.
And it seems to have worked exceptionally well. Capcom dropped the price of Street Fighter IV for the iOS from its launch cost down to $.99, and the product shot to the top of the App Store charts immediately. All of the money from the sale went direct to Japanese relief efforts. Capcom has since stopped the sale and returned the price to $4.99; the game is no longer in the Top 50 list.
The connection between Japan and the gaming world is obvious. Supportive gamers and the companies that have offered charity events since March 11th deserve to be swelling with pride over the amount of donations that have come in from around the world. In Valve’s fundraising announcement, they specifically offer that their players should “Wear your hats with pride!”
We couldn’t agree more.