17 September 2013
The British Red Cross has teamed up with computer game developer Electronic Arts (EA) to offer gamers the chance to help people affected by disasters in the virtual world.
From today, players of the popular video game SimCity™ can download Red Cross branded content to use in-game, with the majority of money raised from sales going to the Red Cross.
It is the first ever multi-country video game collaboration for the Red Cross with ten national societies across the world taking part.
SimCity™ sees players create and develop a virtual city. When a natural disaster occurs during gameplay, players with the new download will be able to call upon additional assistance from the Red Cross.
Available for £7.99, the download includes a Red Cross relief centre and two vehicles that will travel around the player’s city in response to natural disasters.
When an earthquake strikes or a tornado touches down, Red Cross tents will appear in various locations across the city providing care for inhabitants, known as Sims.
As the city recovers, so the tents disappear and Sims are released back into the virtual world.
EA will donate a minimum of 80 per cent of the proceeds from every sale of the new download to the Red Cross.
“This creative partnership with SimCity will help us reach a new audience and raise awareness of the work of the Red Cross during real world disasters,” said Mark Astarita, director of fundraising at the British Red Cross.
“This will bring the Red Cross to life for gamers in an exciting and interactive way while raising vital funds to support our work helping people in crisis in the UK and overseas.”
Patrick Buechner, general manager of video game developer Maxis Emeryville, a subsidiary of EA, and creators of SimCity™ added: “The content we created alongside the Red Cross not only gives aid to the Sims within our players’ cities, it also enables players to help real people who have suffered from disasters in the real world.
"After recouping our development costs, the remaining proceeds will go to the Red Cross to help support their work across the globe.”
EA will give a minimum of $100,000 (£63,000) to support the humanitarian services of participating national societies.
The Red Cross set is available from today (17 September) for a year. Download the pack from the Sim City store.