The Pink Mercy Campaign has raised over $12 million for breast cancer research.
It’s not often we get to pat ourselves on the back for playing video games. Or, in this case, spending cash on an exclusive cosmetic item for a video game. Last May, Blizzard surprised us with an impromptu charity drive in support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), an independent non-profit organization that sends 91% of every dollar donated directly to promising cancer research programs.
Breast cancer awareness month is usually October, so it sort of came out of left field when Blizzard started selling Pink Mercy skins in Overwatch with all of the proceeds going towards the BCRF. Now that the charity drive is over, we have another surprising thing to report that is thankfully quite amazing.
Blizzard and the Overwatch community helped raise over $12.7 million for breast cancer research. “This is the largest donation by a corporate partner within one year in BCRF’s 25-year history,” Blizzard said in their announcement, “and it’s all because of you.”
Unlike most skins in Overwatch, obtaining the exclusive Pink Mercy skin required the player to shell out $15--easily the most expensive DLC the game has because it was the only paid content you could get outside of a loot box.
Blizzard also sold Pink Mercy t-shirts (designed by community artist VICISIGH) via their online store with 100% of proceeds also going to the BCRF. They combined sales with the Pink Mercy skin came to a grand total of $12,703,828.
But it wouldn’t be a charity drive without streamers, so Blizzard reached out to 14 Overwatch stars on Twitch and asked them to get in on the fun. Collectively, those streamers raised an additional $130,000, bringing the grand total to $12,833,828.
Executives with the BCRF all went down to Blizzard’s head office where they met with Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan. In a presentation, a giant novelty cheque with the final donation total was given to the BCRF leadership as well as a big poster commemorating the occasion.
If video games can be harness in this way all the time, we’ll almost certainly see the end of cancer in our lifetime.