Overwatch and Blizzard continue to make big names for themselves in the world of esports, and this time, it was all for a very important cause — breast cancer research and awareness.
Blizzard’s in-game breast cancer charity campaign ran until May 21st and it was a tremendous success, raising over $12.7 million! The developers released a special skin for Mercy and all proceeds went to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. On July 9th, the Overwatch Twitter account thanked all the fans for their support and announced the final number. They first let players know about this campaign on the official Overwatch blog back on May 5th.
The special Pink Mercy charity skin was specifically designed for the Overwatch hero Mercy, a scientist and so-called “guardian angel” who has dedicated her life to helping others. According to Blizzard’s North American PR Manager Dustin Blackwell, “This is the largest donation by a corporate partner within one year in [the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s] 25-year history.”
Besides this skin, players could show their support in real life by purchasing a limited-edition Pink Mercy T-shirt, available for men and women, that was designed by community artist Vicki Tsai.
The $12.7 million came directly from sales of the skin and the T-shirt, while people who watched the 14 different Overwatch stars on the charity Twitch stream raised an incredible $130,000!
“Blizzard Entertainment’s record-breaking commitment to activate change for women’s health by mobilizing the gaming community worldwide will have a lasting impact,” said Stephanie Kauffman, Chief Strategic Alliances Officer at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. “Blizzard’s support of BCRF will help accelerate breakthroughs in prevention strategies, improved treatments, survivorship and quality of life for breast cancer patients worldwide.”
The Breast Cancer Research Fund’s main goal is to end breast cancer through research. Founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder, BCRF has been a part of and heavily involved in every major breakthrough that has occurred in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer. It’s also the largest private individual funder of breast cancer research worldwide and the biggest organization in the USA.
“We’re proud to make this contribution to their efforts,” said CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Mike Morhaime. “I’m grateful to all of the Overwatch players around the world who made supporting such a good cause possible with their enthusiasm for the game and their generosity.”
I truly think it is incredible to see Blizzard and Overwatch pair up like this for such an important cause. Way to go, everyone involved! It’s really great of all the players to be so generous with their donations. I wish I could get my hands on that Pink Mercy shirt, but sadly, it’s sold out. For more information on BCRF, please feel free to check out their site.
Tarah Bleier is a freelance writer , editor and content creator from Toronto. As a graduate from Centennial College’s Journalism program she has written for Tribute.ca, and Factinate.com and recently for Geek Enthusiast Magazine. In her free time she loves gaming, cosplaying, prop making and attending as many conventions and geeky events as she can. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she has been a contributing writer of The Planet Observer for many years before becoming its Assistant Editor last year. Her work can also be seen on The Geekcast Radio Network where she has been a podcast host and writer.