Pokemon GO dev Niantic increases black gaming initiative donation to $10 million


Online GO Fest an overwhelming success

Back in June, Niantic CEO John Hanke announced that his company would be donating $5m USD in revenue to support a range of black gaming initiatives, projects and communities. However,Pokémon GO Fest 2020 – held on Niantic’s AR title this past weekend – proved such a huge success that the company will now double its donation to $10m.

Pokémon GO Fest usually sees players from around the world gather together for a physical weekend of fun and critter-hunting, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the annual event to go all-digital this year. However, as reported by Eurogamer, this did not discourage would-be trainers, as “millions” of players from over 120 countries spent an astounding $25 million in-game during the weekend of July 24-26. These numbers boost Pokémon GO‘s yearly revenue to around $540m, with its global lifetime revenue reaching $3.7bn.

While Niantic is yet to state specifically how the $10m donation is to be divided, it had previously said that half of the money would go toward funding black gaming projects and creators that can live on the Niantic platform, while the remaining half would be spent on supporting local black communities and businesses. In addition, Niantic has made a donation to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, an organisation dedicated to protecting and defending the rights of black trans people. Niantic is also in the process of creating a new training programme to better educate its employees in combating systemic racism.

“It is up to non-Black allies to educate ourselves and each other,” said Hanke back in June. “We hope this diversity and inclusion training can help provide the tools and resources to make us all better allies… Lastly, we will take a public stand in support of the Black community and reject white supremacy, racism, and police brutality.”

Pokémon GO is available now on iOS and Android devices.

Pokemon GO creator Niantic doubles Black Lives Matter donation to $10m [Eurogamer]