Los Angeles Video Game Developers Raise Over $ 27,000 For Hurricane Ida

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There are 15 games available in the pack, which you can get for a minimum donation of $ 10.

NEW ORLEANS – In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, game developers in Louisiana are fundraising for relief efforts the way they know how – through their games.

Fifteen games from developers across the state come in a discounted package for $ 10. So far, they have raised over $ 27,000.

Buyers who pay that amount of $ 10 or more have access to games such as Headspace, which involves connecting different parts of the body to deal with depression and anxiety; and Shopping Spree, about finding something to eat in a sterile grocery store.

If you read these descriptions and think they seem oddly topical, you are not alone. But Nick Laborde, who helps run Baton Rouge-based studio Raconteur Games, said that was not the intention. This is exactly the sort of hurricane-heavy Louisiana-based game studios that naturally gravitate towards.

“The weird part is that none of these games were meant to be specifically symbolic of a hurricane,” he said. “But as a package, they all kind of hit the vibe of… going through this thing and sort of recovering and getting back on their feet.”

Laborde was already in discussions with Swedish game publisher Raw Fury about an upcoming project when the storm hit. Just before he hit the ground, the publisher’s representatives reached out to ask if he needed anything.

It sparked an idea. Other causes, such as the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd in 2020 and the plight of Palestinian children in recent years, have inspired successful game bundles. The Black Lives Matter bundle, Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, raised $ 8 million last year for the NAACP and the Community Bail Fund.

When Raw Fury reached out, Laborde pitched the idea of ​​a similar package for Hurricane Ida relief to local groups working to help residents sort through the storm.

“She said ‘Okay, I’ll talk about this at our meeting on Monday.’ So of course the day goes on, civilization crumbles in front of me within five hours, “said Laborde.” It was just a stunt of ‘okay, now we’re back, like 1900. ”

The studio rep called him back once Laborde got cell service back with good news: it was gone. Raw Fury wanted to support the bundle and had already found $ 10,000 in donations.

Laborde said he connected with more than half a dozen other studios and individual developers in a blitz ahead of the bundle’s launch on Friday.

“We’re going to have this stuff in the news for, cautiously, weeks, even months,” he said. “But nationwide, people move in seven to ten days.”

The state has a surprisingly robust development community, mostly centered around New Orleans and Baton Rouge. But developers are making games all over Louisiana, and many wanted to step up.

You don’t always think of Louisiana as the place to go for game development, “Laborde said.” We all know each other because it’s small here. ”

Proceeds from the package will support the Cajun Navy, Bucket Brigade, Baton Rouge Food Bank, Louisiana SPCA, Imagine Water Works, and the House of Tulip.

A portion of the proceeds will go to support communities on the East Coast who have also been affected by Ida, but the vast majority will remain in Louisiana, helping local communities.

“We are trying to do what we can through this,” said Laborde. “I hope this will give very specific help to the people who are out there and doing things right now.”

The Ida Hurricane Relief Pack in Southeast Louisiana runs through Friday. To view the games included and make a donation, click here.

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