The world has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. I would say about 60-70% of the articles I write here seem to have at least some indirect connection to the virus in some form or another anymore, and it feels like the world is at something of a standstill. We don’t know when this will subside, and to what degree COVID-19 will stick with us even after the pandemic is over. But it seems, at the very least, Sony has ideas to help.
Announced via a press release (which you can read in full through here), Sony announced they are establishing a $100 million fund that will go toward COVID-19 relief internationally. While this goes well beyond the scope of gaming, part of the fund will be dedicated to helping creatives in the industry.
“Through this fund, Sony will provide support in three areas,” the company wrote. “Assistance for those individuals engaged in frontline medical and first responder efforts to fight the virus, support for children and educators who must now work remotely, and support for members of the creative community in the entertainment industry, which has been greatly impacted by the spread of the virus.
“In terms of medical support, 10 million U.S. dollars of the fund will be devoted first to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO powered by the UN Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, as well as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to assist medical workers and others on the frontline of response efforts to the virus. Sony will also work with its external partners to explore ways that it can support activities that prevent the further spread and contribute to treatment of the COVID-19 virus.
“In the area of education, where children, who represent the next generation, are losing education opportunities as a result of school closures, Sony will explore ways to leverage its technologies in support of education activities, and cooperate with educators to implement these measures.
“Furthermore, in terms of the creative community such as music, pictures, games and animation, together with its group companies engaged in the entertainment industry, Sony will seek ways to support up-and-coming creators, artists and all those in professions supporting the industry, who have been impacted by the cancellation or postponement of concerts and live events, or the shutting down of film and television productions.
“Sony also announced that employees will be able to provide their support through a matching gift program that is scheduled to be offered to its approximately 110,000 employees worldwide.”
Sony was one of the first and quickest to react to the COVID-19 crisis, pulling out of events like PAX East and GDC before anyone else due to health concerns. While $100 million doesn’t seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, anything will help in this tough time, and it’s more than most corporations are doing. Some, like CD Projekt RED and Rockstar, are taking steps to help out, but here’s hoping we see more of this from more companies soon.