The aim is to provide financial relief for developers who lost money when the Game Developers Conference abruptly canceled last month as the coronavirus gathered steam. The GDC was supposed to take place in San Francisco the week of March 16, with as many as 29,000 developers attending. But it was canceled on February 28 due to the spread of the virus, after many developers had already booked nonrefundable travel.
Gamedev.World said that developers around the world have been unexpectedly and severely affected by the cancellation of GDC and other effects of the ongoing global crisis. Some of these developers have been left stranded abroad, facing thousands of dollars in debt from nonrefundable fees, or without any options to continue pursuing their passion in game development due to lost business opportunities.
“The Gamedev.world team has worked these past few weeks to help developers return home, negotiate refunds, and figure out temporary lodging, but right now financial support is one of those urgent needs faced by developers around the world that we cannot help alleviate without your support,” the nonprofit group said in a statement.
So the group is doing multiple community-gathering initiatives to benefit the GDC Relief Fund spearheaded by Wings Interactive, which provides financial aid to developers impacted in loss of funds and business opportunity by the cancellation of the Game Developers Conference.
A GDC Relief bundle will be available from March 30 to April 3. Generous game developers have donated their games, assets, art, music, code, and prototypes to this fund-raiser bundle, powered by itch.io. Also included are a number of games created during the course of the recent #reliefjam! Pay what you like, get some lovely games or tools to make games of your own, and benefit developers in need.
The fundraising schedule includes developer talks from the likes of Rami Ismail, Austin Wintory, and Darren Korb. Altogether, the fundraiser will feature a collection of cozy, intimate chats, presentations, performances, and game streams.
In an email, co-creator Rami Ismail said, “We don’t really have a target for the fundraiser besides raising as much awareness and money as possible for the GDC Relief Fund spearheaded by Wings. We hope we can make a contribution with the community, and while we don’t expect to raise the likes of big charity streams, we hope whatever amount of money we raise can make a difference for developers affected around the world that really depend on it.”