Wings Interactive Organizes GDC Relief Fund, to “Alleviate Burden” on Affected Indie Developers

GDC Relief Fund

Wings Interactive have announced they will be organizing a relief fund for indie developers affected by the postponement of the Game Developer Conference (GDC 2020), due to the coronavirus.

Speaking on the official website, they state that for indie developers “attending GDC is a significant investment, not only on a financial level, but also with the time invested in travelling, preparing demos and pitches – all in hopes of meeting key partners, learning and sharing with industry peers. GDC’s postponement due to COVID-19 health concerns will strongly impact that investment.”

As such, Wings Interactive are hoping to “help alleviate that burden” via their newly created GDC Relief Fund. So far it has already raised $76,500 USD “in the space of a few short days.”

Wings Interactive will also be working with “Redbeet Interactive, Landfall, Raw Fury, Modern Wolf, Warhorse Studios, Versus Evil, 11 bit studios, Those Awesome Guys, United Label, Triband, Makers Fund, gamedev.world and the Games and Online Harassment Hotline.”

Wings Interactive Co-Founder Cassia Curran offered her thoughts on the postponement, and high praise for the industry’s response.

“The postponement of GDC at such short notice is completely unprecedented, and we’ve been blown away by how quickly the games industry has come together to help independent game developers suffering hardship as a result. More companies are donating to the GDC Relief Fund all the time, and gamedev.world is moreover launching a fundraiser between March 27th and April 3rd with all donations going to the fund. Our hope is that the GDC Relief Fund will make it easier for individuals and small teams that have been disproportionately impacted to deal with the recent developments.”

Indie developers can apply to receive aid from the fund, “selected according to the estimated impact of the postponement on their organisations and the financial hardship they are experiencing.”

As indie developers are also missing out on the chance to pitch their games to publishers, Wings Interactive along with some aformentioned partners are also organizing “online and distance meetings and pitch sessions.”

Finally, Wings Interactive highlighted the upcoming Games and Online Harassment Hotline, which will be “to provide emotional support to developers in the United States affected by GDC’s cancellation.”

Organized by Executive Director Anita Sarkeesian, the Games and Online Harassment Hotline was founded after 2019, where “video games had their own #MeToo moment.” 

While the about page focuses on “the video game industry, like so many others, has long been a place where sexism has run rampant, where privileged men have utilized imbalances in power to take advantage of female employees”- it is intended for “any part of this community.” 

“The Games and Online Harassment Hotline recognizes the pioneering work done by Zoe Quinn and Crash Override. Everything we do is building on their hard work and the lessons learned from their experiences in this space.”

Wings Interactive usually focuses on supporting “games by diverse teams, starting with games made by women and gender minority developers.” The organization offers financial aid, via a selection committee “composed only of international female and non-binary developers with a proven track record.” 

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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