World of Warcraft players raised $1.5 million for Ukrainian relief efforts from late July to late August, developer Blizzard has announced.
Blizzard offered a $20 WoW pet bundle for a limited time to raise the funds, with players unlocking Sunny the Golden Retriever in the modern version of WoW and Flurky the Murloc in WoW: Wrath of the Lich King Classic. The two pets were specially created to invoke the national colors of Ukraine, with Flurky holding a sunflower, Ukraine's national flower.
Blizzard additionally partnered with Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis to promote the fundraising effort. Kunis, best-known for her role on That '70s Show, has over the years mentioned her love for WoW in various interviews. In a press release from July, Kunis said "The World of Warcraft community is the first gaming community I was ever a part of, with strangers who didn't care who or what I was--I know how giving they can be, and what they can achieve when we work together."
All 100% of the funds raised through the pet bundle went to BlueCheck Ukraine, an organization founded by actor Liev Schreiber in 2022 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The organization works to identify, vet, and fast-track funds to non-governmental humanitarian organizations on the ground in Ukraine in need of aid. Bluecheck Ukraine is then able to quickly distribute the money to those organizations in order to provide services like food and water, shelter for those driven from their homes, and medical care for children and the elderly affected by Russia's invasion.
The money raised by WoW players went to groups like the Ukraine Assistance Organization, Project Victory, Voices of Children, TAPS Ukraine, and other humanitarian groups. Blizzard said all of the funds have already been distributed to the organizations in need.
Many game developers have sought to provide aid to Ukraine in the year and a half since the war began. Epic Games announced that Fortnite players, in partnership with Xbox, raised $144 million in relief funds. Riot Games donated $5 million to the cause last year, and various studios based in neighboring Poland, like Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red and This War of Mine creator 11 Bit Studios, have also donated to help Ukrainian aid groups.