UPDATE 1/11/20: Activision announced on Saturday, January 11 that all proceeds from its Australian-themed downloadable content (DLC) bundle will benefit the relief efforts for the Australian bushfire. The DLC bundle, originally titled "Outback" has been renamed to "The Outback Relief Pack." Call of Duty news outlet CharlieIntel reports that players who previously purchased the DLC bundle will have their purchase retroactively donated to Australian relief efforts.
The original article is displayed below.
As some old dude named Bernard Sanders once said, "Difficult times often bring out the best in people." Case in point, the continent-wide Australian bushfire crisis that started in 2019 and continued into the new year. Quantifying the fires' destruction returns some truly staggering numbers — more than 30,000 square miles have been incinerated, at least 25 people have died, and an estimated 1 billion animals have lost their lives.
But these difficult times have indeed brought out the best in many people. Instagram model Kaylen Ward raised more than $700,000 to help victims of the fires, comedian Celeste Barber broke Facebook's fundraising record to the tune of $32 million, and the top 10 Australian relief campaigns on GoFundMe have collectively raised more than $10 million.
And now there a campaign to get video game publisher Activision to help Australia, too.
On January 8, Activision released an Australian-themed downloadable content (DLC) bundle for its latest Call of Duty game, "Modern Warfare." The DLC pack, titled "Outback," features an Australian safari outfit for your in-game character, and a koala keychain charm for your gun, among other things.
One thing that's missing from the DLC is any mention of the bushfires or fundraising for relief efforts. And as the best-selling game of 2019, it could be a formidable fundraiser if Activision becomes so charitably inclined. The DLC pack sells for 1,800 "Call of Duty Points," an in-game currency that costs roughly $1 per 100 points but gets cheaper the more you buy.
The same day the DLC was released, a Reddit user named Gazoob posted a thread on the "Modern Warfare" subreddit titled "All the money earned from the outback bundle should be donated to charities helping to stop the fire spread and Australia." The post has since received more than 31,000 points and 1,000 (almost entirely positive) comments.
Later in the day, Blake Cissel, a streamer and content creator for gaming organization NRG, tagged the Activision and Call of Duty Twitter accounts and received a reply from Activision's official support account.
While there's no word yet from Activision on supporting Australian relief efforts, it wouldn't be unprecedented. Last year, Activision's sister company Blizzard Entertainment raised more than $12 million for breast cancer research selling DLC for its popular team shooter game "Overwatch."