Rockstar Games has announced that, from today until the end of May, it will donate 5% of all in-game purchases made in both Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online to COVID-19/coronavirus relief efforts.
In an official statement, Rockstar noted that the revenue raised will be used to "help local communities and businesses struggling with the impact of COVID-19, both directly and by supporting some of the amazing organizations who are on the ground helping those who are affected by this crisis." The use of "local" is expected to denote businesses in North America, the U.K., and India, where Rockstar houses its development studios.
While obviously no specific figure can be referenced in regards to how much money this will entail, GTA: Online is currently Rockstar's "cash cow" - so to speak - with its microtransaction sales being further bolstered by 54% in the winter quarter. Grand Theft Auto V is one of the best-selling video games of all time, having shifted around 120 million copies since its 2013 launch. So hopefully this points to an impressive final donation.
Rockstar Games joins a list of publishers raising money for the people and organisations affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For example, publisher Humble is currently offering a great package of 45 games for $30, the entire proceeds of which will be donated to a selection of global healthcare charities. Just this morning, Sony announced the creation of a $100 million COVID-19 relief fund to help support workers in healthcare, education, and entertainment.