War Child, a London-based charity that aims to improve the lives of children affected by war, is collaborating with influential developers to create a collection of games titled HELP: Real War is Not a Game. Participating developers include 343 Industries (Halo 5: Guardians), Bossa Studios (Surgeon Simulator), Creative Assembly (Alien: Isolation), Team 17 (Worms) and Hinterland (The Long Dark), all of which will participate in a six-day game jam organized by War Child. This means the studios will have just six days to create the games for HELP, and the full compilation will be sold digitally in late March 2016. Proceeds will go toward funding War Child's efforts in global conflict zones.
War Child has done something like this before. In 1995, it collaborated with a handful of popular musicians for the Help album, which raised more than £1.5 million for the charity's efforts. That album featured Oasis, Radiohead, Portishead, Blur, The Stone Roses, Sinead O'Connor and other famous artists, and it led to a handful of follow-up releases.
"Now, two decades on, a star-studded line-up of game developers have announced their intention to follow in those musicians' footsteps by uniting in a unique 'studio game jam' designed to help fund War Child's ongoing activities in conflict-affected countries," War Child writes.
For HELP: Real War is Not a Game, Unreal, Gamemaker and Unity are all providing tools to participating developers on a no-cost and royalty-free basis.
In July, War Child released Duty of Care: Protecting Children in War, an evocative Call of Duty-style video that highlights the trials facing children in war zones.