Today sees the official announcement of OneBigGame, the world's first non-profit videogames publisher. Recently founded, the new initiative aims to bring to market videogames specifically created for this purpose, in order to raise funds for a wide variety of children's charities around the world.
The idea for OneBigGame is based on the belief that the videogames industry, one of the largest entertainment industries in the world, with its vast creative resources and through the tremendous impact it has on popular youth culture, is perfectly placed to raise funds for charity as well as raise awareness among youth audiences for the causes it supports.
''OneBigGame is basically a global platform that will allow game developers to use their creative resources to do something good for the world'', explains Martin de Ronde, formerly co-founder of Guerrilla Games and responsible for the OneBigGame initiative.
So far, industry response has been tremendous'', he says. "Over the past months, we have been conducting informal talks with a wide variety of games industry people, and we are confident the development community is ready for a large scale industry wide charity initiative.
A number of game developers have already pledged their support, including designers such as Charles Cecil (Revolution Software), Eric Zimmerman (Gamelab) and Ernest Adams (International Hobo), as well as development studios such as Avalanche Studios, Relentless, Kuju and Freestyle.
At Game Developer's Conference 2007 in San Francisco ( www.gdconf.com) OneBigGame will officially go public, as it will be looking to extend its relationship with the development community to create games content for the initiative.
Based in Marin County, California and officially incorporated as a public benefit organization, OneBigGame is supported by an advisory board of 16 individuals representing the many different disciplines that exist within the industry, combining over a century of industry experience among them (see addendum).
''OneBigGame is a wonderful initiative that every developer should seriously consider contributing to.'', says Arthur Houtman, director of online games at Disney Online, one of the members of the advisory board.
For more information on the initiative or for appointments at GDC, interested parties can contact Martin de Ronde ( firstname.lastname@example.org) or Susan Marshall ( email@example.com).
Background info on charity
OneBigGame aims to raise funds to help solve problems afflicting children around the world. The nature of these problems can be diverse, but the kind of initiatives OBG supports will always revolve around a structural improvement in children's lives, expanding their opportunities in life.
Being a global organization and supported by a global industry and community, OBG will primarily support global organizations. OneBigGame may also support local or country specific children's charity organizations, likely put forward by OBG benefactors and contributors, as every game developer or individual designer participating in OBG, will be offered to designate a particular charity or project he / she or it wishes to support with a fixed percentage of the income generated by his, her or its contribution.
Initially, OneBigGame will operate purely as a non-profit organization and not as a charity itself: OneBigGame will funnel the net funds it generates directly towards other charitable organizations directly active in the field of supporting children.
Background info on initiator
Martin de Ronde
Martin de Ronde started working in the games industry over 10 years ago as a PR manager and later as development manager in publishing. After this, he wanted to see what life was like on the other side of the game industry fence and founded his own development studio in 1998, which he sold to multimedia conglomerate Lost Boys a year later. Here, Martin became co-founder and managing director of Lost Boys games, the company's newly setup games division. Lost Boys games went independent in 2001 and was renamed Guerrilla Games when sold to cross media company Media Republic in 2003. At Guerrilla Games, Martin was commercial director, witnessing the birth of PlayStation 2 hit Killzone for Sony Computer Entertainment and PlayStation 2, PC and Xbox hit Shellshock: Nam '67 for Eidos. He left the company in 2004, moving to Guerrilla's parent company Media Republic. Here, he was involved in a very broad range of high and low-end games projects, ranging from TV games, MMO gaming apps, casual gaming and advergaming. He left Media Republic end of 2006 and per the 1st of January 2007, he is full time involved in OneBigGame.