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ESA’s winter charity speedrun raises $85,000 for Make-A-Wish International

Fundraising records were broken by a Sonic the Hedgehog game
ESA’s winter charity speedrun raises $85,000 for Make-A-Wish International
  • The ESA raised $85,000 for Make-A-Wish International during its winter speedrunning event
  • Fundraising records were broken by a game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series
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The European Speedrunner Assembly’s winter charity event is now over, having concluded its weeklong speedrunning fundraiser with $85,000 raised for Make-A-Wish International.

The event was held live in Malmö, Sweden and streamed online globally being built around the premise of gaming and interactive fundraising. Viewers were able to donate and impact and disrupt gameplay during speedruns, giving an extra dash of entertainment to the runs while also supporting charity.

Suitably for the speedster, Sonic the Hedgehog proved to be the most successful game for raising funds, breaking the event’s record for most funds from a single game with over $7,200 was raised in two hours.

Supporting young people

The money raised by viewers of the ESA has been donated to Make-A-Wish International, an organisation that grants wishes to children with critical illnesses worldwide. Over half a million children have been granted wishes since 1980.

"Children undergoing treatment for critical illness can experience anxiety, loss of hope, and isolation from friends and loved ones. For many of these children, gaming offers them a sense of escape, helps them connect with friends and distracts them from their long and often difficult treatment journeys. That’s why gaming and entertainment wishes are so popular among wish children," said Make-A-Wish International president and CEO Luciano Manzo.

"The funds raised from ESA Winter 2024 will help continue to grant these types of wishes and many others. We are so grateful to ESA and the gaming community for helping make wishes come true with this event."

The ESA, meanwhile, has raised over $1 million for various charities since its founding in 2012.

One of its organisers, Ida Lidholt, commented: "We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Make-A-Wish International. ESA Winter is a festival where gamers and the community unite. Through video games and speed, we level up to raise funds for children suffering from critical illnesses. We are so proud to announce a total of $85,000 raised to help grant wishes. We are so grateful to our gamers and the community for uniting behind this very worthy cause."

Last month Capcom and Square Enix donated over $1 million combined in relief funds to support victims of Japan's Noto Peninsula earthquake.