Niantic will donate all proceeds made from Pokemon Go Fest 2020 to aid black creators and fight racism.
In an open memo shared with Niantic staff, it was confirmed that a minimum of $5 million would be donated to make a change.
"We are witnessing an unprecedented movement that opposes the systemic racism that limits opportunity and oppresses billions of people around the world," said Niantic CEO John Hanke.
"Like many of you, I have struggled with finding the right words, emotions, and actions to deal with the unease and unrest we're seeing as a result of the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and countless other Black people."
Support the cause
The American augmented reality specialist will use half of the money to "fund new projects black gaming and AR creators that can live on the Niantic platform." Through this, Niantic hopes that it will produce content that offers a "more diverse view on the world."
Furthermore, the rest of the money will go to charities in the US that are helping local communities to rebuild. On top of this, Niantic will donate $100,000 to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute – a charity that protects and defends the rights of black transgender people. The firm will also match employee donations up to a total of $50,000.
"The executive leadership team believe this donation is the right thing to do to support those who are most vulnerable to police brutality and other systems of oppression," said Hanke.
Besides supporting charities and communities, Niantic is dedicated to making internal changes. Firstly, it will develop a new diversity and inclusion training programme to educate all staff better. It will also expand its partnership with Gamehead to further encourage education, more specifically, to allow kids to learn game design.
Niantic employees will now get five flex days to either attend company events or volunteer to help local communities. Furthermore, it is creating and D&I council to ensure the company maintains its commitment to these changes.
"Lastly, we will take a public stance in support of the Black community and reject white supremacy, racism, and police brutality," said Hanke.
An industry united
Many companies and industry figures have publicly sided with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Including Netflix, EA, Warner Bros, Marvel Entertainment with several firms believing that "to be silent is to be complicit."
Meanwhile, other companies such as Activision and Epic Games have delayed upcoming seasons for their games in support of the campaign. Furthermore, numerous organisations such as Team17, Supercell and Electronic Arts have donated money to combat racism.