Last week Valve announced an initiative
to raise money for Japan's earthquake relief efforts via three limited edition in-game hats available for purchase at Team Fortress 2's Mann Co Store. The Japan-themed items include the "Humanitarian's Hachimaki" for $7.99, the "Benefactor's Kanmuri" for $19.99 and the "Magnanimous Monarch" for a generous $99.99 -- all of which can be equipped by any class but not traded or used in crafting.
The sale is still running and will continue through April 6, but today the company updated its TF2 blog
to reveal that a total of $300,000 has been raised so far: "Take a BOW, TF2 community -- because that is an incredible, frankly astounding, amount of money from a dedicated number of gamers, to one heck of a lot of people in some real need right now. Anytime someone gives you guff about something negative in gaming, you go ahead and point them to this post, because here's some late-breaking damn news: they are wrong and gamers are generous and awesome."
All proceeds (net of applicable taxes) will go directly towards the Japanese disaster relief fund that the American Red Cross has set up. Itís not quite as much as the 3+ million collected by Zynga through the sale of virtual Farmville items, but for a much smaller community behind a game that was released back in 2007, itís definitely noteworthy. It also shows how popular the in-game store has become for Team Fortress 2 since Valve launched it last September.