Update: The Indie bundle for Palestinian Aid has now surpassed its goal with just over a day left before the bundle comes to end. The total currently sits at over $600,000 raised, and due to hitting the initial goal, a new target sits at $1 million with one donation having donated $1,500.
Original: Itch.io is raising funds for Palestinian Aid with an Indie bundle featuring games from 864 creators.
With a goal of $500,000, itch.io is raising money for Palestinian Aid (opens in new tab) and has, as of the time of writing, raised 79% of its goal, sitting just under $400,000. The bundle contains over 1,000 items from 864 creators and costs $5 as the minimum, but also allows users to pay what they want providing it's above that figure.
The showcase game in the bundle is Liyla and the Shadows of War (opens in new tab), which was created by Palestinian game developer Rasheed Abueideh. Inspired by a true story, it follows the life of a girl living in Gaza during the conflict in 2014. If you pay the bundle's basic $5 price, you'll essentially be buying this game with all other items being included for free with the purchase. The games that are included in the bundle are all DRM-free and tied to itch.io, meaning there are no external keys being given away.
The bundle is currently live and will be available until June 11, 2021 with all profits going to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The organisation helps to provide food to territories with heavy destruction and has provided food for over 1 million Palestinians, as well as offering emergency mental and physical healthcare for those in the region.
In the description, bundle creator Tybawai explains "indie games can tell stories not seen in AAA or other games" and that Palestinian game developers have the added challenges of limited access to basic services while living "under Israeli authority that discriminates and subjugates Palestinians to the point of persecution and apartheid, simply for being Palestinian."
Itch.io has been used to raise money for numerous causes by offering a selection of games with profits going to charities. It currently has a Queer Games Bundle underway for Pride month and last year raised over $8 million for Racial Justice and Equality. Itch.io was also recognized at The Golden Joystick Awards 2020 for Outstanding Contributions and helping to make the gaming world a better place.
Here are some new indie games in 2021 to check out.