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Anniversary blog
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Today is World Whale Day but it also marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Games For Waves, WDC’s dedicated sub-brand for all things gaming, streaming and fundraising for whales and dolphins.

And what a year it’s been! Over the last 12 months our incredible Games For Waves community along with our amazing games industry partners have helped to raise over £1 million for WDC’s vital conservation projects protecting whales and dolphins across the globe. That. Is. Unreal.

Raising money via Steam Sales

We saw our biggest World Ocean Day Steam sale to date – celebrating World Ocean Day on 8th June, where more than 40 games studios pitched in over 100 games to raise £693k – our biggest donation ever. And we launched our first streaming event Games For Waves Week where 10 of our wonderful community members raised an additional £8700.

In July we partnered on more Steam sales. One with our partners at Serious Bros on their climate-crisis simulation game Imagine Earth. We also partnered up with long-time supporters Giant Squid, developers of hit games ABZU and with a Steam sale to celebrate World Orca Day, raising over both sales raised a total of more than £6,400 for WDC.

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Diving in with the gaming community

We hosted our first side event at the Develop:Brighton games dev conference in July with an Urban Beach Clean. More than 40 games industry professionals gathered on Brighton beach to clean up the litter. Within an hour, the teams collected nearly 8kg consisting of over 1500 items of litter! It was amazing to see so many passionate and environmentally conscious individuals in gaming – a clear reason why WDC and games work so well!

The Games for Waves team ventured out for the first time to gaming conventions WASD and EGX where we met with some fabulous content creators and games studios.

We attended the AWE Conference in Vienna alongside new partners, Actrio Studio to present on how VR games can impact ocean conservation.

Whaley awesome fundraising Events

And of course, the biggest event on the calendar for our streaming community: Jingle Jam! Jingle Jam 2023 was incredible – we saw over 60 streamers, gamers and content creators support WDC, helping to raise over £300,000 for our urgent projects to end hunting and whaling for good.

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Partnerships for the ocean

2023 saw some BIG partnership announcements for Games For Waves! We announced 3 new games partners:

Secret Mode chose WDC as their Charity of the Year and pledging £3000 towards our Climate Giants programme. Their ocean-clean-up game, Loddlenaut, was also released - donating a percentage of net publisher revenue to WDC.

Actrio Studio announced their partnership with and support of WDC through their ocean exploration VR game The Great Ocean. Featuring levels inspired by WDC’s real-world conservation work and in-game dolphin adoptions that donate directly to WDC.

Far From Home Games announced their support for WDC by launching their first DLC for hit post-apocalyptic survival game Forever Skies. The cosmetic DLC enables players to add a beautiful and ethereal dolphin decoration to their airships. 100% of net revenue is donated to WDC per purchase.

It was also a big year for ambassador announcements too! We are so pleased to have conservation streamer Maya Higa and variety games streamer RTGame join WDC as official ambassadors. Both Maya and RTGame have shown considerable support for WDC over the years, and we are so grateful and humbled by their generosity and passion for WDC’s cause.

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It was also a big year for ambassador announcements too! We are so pleased to have conservation streamer Maya Higa and variety games streamer RTGame join WDC as official ambassadors. Both Maya and RTGame have shown considerable support for WDC over the years, and we are so grateful and humbled by their generosity and passion for WDC’s cause.

Growing our Pod

Since the launch of Games for Waves our small community of gamers has exploded into a 150+ strong (and growing!) collection of diverse individuals who love games, streaming and raising funds for WDC and it’s been amazing!

We launched our dedicated social media channels to further enable us to spread the word about the good that games and streaming can have on whale, dolphin and ocean conservation.

Our community received a big boost with the announcement and launch of our membership and rewards programme, Pod Creators. 12 content creators have joined the programme so far, generously committing to fundraise for WDC through their streams for the next year. Applications have now reopened to become a Games For Waves Pod Creator! We look forward to seeing the positive impact our Pod Creators will make!

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We announced the Games For Waves mascot Harbour the Humpback who represents our community – he even has his own Discord emotes for the community to enjoy! And we also had the pleasure of inviting three creators to become our Whale Warriors – ambassadors of Games For Waves who have gone above and beyond to support our cause, either by raising significant funds or showing consistent and incredible enthusiasm!

Our flippin’ awesome streamers have raised over £150k so far in one year and we are excited for the next phase of Games For Waves streaming events! A huge thank you to our community, who continue to be engaged and supportive of our cause!

"Becoming a Pod Creator for Games For Waves has been an amazing experience for me, giving me the opportunity to connect with so many like-minded people about games and conservation at once.

For me it has been an uplifting experience, hearing and seeing so many people putting their best efforts forward to make a difference.

Games for Waves is a great way to spread awareness about the ongoing plight of whales and dolphins. Before becoming familiar with WDC and the work they do, I thought that the whole "save the whales" thing was a thing of the past. I didn't know that it had just stopped being reported about on the news. Now I'm better informed than ever about how crucial they are to the Earth's future, and I want to tell others so they can help too." – Nemet, Games For Waves Pod Creator

 

The Impact of Games

All this incredible activity has made such a huge impact on WDC’s vital conservation work. Thanks to the support of our Games For Waves community and games company partners, we have been able to:

  • launch our report on climate change ‘Whales In Hot Water’ which we announced at COP28.
  • start researching the impacts climate change has on whales and dolphins around Greenland to help enable our anti-whaling campaign there.
  • fund our new Head of Safe Seas, Emma Eastcott, who will oversee all of our work on entanglement in fishing gear, pollution, vessel strikes and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
  • thanks to Jingle Jam 2023 our urgent work to stop hunting and whaling has received a huge boost:
    • funding our Head of Hunting and Captivity, Luke MacMillan’s role,
    • enabling us to send experts to attend crucial International Whaling Commission meetings to uphold the ban on commercial whaling,
    • engaging with grass roots organisations and young people in Norway and run important tests on hunted whale meat,
    • enabling us to share health based facts to persuade people to stop buying and eating whale meat.

On behalf of WDC we'd like to say an ocean-sized thank you to all the games publisher and developers, streamer, content crators and players for supporting our cause!

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By Sally Ward