As of this past week and through May 21st, Blizzard has announced the latest bit of heroics from their game Overwatch in the form of Pink Mercy, a new purchasable hero skin with proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Mercy, as the predominant healer of Overwatch, makes for the perfect choice of which hero should represent a health-related charity. This marks the first time the game and its community have partnered with a charity with an intent to garner monetary donations by offering in-game goodies.
This is noteworthy for a few reasons. It’s the first time a skin has been made that’s available solely for purchase. All other skins have alternative ways to earn them through gameplay (loot boxes), and fandom (watching OWL, etc.).
Second – the memes! Oh sweet Mercy memes, may you always be the gift that keeps on giving.
Finally, and most importantly, what matters is the cause. The skin comes with a $14.99USD price tag with proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This might seem like a hefty cost for something as intangible as a new rendering of a videogame character, but that’s not really the way to look at it. Consider the skin as being free and it being a motivation for you to donate $15 to a worthy cause. With that perspective, it’s really not that much at all.
Also available are new icons and sprays that follow the pink ribbon and Pink Mercy theme. These, however, are not part of the donation cost. To complete this collection, Overwatch fans will need to actively participate in raising awareness for the BCRF and its cause. Find full details at Blizzard’s blog post, but here’s a quick breakdown:
Blizzard has also done its part to reach out to the community and really build on the marketing and momentum. Streamers on Twitch have been called upon to be part of a charity stream calendar in which they will represent fundraising efforts. All donations and bits contributed to their streams during their allotted time will go to the BCRF.
Personally, I love that Billzard is doing this. I’m a cancer survivor and can say from experience that no one should be called on to show the level of strength required to sit in that chemo chair. But people do. And survive. And thrive. And that’s thanks to those who work towards getting ahead of this nightmare disease. So here’s your chance to do something really heroic. Yes, it’s asking you for money, but it gets you a little something in return for a phenomenal cause. Not the least of which is the knowledge that contributed to making the lives of so many not only better, but possible.