CityVille players deliver a quarter million dollars for US tornado relief
After the huge charity drives that were Haiti and Japan, Zynga ran a noticeably less aggressive campaign in promoting relief efforts for the massive US tornado outbreak of late April. Six states were hit, the most affected being Alabama, and news outlets called it the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina.
Only Zynga's CityVille and Mafia Wars had special virtual items made for player donations. CityVille offered Tornado Relief Fund Blueberries for a week and promised 100 percent of the funds to Save the Children; while Mafia Wars (after demands from fans) responded with a Disaster Relief Truck with 100 percent of the funds going to Direct Relief International.
Today, Zynga sent out a thank you email to their CityVille players, letting us know that they've managed to raise exactly $226,027 USD. There's no telling how much of this was from the precise sale of CityVille blueberries or direct donations via the charity's website (which Zynga promoted across all its games), but after watching Zynga raise $1 million USD for Japan within 36 hours, a quarter million dollars within a week pales in comparison. On the other hand, I think most of us are grateful they've done so, because they're certainly not obligated to try.