Niantic has announced that it will donate all of its proceeds from the upcoming Pokemon Go Fest to community non-profits and projects by Black creators. Earlier today, the maker of Pokemon Go announced a slate of planned donations and other activities in response to the recent worldwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality. Notably, they announced that all of its proceeds from Pokemon Go Fest will be donated to fund projects by Black gaming and AR creators that can be used on Niantic's platforms to help promote a more diverse view of the world and to US non-profit organizations to help communities rebuild. Niantic is committing a minimum of $5 million to these causes.
Additionally, Niantic will be making a $100,000 donation with an additional $50,000 employee match donation to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, whose mission is to defend and protect the human rights of transgender and gender non-conforming communities. This donation is to acknowledge both Pride Month and the Black Lives Movement. Furthermore, Niantic has also upped their commitment to Treehouse, an organization dedicated to diversifying tech, by adding ten positions for apprenticeships and committing to hiring 80%-100% once the apprenticeships are over. Niantic is also pledging a total of $60,000 to Gameheads, a nonprofit that teaches kids how to develop games from beginning to end.
Niantic is also committing to various internal changes, such as developing new diversity and inclusion training and increasing the number of volunteer days that employees can take to allow them to rebuild their communities.
Niantic's pledged actions is in response to recent nationwide protests about ongoing police brutality and systemic racism. These protests started with the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis after a police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes despite Floyd's pleas for help. That police officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested for third-degree murder and manslaughter murder days after video showing Floyd's death was posted onto the Internet and led to the beginning of the current protests. Chauvin's charges were increased to second-degree murder by the Minnesota Attorney General earlier today, and three other officers present at Floyd's death were charged with aiding and abetting murder.
You can read Niantic's full statement below. Players can also support Niantic's actions by purchasing a ticket to Pokemon Go Live later this summer.
We stand with the Black community & against white supremacy, racism, & police brutality & condemn the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop & countless others. Here's how we’re committing to change #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/jfYGinhl2e pic.twitter.com/Y0P3f1E2PQ— Niantic, Inc. (@NianticLabs) June 3, 2020