Over $900,000 raised for Palestinian relief by Itch.io’s latest bundle

"It's not just a game, It's a call for help."

Itch.io’s Palestinian Aid bundle has come to an end, having raised over $900,000 for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza.

Offering over one thousand games for a total of $5 (roughly £3.54), the bundle ran for just one week, making the total raised even more impressive.

Palestinian games developer Rasheed Abueideh’s game, Liyla And The Shadows Of War, was front and centre of the bundle. The game explores his journey through the conflict and how the world around you changes when you live in an active war zone.

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Abueideh made a statement on Itch.io regarding his decision to make this game, saying “I’m a father of two kids, I can’t imagine my life without them, but in Palestine nobody is safe”.

He explained that the game is a tool through which he hopes to aid others to empathise with the struggle.

“I have chosen to share those feelings in a game to deliver a message of how we are living as Palestinians under this situation. It’s Not Just a Game, It’s a case and call for help”.

The bundle also offered hundreds of Itch.io’s best indie games, including Celeste, Baba Is You, Pikuniku, and UnderHero. The site attributed their inclusion of many games by Palestinian developers as an homage to their plight and the difficulties faced by creatives under occupation.

“Indie games are unique in that they can tell stories not seen in AAA or other games,” read the post under the bundle, “We pour our life experiences into our games and share a piece of ourselves with the world.

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Palestinian game developers are no different in this aspect, but have the added challenges of limited access to basic services, like clean water, electricity, medical care, and food security.

They live under Israeli authority that discriminates and subjugates Palestinians to the point of persecution and apartheid, simply for being Palestinian.

Furthermore, they develop games without all the resources that come with being in a western hub for game development.”

In related news, Humble Bundle recently raised over a million dollars for Covid-19 charities in India.

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