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Company News BioWare Donates To Charity

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Sol Invictus, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Sol Invictus Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    Tags: BioWare

    BioWare's Public Relations Specialist, Tom Ohle, has posted the following <a>press release</a> to mention the company's boost in charitable giving for 2005.
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    <blockquote>BioWare Corp. today announced its plan to provide financial support to South East Asia tsunami relief efforts by providing both corporate donations and matching the personal donations made by staff to various charitable organizations. More than $23,000 has been raised for the Red Cross and other relief agencies supporting relief efforts for the recent disaster in South-East Asia.
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    "The tragedy in South-East Asia has deeply touched everyone at BioWare, and our amazing staff has been extraordinarily generous in this time of need," said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Joint CEO of BioWare Corp. "BioWare wanted to add extra meaning to the personal donations they've made by matching every dollar they've pledged."
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    This latest effort tops off a number of significant philanthropic campaigns undertaken in 2005 by the Edmonton-based video-game developer. Most recently the company demonstrated its commitment to education by pledging to extend its current agreement with the University of Alberta's Computing Science department, providing the school with its BioWare Aurora Engineâ„¢ technology, as well as $30,000 over three years.
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    BioWare has also continued its support of charities focused on children's health and wellbeing, announcing a "Leadership Gift" donation of $100,000 over 5 years to the Alberta Heart Institute to support that organization's ongoing efforts in the area of children's health care. In December 2004, BioWare once again acted as "Children's World" sponsor for the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation's annual Snowflake Gala, an event which raised over $375,000 for sick and injured children; BioWare contributed $15,000 to the foundation as part of a three-year sponsorship commitment and offered children attending the event the opportunity to play some of the latest games for the Microsoft Xbox video game system. BioWare has also donated $2,000 to The Support Network, an association providing support and counseling for family and personal crises. Other recent contributions included $2,000 to the Zebra Child Protection Centre Society, a local organization that provides information and public education on child abuse and child-abuse prevention. </blockquote>
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    One reader on RPGDot commented: "Wow, bragging about donated money in a press release. Classy."
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    My response: So what if they are? At least they give a damn, and even if they don't, I don't think that the recipients are going to mind. That's more than what I can say about most corporations, much less individuals.
     
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  2. Avin Liturgist

    Avin
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    nice move. i don't give a shit if bio put popups in their site saying they are donating. what really matters is that they ARE donating.
     
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  3. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    It's just too bad that they (and others) feel the need to annoucne they are donating. The sad thing is if one doens't announce it they are considere duncaring. of course, according to the article, they've been donating to charities for years. Why the need to promote it now? Hmm.. And, since when is this news? Afterall, lots of companies donate money. Hmmm...

    Still, like Avin said, the main thing is they are donating. Good for them.. Or the selfish side of me says, if they are willing to give away free money - give it to me.
     
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  4. Taoreich Liturgist

    Taoreich
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    Why would this be a surprise in the first place? There isn't a public-facing corporation in North America that is not touting their efforts in this area. It's a basic PR move and, if nothing else, Bio are PR-saavy
     
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  5. taks Liturgist

    taks
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    the only companies that don't publicize their charitable donations likely don't donate. also, a publicly traded company is required to publicize its donations to some extent, though i do not know specific rules.

    taks
     
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  6. Briosafreak Augur

    Briosafreak
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    Cheap PR trick, there are many in the gaming industry that donated and didn`t made press releases stating every inch of what they did. I`m with the rpgdot guy on this, and i don`t know why is it on the news here, but ok. Glad they helped though.
     
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  7. FireWolf Liturgist

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    I don't think Bio donated purely out of a yearning for PR. That they're using it to these ends is their preogative and it will, and has, given rise to cries of poor taste, that it's a PR stunt and nothing more. But really, do you think the people who benefit from that donation give a damn whether some marketing gerbil has a warm fuzzy feeling?

    Perhaps if the gaming press took more interest in what other things the companies are up to, such as charity donations, perhaps not regularly, but in this instance at the very least, there wouldn't have been the need to make a public statement regarding this.

    Which vision do you prefer of these companies? That they're heartless and don't give a damn about those who're affected by a crisis not of their making, or that they're making a contribution and are publicising that fact. As Taoreich said, every other high-profile corporation or celebrity is celebrating their charitable nature, why not game companies? How many game nay-sayers still don't know about child's play?

    Simply, press like this is, to me, better than "doom made my kids into killers".
     
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  8. suibhne Erudite

    suibhne
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    Yeah, I don't see anything wrong with this. It might even be seen as an attempt to pressure other game houses to make similar charitable efforts. I'm sure EA will pony up any minute now.

    I agree that certain passages in the release read as a bit self-serving. Bottom line, though, is that the Good Doctors seem to have a predilection for dedicating some of their corporation's profits back to medical charity causes. Good for them.
     
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  9. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    "Cheap PR trick, there are many in the gaming industry that donated and didn`t made press releases stating every inch of what they did."

    Yeah, that must be it. This was all about making money.

    The next BIO game will sell 3-4 mil copies instead of the usual 1.5-2 mil copies.

    R00fles!
     
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  10. errorcode Liturgist

    errorcode
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    PR aside, a very visible company like Bio making an announcement like this puts pressure on other large companies to do likewise. I'd wager that we start seeing more announcements like this and more companies will bring to light the charitable activites they do.
     
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  11. taks Liturgist

    taks
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    countries are doing the same thing... everybody wants to be charitable and they want the world to know it.

    taks
     
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  12. dojoteef Liturgist

    dojoteef
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    I don't think you guys get it. Almost every company worth anything in US or Canada donates to charities. Why? Well it has to do with the tax code. You get a tax deduction for the donation. Instead of paying the money to the government you pay it directly to the people you think are needy. That's why companies donate, it just makes sense. Why give the money to the government when you can give money to the poor, battered or whatever that you care about. That's why announcing stuff like this is in very poor taste, because it really comes off as nothing more than bullshit PR. That's my only problem with this whole thing.

    Also note that most companies don't disclose this sort of information in press releases because they do know it's in bad taste (though if they are a public company it gets disclosed in filings). And speaking of celebrities, they often make public their charitable givings in order to stir normal people into giving. I guarantee any person that makes a large amount of money gives a portion to charity, celebrity or otherwise.

    I hope that clears it up for those of you who didn't know. And if you did know and you spouted bullshit shame on you.
     
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  13. LlamaGod Cipher

    LlamaGod
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    Announcing charity donations in Press Release = Cheap positive opinions and a bunch of people giving half-hearted 'props' because they handed money to pay for people without arms or whatever
     
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  14. Dgaider Liturgist Developer

    Dgaider
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    Wow. I always wondered what kind of cynicism it would take to have someone deride charity as a "cheap PR trick" or nothing more than a tax grab. I guess now I have my answer.

    I guess it's not okay to provide an example to other companies or maybe put out some industry-related news that isn't just about violence in games and other negative crap. While we're at it, maybe some of you guys want to tell Penny Arcade to shut their pieholes about Child's Play? Because, damn, I've heard way more about all those kids they're helping than I can handle. Blah blah blah, I mean really. :roll:
     
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  15. Andyman Messiah Mr. Ed-ucated

    Andyman Messiah
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    Gaider. If anything can make me respect BioWare, it's this. I'd say "way to go", but I'm afraid my tongue would disintegrate if I did. :wink:
     
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  16. dojoteef Liturgist

    dojoteef
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    Give me a break. I didn't say it was a tax grab, I said since you get the tax deduction for it any company with an iota of conscience puts that money into charities, and they do. This press release sure as hell isn't meant to "stir the industry into action", it's just an ego booster.

    And why do you hear about Child's Play so damned much? I'll tell you, they are trying to get their readers and fans interested in their charity; remember, the regular folk that I mentioned in my post. They are just like any other celebrity who has a cause (and they are celebrities when it comes to the gaming industry, that's for sure), they are using their star power to garner interest amongst their fans.

    This isn't cynicsim. I'm sure the money is well spent for the tsunami effort and might actually have been heart felt; this is disgust that the company that is trying to help feels the need to boast about it. I'm very glad that you guys have decided to help, I just think you are getting full of yourselves. It turns into a PR stunt.

    I give to charities, do you want me to start announcing to everyone that look: I've been giving to charities for years, I'm such a humanitarian, I'm just a great guy, I help the unfortunate and those need! Well, I find that to be despicable and will not disclose my efforts to the world in such a way. They come from the heart, not out of the need to impress anyone.
     
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  17. Briosafreak Augur

    Briosafreak
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    Call it "cheap PR trick" was indeed excessive from my part, but there`s a thin line between making a contribution and made public that one did that, wich is positive, since giving isn`t something to be ashamed of, and use that contribution to get benefits from the action, in this case strict PR stuff, when tax reasons are also at stake, and that line is sometimes blurred on that press release. Hey i will obcessively tell everything i gave so people can see that we`re really good guys isn`t something intrinsecly fine in moral terms, that press release is somehow unbalanced about that.

    Having said that the argument that making it public might help others to step forward is indeed a valid one, and i overlooked it, and i`m sorry for that, it´s just the cinicism of someone that studies humanitarian aid and cooperation for development speaking, i shouldn`t have been carried away by my prejudices, even if they are based in experience.
     
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  18. Jinxed Liturgist

    Jinxed
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    Setting an example for other companies to follow can actually work

    Different company: "Hey, those bioware people donated money and look at all the media attention they got, and now their games are selling better! We should do that as well, perhaps even tell our publisher to put a "Buying this game will aid the Tsunami victims" sticker. Yeah, that would be great.

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot, we need to hire someone to distribute those blankets..."
     
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  19. Surlent Liturgist

    Surlent
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    Hard to picture BiO as greedy corporate jackasses like EA folks are.
    Remember these guys gave away rights to make sequels to NWN and KotR to Feargus just like that, since they're old buddies and all.
    Unless behind the scenes Feargie had to pay king's ransom, his soul and/or his sister to BIO ofcourse.

    I'd say BIO are more like clueless munchin leprechauns living in a happy happy vanilla land where good is good and bad is bad (and you don't get to play something between).
    So their wep page gnome just threw the charity announcement online 'cuz he/she/it felt like it was the right thing to do.
     
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  20. Briosafreak Augur

    Briosafreak
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    Vishbume i hope you`re not directing that sarcasm to me, since i remeber posting this already in my original post on this topic
     
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  21. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    "Cheap PR trick"

    This overules that. You tried to shame BIo because they dared to donate money and actually had the GALL to admit it. I mean, some of you make it sound like they committed some horrible crime. I mean, all they did was donate money to a worthy cause and old people. OMG Call the police!

    And, like I said, it's not like they gonna sell 3-4 mil copies of their games instead of the 1.5 - 2 mil they do now.

    R00fles!
     
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  22. dojoteef Liturgist

    dojoteef
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    It has nothing to do with Bioware donating money, it has to do with the self-fellating nature of that press release. If they were indeed trying to set an example for people to follow, they could have at least asked people to donate to the tsunami victims as I've seen in many other announcements from celebrities and companies that decided not to disclose their donation amounts.

    And I don't know if this is the case for the Canadian tax code, but here in the US, Congress passed a bill extending the filing deadline for the 2004 tax year of charitable giving until Jan. 31st instead of the Dec. 31st deadline specifically for the tsunami relief. Considering that many of Bioware's fans are in the US, they could mention that if they are indeed putting out a call to action.

    Instead what they do comes off sounding like pompous boasting. That's my only problem with it. I don't think anyone here is dumb enough to claim that giving money to help relief funds is PR or that it makes a difference where the relief is coming from for those in need. People are instead taking issue with the nature of the press release. That's it.
     
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  23. suibhne Erudite

    suibhne
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    As I mentioned above, I think parts of the release are a bit cloying. That said, it's a fucking press release, a fact which some of you seem to be missing. Perhaps you're missing it deliberately, or maybe you just don't understand press releases. In any case, it's pretty by-the-book as releases go. Furthermore, you can't reasonably expect Bioware to have the same sort of megaphone as George Clooney when it comes to a "call for action." (Let's leave aside the fact that you saw press reporting on Clooney et al., not the actual press releases from TEH STARZ - if indeed there were any. You're comparing apples and oranges here.)

    The worst decision here was for Bioware's head of PR to post this press release to the community without alteration. It reads like it was written for the press, and that's fine; it's a terrible piece, on the other hand, for broadcasting Bio's charity to the masses of the interweb. Whether from laziness or boneheadedness, that was a bad play.
     
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  24. ichpokhudezh Liturgist

    ichpokhudezh
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    You come come off as a tax-illiterate person. Although out-of-pocket expense is usually lower that the donated amount, _cash_ donations cannot earn you money (even on gambling money). One need to engage in a 'get low-give high' scheme to get money out of donations, so I say let them give for as long as they can/want.

    The news piece is rather mildly disgusting, and 'cheap PR tricks' are clearly present in it.
    Example (note that actual amount sponsored is not mentioned, and it is possible to associate the mentioned number with BioWare):
     
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  25. Avin Liturgist

    Avin
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    the tsunami victims wouldn't give a shit if every people or company who donates money use it as publicity if help gets to them.
     
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