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Late last week we ran a story about a sale that PopCap Games, creator of the best-selling Plants vs Zombies and Bejeweled games was running to help victims of the tsunami in Japan. They discounted all of their iOS titles for 48 hours, and pledged to donate all of the proceeds to the Red Cross Japan Relief fund. We had no idea how successful the sale would end up being.
PopCap announced today that the sale raised a massive total of $200,000 in just two days. The sale brought all of their most popular games down to 99 cents including Bejeweled, Plants vs Zombies, Bookworm, and Peggle. While it's obviously amazing that all of this money will be going to those who need it most right now, there are always debates that spring up about the ethics of sales like these.
There are some who say the company should just give the money away without making a fuss. The resulting publicity that comes from these types of events can lead some to say that a company is exploiting the tragedy to profit. It's certainly true that a sale with a good cause attached can bump games into the all-important iTunes top 10 charts like it did for Street Fighter 4 after Capcom's own Japan relief sale.
Ulterior motives and the appearance of impropriety aside, we're just glad that there are companies out there that have found a way to make massive donations economically feasible. After all, the people in Japan who will be able to eat and get medication because of this money certainly don't care what the motives were for the donation.