The fundraiser to memorialize cancer victim Sarah Parries has ended with $122,000 raised for research.
On Tuesday, August 20th Mechwarrior Online's sale of "Sarah's Mech," a unique mech designed to honor five year old cancer victim Sarah Parries, came to an end. Previously, we had reported that sales of the custom mech, the proceeds of which were being donated to cancer research, had broken $100,000. In the closing days of the dharity drive this number jumped another $22,000, bringing the grand total to an impressive $122,000. The money will be presented to the Canadian Cancer Society on August 23rd in a special ceremony attended by member's of Sarah's family.
As a pilot known as a "MechWarrior", you are about to take control of the most powerful mechanical battle units the universe has ever seen: BattleMechs, heavily armored combat platforms that utilize an internal structure similar to a skeleton, along with actuators (joints) and myomers (muscles) that, when combined, take the form of a giant, rough, bipedal humanoid. The game is set in a 1:1 timeline with the BattleTech universe, meaning that the current year 2013 equates to 3050 in BattleTech lore and each day that passes in real life also passes in the game. This means we are on the brink of the upcoming Clan invasion and utilizing the latest in technology available in the 3049 timeframe. And when the Clans come - everything changes.
The drive began after Sarah's father, whom she regularly played Mechwarrior Online with, contacted the game's developers asking them to post a note on the game's official Facebook page wishing her well. Unfortunately, Sarah passed away before this request could be completed. Wanting to still do something, the developers created a Facebook memorial for her. This prompted a wave of responses from players. "The MechWarrior community was so touched by this young girl's story that they really drove what happened next," said IGP preisident Kelly Zmak. "Reading through thousands of comments on our forums and social pages, IGP and Piranha agreed immediately to create an in-game 'Mech in Sarah's honor for charity."
It would take three months to design and implement a custom mech but the response upon its release was tremendous. "The groundswell of support in the first 48 hours from the MechWarrior community, the games industry media and gamers everywhere was overwhelming," said Bryan Ekman, creative director for Piranha Games. "We were hoping to raise at least $10,000. We reached $38,000 in the first 48 hours and it just kept going from there. Our fans are incredible and we can't thank them enough."