The latest piece of SimCity DLC is like some kind of moral point of debate waiting to happen. On the one hand, it’s expensive. Absurdly expensive, really, costing £8.00 GBP / $10.00 USD for the addition of one building (Red Cross Relief Centre) and a pair of vehicles. On the other, a “minimum of” 80% of that price (after tax) will go to the actual Red Cross.
There are ten national Red Cross organisations affiliating themselves with this DLC, so presumably EA will divvy up the money between them (or base it on the location where the DLC was bought, or something.) If nobody buys it, EA will still give a minimum total of $100,000 USD to Red Cross charities. So that’s nice.
The function of the building and vehicles in SimCity itself is, as you might expect, to aid disaster relief. After a meteor strike, or tornado, or some other natural act of violence against your cityscape, Red Cross tents will pop up across your terrain. Meanwhile, the vehicles will travel around responding to the disaster. Every tent that pops up will look after ten sims who otherwise may have been critically injured. Once the crisis is over, the tents will disappear and release ten healthy sims each back into the city community.
“This creative partnership with SimCity will help us reach a new audience and raise awareness of the work of the Red Cross during real world disasters,” says a hopeful Mark Astarita from the British Red Cross. The DLC will be available for one year, beginning today.