The major Japanese game developers took a major hit to their stock prices in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami. SEGA dropped 13.5 per cent to end the day at ¥1530 ($18.69), Tecmo Koei 10.7 per cent to ¥626 ($7.65), Konami by 9.9 per cent to ¥1610 ($19.66), Sony by 9.1 per cent to ¥2550 ($31.15), Nintendo’s by 7.6 per cent to ¥21,280 ($259.91), Namco Bandai by 6.4 per cent to ¥905 ($11.05) and Square Enix was down 6.2 per cent to ¥1370 ($16.73).

On top of that many games are now delayed or canceled. Servers for Final Fantasy XI, XIV and Metal Gear Online are being shut down to conserve energy. Overall a really bad year is starting for the industry. But despite the gloomy outlook the game industry is stepping up to help the victims of the earthquake.

Most of the Japanese publishers have started donating to the disaster relief. Nintendo has donated ¥300 million (£2.3 million) to disaster relief, and Sony Corporation has donated the same amount as well as 30,000 radios. Other publishers have donated unknown amounts.

Western publishers are also joining the effort. Zynga has teamed up with Save the Children to raise money through the sale of ingame items in several of their games. All profits from certain micro-transactions, such as buying a sweet potato crop in CityVille, or a Kobe cow in Frontierville or radishes in Farmville – will be donated to the Save the Children Japanese disaster fund.

Sports Interactive has said it will donate all revenue from the iOS version of Football Manager Handheld 2011 to a disaster relief fund in Japan for seven days, beginning last Friday.

If you want to donate directly you can do so through the Red Cross (US Site).

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