Developer Playdots, Inc. hopes this initiative will encourage other companies with similarly large audiences to use their platforms for civil rights awareness.
Earlier tonight, New York City-based developer Playdots, Inc. updated two of its minimally styled, wildly successful mobile puzzle games, Two Dots and Dots & Co, to encourage players to make donations to the ACLU. The change comes in response to Donald Trump's latest executive order, which bans Syrian refugees and the citizens of seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the United States for several months.
"A week in, many lines have already been crossed, but Friday the Trump administration made it very clear what they intend to do over the next four years," CEO Paul Murphy told us via email. "We could no longer sit idle. We have a very large and engaged audience, and our hope is by sending this message, it would encourage others with similar audiences to use their platform to stand up for civil rights as well."
At least 5,000 people visited the ACLU's donation page within the first few minutes of the update, which went out to "a subset" of the two apps' combined 3-to-4 million users, Murphy said. The initial push was quickly followed by emails from players saying they had donated.
The update was designed and implemented in just a couple of hours Saturday evening, thanks to employees who volunteered to drop what they were doing and make the change. "The systems we use to notify our global audience require design, engineering, product management, [and] operations," Murphy told us. "We had people leave movies, working from the phones on a train, step out of restaurants at dinner, and excuse themselves from family events. It was incredible to see."
Waypoint was also informed that Playdots Inc's breakout original release, Dots, is only absent from the initiative due to technical limitations. Two Dots is available for free on Android, iOS, Windows Phone/PC and the Amazon Appstore. Dots & Co is equally free on Android and iOS.