It is rare that an indie game studio find a way to give back to the community. Most of the studios that we have covered are trying to figure out how to support their own livelihood. So you can imagine our surprise when we found out that Lienzo, the creator of the highly anticipated game, Mulaka, is planning on donating up to 10% of the game’s earnings to NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) that focus efforts on the Sierra Tarahumara.
If you are unfamiliar with Mulaka, you can read about the game in our interview with Adolfo Aguirre.
We asked Lienzo about their generosity, and this is what they had to say:
RG: What made you decide to donate a portion of your earnings prior to releasing Mulaka?
Lienzo: It was natural for us to contribute to the efforts of cultural preservation as much as we could. These people have been very helpful in the creative and process and many of them have supported us in many ways. Giving something back was a key thing for us.
RG: Why did you decide to donate to NGOs who focus on the Sierra Tarahumara?
Lienzo: Given that the Tarahumara people aren’t organized under a single board or representation, NGOs are the best way to collectively support them.
RG: What will your donation mean to the community?
Lienzo: We hope that not only our donation, but our efforts in creating this game, result in people actually getting excited about their stories. We hope that our contributions get people talking about the lore and preserving it on modern pop culture.
RG: Can you talk about the culture of the game and the ties to charity?
Lienzo: The Tarahumara culture is one of the most fascinating in the world. These people do not believe in personal possessions as we do, they have a word that is spelled “Kórima” which basically means share. We’re now sharing their stories with the world and as much as we can get from this project with them.
RG: Why was it important to stress culture within the game itself?
Lienzo: We built the game first and its game play mechanics and then added the culture so we could have a good gaming experience. Culture is present in the game in a non-invasive way so that players can enjoy the adventure as an action title without feeling that they’re being taught something. We want to get people excited first and foremost.
RG: For gamers unfamiliar with the Tarahumara, what do you hope they will gain from playing Mulaka?
Lienzo: We hope gamers enjoy playing through a story that is based on a real group of people that still live today. We want to create intrigue and empathy with people.
RG: Can you provide any additional information around the cultural significance of Mulaka or your significant donation to charity?
Lienzo: Mulaka is the first indie action game of its kind and the first adventure title that is based on an indigenous tribe from Mexico. This is a huge effort to preserve a lore that can be lost forever if we don’t do something.
Mulaka is slated for release early this year on Nintendo Switch, Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Your purchase will help Lienzo give back to the Tarahumara and help to preserve their culture.
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