If you aren't familiar with Humble Bundle, it is a company that sells video games, digital books, and other digital content. The company donates 10 percent of all proceeds from sales to one of five charities: the American Red Cross, Child's Play Charity, The Wikimedia Foundation, GamesAid and charity: water.
In order to get more money to charities, Humble Bundle regularly organizes special deals with game developers. The game developers allow their content to be bundled and sold together, and they can choose to take a portion of the proceeds (or nothing at all). Typically in these bundles, the developer takes a larger portion of the proceeds, Humble Bundle takes a small percentage, and the rest is given to charities.
Currently, EA is generously allowing Humble Bundle to sell several of EA's most highly rated games for a very low price, and it isn't pocketing any of the proceeds. The games aren't new -- they've been out for a few years -- but there are plenty of appealing titles, and you can get at least five games in exchange for making a donation of any size.
In order to get the full bundle, the price is determined by the average price paid by customers in all prior sales of the bundle. Customers can choose to pay more, and this contribution is viewed as a donation to the charities. As such, the price varies up and down as more bundles are sold, but it's currently under $5. The bundle was extended today and now contains a total of 13 games.
|Games Available For Any Donation||Dragon Age: Origins|
|Dead Space 2|
|Medal Of Honor Allied Assault War Chest|
|Command & Conquer Generals + Zero Hour|
|Donating More Than Average||Plants VS. Zombies Garden Warfare|
|Dragon Age II|
|Mass Effect 2|
|Games Added 4.21||Sim City 2000|
|Wing Commander III|
|Wing Commander IV|
None of these games are new, but that doesn't make this a bad bundle. Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2, Wing Commander, and Command & Conquer were some of the most popular games of their time and received positive feedback from the gaming community. Dragon Age 2 still sells from many online retailers for around $20, or $10 if you shop around smaller stores. Anyone interested in just getting the Dragon Age games will like this deal just for that reason even if they are unlikely to play the rest.
Although EA is indeed being generous here, it's not as though the company is getting nothing out of it. EA currently has an application called Origin that competes with Valve's Steam. Origin only launched a few years ago, however, and as a result it has a lot of catching up to do. Although most Humble Bundles can be redeemed on several platforms, only four of the games in the Humble Origin Bundle 2 can be redeemed on Steam. In order to play the rest, you will need to sign up and install the Origin gaming application.
This seems to be a very effective method of attracting new users to Origin. After an initial signup, of course, users are more likely to use the program in the future for new games, and thus better compete with Steam.
The sale ends in just under a week. As for me, Wing Commander and Command & Conquer have me in the mood for some retro gaming, but I don't think the Origin client will install on my Windows 98 PC.