A trend in the game industry, started by several small independent game companies, is the Humble Bundle. A humble bundle is a pack of games that gets sold together for a very low price and proceeds get donated to charity. Users are able to get cool games for cheap, companies get to look good and get more exposure, and charities walk away with big fat donations. This week EA Games released a bundle for its Origin service, called the Humble Origin Bundle.
The Humble Origin Bundle includes eight games, with two more as extra incentive for a higher than average donation. So, users can currently buy ten games for about five dollars. Proceeds are being dispersed to five charities chosen by the company: American Red Cross, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, American Cancer Society and Watsi. Watsi is a crowdfunding site for users to fund people in need of medical care.
After only two days, EA had received over $4 million in donations from over 850,000 donors. The campaign ran August 28th, raising over $10.5 million from the sale of more than 2.1 million bundles. The games available were Dead Space, Dead Space 3, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Crysis 2 Maximum Edition, Mirror’s Edge, and Medal of Honor. The bonus games for paying above the average donation were Sims 3 and Battlefield 3.
The original Humble Bundle was launched in 2010 with great success. Since then, the Humble Bundle Store has facilitated dozens of humble bundles, including several for Android games. The EA Humble Origin Bundle has been criticized as a way to push its Origin game service, but at the end of the day four million dollars to charity, and likely much more money, can’t be too bad, regardless of the company’s motive.