We reported yesterday that WB Games would be the next Humble Bundle to hit the internet, in which it is now live on The Humble Bundle website. The idea behind the Humble Bundle is an excellent way to give to a charity and get a chance to own some great games that you may not have decided to purchase or try out otherwise.
In recent months, I have noticed more and more bundles popping up all over the place. Bundle Stars is offering for the rest of November the “Majestic Indie Bundle”, which includes some of my favorites like Mount & Blade, Rune, and the Forge Starter Pack (I did a review on Forge a while back and gave it an 8 out of 10) . 9 games for $3.97? Shut up and take my money!
Bundle in a Box is currently offering an “Indie Strategy Bundle” that includes some lesser known strategy games for the low price of $1.99. Groupees is a 2 week charity game bundle site that runs and looks a lot like Humble Bundle, but the tiers aren’t based on average user contribution, but fixed price points. So for $5, you can download games like Call of Juarez and Face Noir.
All these bundles are a great value, and some offer a chance to donate to charity, which is an added bonus. But that is not all that these discounted game collections offer us. These bundles also give us gamers an opportunity to play games that we may have never tried or even heard of, giving indie devs an elevated platform on which to sell their product. The discounted price may hurt, but it is a hell of a lot better than pirated copies of the game being widely distributed on bit torrent sites.
Speaking of piracy, these bundles are also a means to combat game illegal distribution through easy and convenient payment systems, as well as servers that can handle mass direct downloads. A lot of reports on video game piracy, and even movie piracy, lead back to the issue of putting out a product that is hard for consumers to obtain, or offering a product with DRM that makes the game practically unplayable for those who bought it. Valve did an excellent job of combating this with the distribution of Steam.
Piracy is less of worry for the consoles, but do you see the major console companies selling bundles besides free games with consoles? Sony and Microsoft would never dare offer something like this on their consoles through their respective networks, although they have been offering free games for subscribers of their premium/necessary services. The consoles just don’t offer the flexibility, and these guys like to take a lot off the top before they start handing the money out to publishers and developers.
So what else is there to say? Bundles offer us PC gamers a ton of great stuff, and I owe a lot to these collections in discovering some great games. That is why, in my humble opinion, bundles make PC gaming great (not to mention those incredible Steam sales that happen throughout the year). This isn’t an attempt to bash consoles, but an observation as to why investing in a gaming rig can be really valuable.
Interested in finding more gaming bundles? Check out Indie Game Bundles and Indie Kings for a list of current sales going on now!