PSA: Humble Bundle

Now, every time you’re caught playing video games when you shouldn’t be, you can say, “I’m doing it for charity!”

Bradley Kolar, Staff Writer

I’ll start off by clarifying that this is not a game review. I just wanted to take a little time to inform you, the gamers of Berkeley, about a magical little website called Humble Bundle. In short, it offers curated bundles of excellent games at ridiculously cheap prices, and even donates part of the money to charity. Read on for more information about what seems to be the perfect service for even the least committed of gamers.

Humble Bundle
GAMES FOR A GOOD CAUSE: A portion of all proceeds goes to charities of the customer’s choice.

Humble Bundle is an online shop that primarily sells bundles of select video games for a variety of different platforms (Windows and Mac are the most common, but the occasional Android and console bundles do appear). Each sale typically lasts about two weeks. After this time, they are replaced with new bundles and can no longer be purchased. Usually, multiple different bundles will be available simultaneously, including a few for e-books or, occasionally, non-video-game programs. The real beauty of it is its name-your-price system: you, the consumer, choose what you want to pay for the bundle, meaning every two weeks you can nab a bunch of new games for as little as a cent. As incentives to pay more, more games are added to the bundle for beating the average price and for matching or beating a higher, fixed price. This third-tier price is rarely above $15. Most bundles give customers codes to unlock the games on various game distribution platforms, such as Steam, Origin and Uplay (though consumers must pay a minimum of $1 to receive these keys), as well as digital rights management (DRM)-free versions (meaning that you can download it straight to your computer without bothering with such services). The icing on the cake is that the consumer gets to choose where their money goes. Upon purchase, the user is given the option to split their money between the developers of the games they bought, suggested charities for that bundle (or charities of their choice) and Humble Bundle itself (displayed as “Humble Tip”).

Humble Bundle
PICK YOUR PRICE: Humble Bundles allow customers to pay as much or as little as they want while offering incentives for paying more, typically in the form of more games.

Don’t like what’s offered at the moment in bundles? Luckily, Humble Bundle also operates the Humble Store, a more traditional system similar to other digital stores such as Valve’s Steam. At the Humble Store, users can purchase singular games instead of large premade bundles (albeit at normal prices, much higher than the bundles). Typically, the bundles include smaller indie games or older games that have since dropped in price, so the storefront allows users to still get the newer hits. Sales are rather frequent, and 10 percent of the funds still go to charity while still giving the customer both digital keys and DRM-free versions (in most cases). If you prefer a little bit of surprise and excitement in your gaming career, consider subscribing to Humble Monthly. This service is like a blind box for video games, providing subscribers with a huge collection of hand-selected games each month. You never quite know what you’re going to get, but you can almost always be certain that it’ll be good – and at $12 a month for hundreds of dollars worth of games, plus a 10 percent discount in the Humble Store and access to a library of Humble Bundle original games, it’ll certainly be the best deal a gamer could get.

Humble Bundle
HUMBLE OFFERINGS: The Humble Store, on the other hand, offers the latest names in gaming at fixed prices with frequent discounts.

Whether you’re just now looking to give gaming a shot, or you’ve been doing it for a long time and it’s time for something new, Humble Bundle is absolutely worth a look. Perhaps you’ll find exactly what you were looking for in a bundle, or perhaps you’ll find a new kind of game you never even knew you enjoyed until you bought the bundle. At the time of writing, a “Best of 2017” bundle is being offered that contains the game I just reviewed, Hacknet, at the first tier – it ends February 20, so don’t hesitate to pounce on it right away, even for just a cent!


Link to Humble Bundle storefront: