Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Humbled Bundle

There's no question, Steam Digital distribution revolutionized not only how we purchase and organize our games, it also changed what we bought.  In part, EA and Blizzard is hurting their sales by not playing along by offering up their own titles on the Steam service.  I have no idea when a new EA/Blizzard game comes out, as its simply never advertised on Steam.  Steam sales also exposes players to a wealth of games that may have never been considered, but hey, 80% off, you buy it.  First-World problem, unplayed games in your library, that you'll never get around to.

Bought for World of Goo

Since the creation of Steam, we've seen a lesser known storefront appear, guilty of expanding your game library.  One you could say which is a bit ...more ...humble.  As the title implies, I'm talking about the Humble Bundles.  A very good overview has been written about the Humble Bundle on Wikipedia.  In a nutshell, they bundle similar games together and allows you to choose the price for the collection while also giving the option to allocate percentages to charity, the game devs, and the HB folks.  Not since Steam and social media have I and others been introduced to a new way of game discovery.  Although originally selling only DRM free indie titles,  they now have grown into a goliath of gaming offers from indie/PC, Android, themes, and AAA companies.

They way the discovery process works: you buy a bundle, generally because it has a game you want for a great price.  As the single game is part of a larger bundle, there's a good chance an equally as good game or better just joined your library.  To name a few, Braid, [any] Amanita games, Hotline Miami, Costume Quest, FTL, and Sanctum 2 are all great games, I enjoyed, yet originally had no intention of buying them.  HB is also a great way to dive into a series you had no intention of getting into.  Costume Quest, Dead Space, Worms, Grid, Pinball FX are a few examples of series I became hooked on, thanks to the Bundles.  For Costume Quest, I made my first "early purchase" for the sequel.

The HB has taken some criticism for moving away from fixed pricing for some games, and non Indie, DRM free games;  but ultimately the consumer is in charge here, and I see it as a huge win for PC/Android gamers.  If you like steam library bloat, then check out the Bundles each week.

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