When it crossed the $5 million mark sometime last week it already became the most successful Humble Bundle of all time crossing both the Humble Indie Bundle 5 (estimated $5.1 million in sales) and the Humble THQ Bundle (estimated $5 million ) which were the two previous highest grossing bundles. For those of you who are not clued in to it yet we’ll be taking this opportunity to introduce this unique concept. Humble Bundles till date have given gamers all over the world access to games at throwaway prices. This particular one, dubbed the Humble “Origin” Bundle let buyers spend as little as $1 giving them access to Dead Space, Dead Space 3, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Crysis 2: Maximum Edition, Mirror’s Edge and Medal of Honor – and get this, Dead Space 3 and Medal of Honor are games that are less than a year old. Phew, those are some heavy duty games and it’s impossible to get these games for a buck anywhere.
But that’s not the end of the story. If buyers chose to pay above the average price ($4.92 right now), they also got Battlefield 3 and The Sims 3 “ Starter Pack,” which is an unbelievable deal, and something that propels you towards your wallet and credit card details faster than a speeding jet. Just the fact that cumulatively all these games would’ve easily cost couple of hundred dollars makes the Humble Origin Bundle ideal for gamers who can’t afford expensive games at their launch date.
Humble Bundles have been doing this for quite some time now, a sort of revolutionary concept for selling games that the audience loves and adores. You decide the price (as long as it’s equal to or above a US dollar) and you’ve got yourself some amazing games. But besides just pandering to the whim of the gamer zerg rush, the Bundles serve another purpose. Each Bundle associates with a handful of charity organisations and gives you a chance to do your bit for society – that’s right, by contributing towards a Bundle, you wipe clean all that bad karma you accumulated pirating games through your teenage years.
But what about the developers, you ask? You get to choose that as well. Decide what share of your contribution goes to whom and you can walk out with a glowing, satisfied conscience. The best part about this Origin Bundle is that each and every cent of that amount collected will go to a predetermined charity – and you can also tweak the amount you pledge towards a charity of your interest (from the shortlist, of course).
Pretty great of EA to announce that, but it could’ve been the plan all along; who knows perhaps what EA loses in revenues it gains in Origin client usage and installs. Yes some of the games only work in Origin unlike the usual Steam playable titles we’ve seen so far. If this is an EA ploy to boost the number of subscribers to Origin (Steam’s rival) then it’s definitely a brilliant stroke on their part. But EA will quickly have to ramp up its cloud infrastructure, for within hours of announcing the Origin Bundle, EA’s Origin clients froze, in some isolated instances some items from users’ inventories went missing.
While it’s understandable that it may have not anticipated such a surge in traffic and ruthless assault on its servers beforehand, EA has a long way to go match Steam’s stranglehold over the cloud gaming market. One other thing: sometimes Humble Bundles add extra games to people who contributed more than the average price, and in keeping with this tradition Origin/EA added two more titles to the existing 8 – Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 – Uprising and Populous.
We only hope that after the record-breaking success of this Origin Bundle, EA goes through its roster of AAA titles and throws in one or two more for the ravenous horde of gamers. If they throw in Dead Space 2, that’s one great trilogy right there.