PMG Presents: The Humble Bundle

I’ve been meaning to discuss the Humble Bundle for a while, but I haven’t really had the time.  Now, with the recent unveiling of the Humble Store, I think it’s the perfect time to bring up this subject.  The Humble Bundle started in 2010 and offers games, often for multiple operating systems, DRM-free, on a pay what you want basis, to support developers and charity.

The Humble Bundle is an amazing thing.  Each bundle delivers a handful of six or seven games for one low price.  Depending on the sale you can get hundreds of dollars’ worth of games for less than ten.  The sales exist for a limited time, some for two weeks, some for one, and now, with the Humble Store, there are daily sales.  The sales are never the same, though sometimes you will see certain games come back again and again.  Sometimes the bundles feature games from one publisher, while other times they specialize in games for Android phones or eBooks.

The sales allow you to buy and download games through a variety of means.  For all games they include direct download, and most have Steam keys, and rarely you will see Origin keys (but don’t bet on it).  For Android games they allow alternative ways to download the games.

Now to move to a slightly more serious note: the Humble Bundle has recently been the subject of a large amount of publicity in the gaming community, largely because of abuse on the part of the consumer.  Back when the Humble Bundle started it was a pay what you want service that offered around half a dozen games on a biweekly basis.  People could pay what they wanted for the bundle and they were awarded Steam Keys for each and every game.  Because of this some people got the bright idea to buy a bundle for a penny and get the games.  Then they would go online and sell the keys to the games for a profit, which meant that the people putting on the Humble Bundle were being cheated, as were the game developers, and the charities that benefited from the sales.  A few weeks ago the Humble Bundle made a large number of changes to the way they did business to combat this abuse.  They made it so that to download your games you first had to connect your Steam account to your Humble Bundle account to allow direct downloading to your game library.  This fixed the problem of people profiting from the bundle, but led to a few problems and complaints from the community (some of which I myself share).  One of the main problems has to do with the problem of gifting.  Assume you have game A, then one day you see that the Humble Bundle has games A, B, C, and D on sale for $2 (which is far lower than any of the games on their own); it stands that it is still economically viable to buy the bundle and get games B, C, and D, even though you already own game A.  Now because of this you have an extra copy of game A that you can’t use.  Now many people, including myself, would take game A and give it away to a friend who didn’t have it, to the detriment of no one in particular.  After the Humble Bundle revamped their redemption system, you could no longer do this, which the community complained about.  Since then the folks at Humble have created a way to gift extra copies of games to Steam friends and stop the wasting of games.

Since then Humble has opened up the Humble Store which offers daily deals on games and allows you to buy single games, though the deals aren’t usually as good as they are in the bundles.  Still they offer games that don’t usually appear in the bundles for discounted prices which is always a plus.

I love the Humble Bundle because it helps me buy amazing games, many of which I’ve written reviews on, for mere cents on the dollar.  If you check this and the Steam sales you will be able to expand your Steam library for mere dollars.


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