Buy Games for Charity

An interesting new commerce model has arisen where buyers pay what they want for games, with a portion of proceeds going to charity.

The Humble Bundle is a platform for recurring pay-what-you-want (PWYW) bundles or collections that include games, music or eBooks. A sliding scale lets the purchasers choose exactly where they want their money to go - how much will go to charity, how much will go to the developers and how much goes to The Humble Bundle.

The PWYW pricing system for digital content has been gaining prominence since Radiohead released their 2007 album In Rainbows (great album, by the way) as a digital download for however much you wanted to pay, including for free.

The Humble Bundle started with indie game sales, with portions of purchases being able to go straight to the developers. It has since grown and has had larger game development/publishing companies, such as THQ and this week's bundle, Origin. There have also been mobile app bundles, music bundles and eBook bundles.

The payment system lets you pay as little as you want, but rewards those who pay above the average price by including bonus games or content. Each bundle also includes active graphs and data showing the average amount people have been paying from each operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux), along with ranking top payers.

The current bundle includes many well known and popular games from Origin including Medal of Honour, Crysis 2, Dead Space 3 - and for those who pay above the average price, which at the time of writing this is $4.74, Battlefield 3 and The Sims 3. The charities for this bundle are: the Human Rights Campaign; Watsi; the San Francisco AIDS Foundation; the American Red Cross; or the American Cancer Society.


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