Over the past few years, the Humble Bundle has become something of a makeshift holiday for gamers on a budget. Though there is no real set schedule on which new Bundles appear, each time a new one crops up fans rush to drop their hard-earned cash on what is almost always an excellently curated collection of lesser known, independently-developed video games. Generally speaking, this is the purpose behind the Bundle: By collecting a varied selection of games and offering the entire thing at “pay what you want” prices, the Humble Bundle has become one of the best ways a new, relatively unknown developer can get their name out into the world.
But what of more established gaming firms? Companies that release games largely considered “triple-A,” that feature marketing budgets many times higher than the entire development budgets seen by most Humble Bundle entries? What could a company like this possibly hope to earn by taking part in the Humble Bundle scheme? In the case of THQ, the answer is simple: The long-beleaguered company has decided to bundle seven of its top games in a single Humble Bundle to raise cash for charity.
There’s a video embedded below this text that offers a tongue-in-cheek look at the details behind the Humble THQ Bundle, but in short the bundle collects four complete games (Darksiders, Metro 2033, Red Faction Armageddon and Company of Heroes), two expansion packs (the Tales of Valor and Opposing Fronts expansions for Company of Heroes), and one bonus game (Saints Row The Third) for those willing to spend more than the average user-submitted price for the Bundle. Each of these games is featured in its PC iteration, and on purchasing the Bundle, instead of a physical package, users will be given downloadable Steam codes for each of the Bundle’s included titles. As with all Humble Bundle offerings, the price tag on the Humble THQ Bundle is almost entirely fluid: Players are free to pay whatever they’d like for these games (with a minimum price point of $1), though as we mentioned previously those who opt to spend at least one cent more than the average price paid for this Bundle will also receive the excellent Saints Row The Third in addition to the Bundle’s other six titles.
As great a deal as this seems, the really intriguing part doesn’t come until after you’ve decided to lay down your cash. Once your transaction is effectively complete, the Humble Bundle website will then offer you an option of how your purchase/donation funds should be used. Those of you with deep-seated allegiances to the concept of capitalism might want your cash going directly to THQ, as something of a monetary incentive to continue producing the kinds of games that have made the company a big-name publishing house in the undeniably cut throat gaming business. Those with more altruistic motivations however, may opt to send their cash toward more charitable organizations, such as Child’s Play or the American Red Cross — both of which do excellent work in the field of “making the world a better place.” Based on the options given, there also exists a third type of prospective purchaser who may want their cash going not to charity or the people who made these games in the first place, but instead to the people behind the Humble Bundle scheme. Personally, we’re opting toward the charitable donation, but it’s your money so far be it from us to determine how you’d like to see it spent.
Assuming all of this has piqued your interest, there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, the Humble THQ Bundle is only available for a limited time. As of this article’s publication, the timer on the Bundle’s official page shows just a little over 13 days left before the deal vanishes into the ether (which makes it even more impressive that the Bundle has already attracted over 107,000 purchases, totaling over $581,000). Second, if you’re going to be buying this Bundle, you really ought to drop the extra cash to pick up Saints Row The Third. It’s easily the best game on offer here, and while you do have to top the average Humble THQ Bundle purchase price to grab the game, that average currently stands at a measly $5.42 — needless to say, that’s a phenomenal deal for one of the best open-world sandbox games ever created. Finally, it should be pointed out that all games featured in this Bundle were built for the PC. Thus, while you have games like the aforementioned Saints Row The Third that can be found on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the Bundle only features the game’s downloadable PC incarnation. Sorry dedicated console fans.
Assuming all of that is cool by you however, we heartily recommend grabbing your own Humble THQ Bundle. Not because these games are great, nor because the Red Cross could really use your cash, but instead because we like the trend this sets. Big publishers supporting charity by tossing out relatively new titles at obscenely low prices? Whatever the reason, we’re fully on board with that plan.