Over a period of time now The Humble Bundle
, the pay-what-you-want storefront that offers amazing exclusive, timed, bundles of well know and not so well known indie games, has also been doing bundles devoted to bigger developers and publishers games.
There was the Deep Silver bundle featuring the Dead Island
series; the now defunct THQ, with their Darksiders
and Red Faction
bundle; a bundle featuring Remedy's fantastic Alan Wake
series, and 2012 Game of the Year recipient many times over, Telltale Games, that featured a ridiculous chunk of their library, including the award winning The Walking Dead
. All at a super pay-what-you-want value.
Want to get 4 or 5 great games for a dollar? Go for it. Want to drop a grand on a developer you love with little to no middle man? Have at it. Most bundles (every one I've seen) has also had a pay wall, where if you pay above the average paid amount, you can get a few additional games. And most bundles include soundtracks for many of the games, which is just inflated the value to such an extreme. Its magical.
What takes this one step further is the possibility that you don't have to give the developer anything at all... What?! Yes! You can choose to snub the publisher all together and put all of the money you just spent into tipping the Humble folks for their kind services, or, more miraculously, put your tithe into the charity pot, for a wide range of charities including, but not always limited to, Child's Play
and The American Red Cross
. Or you can split the pot up equally amongst all the possible recipients.
So anyway, what am I going on about other then praising the ever loving balls off of The Humble Bundle? Well, all that exposition above was to set up that, for possibly for the first time in the Bundles history (that I know of at least), a bundle has been put in place only
to raise money for charity, and somehow EA's set themselves up to be the ones to step out of their own way, taking no profit
for themselves, to be a part of that. Yes, that EA
And to tip it off its one of the biggest bundles I've ever seen since I've started partaking in this wonderland of digital delights.
This game alone is still eight times the amount this bundle full of games is.
You get 10 games, valued at $240 if bought alone, for $4.91 (at the time of writing) and none of that money will go to EA. Thats Dead Space
, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box
; Crysis 2 Maximum Edition
; Mirror's Edge
; Dead Space 3
and Medal Of Honor,
with the post-average-paid Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3-Uprising
; Battlefield 3
and The Sims 3 + Starter Pack
(and The Sims 3 and Battlefield 3 soundtracks, which aren't mentioned on the bundle page), and theres not even an option to slip EA some pocket change for some crappy vending machine coffee. A miracle on top of miracles - What ever will we get Tiny Tim for Christmas after this! 2013 may actually be the year the world ends!
So whats wrong with all this, other then EA's unreported lobotomy? Well, nothing.. Or at least there shouldn't be until you inject the situation with a heaping helping of gamer cynicism into the equation.
After more then week with this bundle in the wild so far, even with (at the time of writing) ten million dollars made, with almost two million bundles sold, with I'm still pretty surprised and a little bit mortified by how many people I see who are still saying "EA/Origin, not buying", when the dead horse had been beaten, and re-beaten some more, about how EA doesn't get a dime for the offer. Which brings me to the main point of all this malarkey.
Its redonkulous to me that so many people can hate a company, or the way it chooses to deliver its games, so much, that they're willing to forgo giving to a worthy charity just to avoid them like a plague. Frankly, it pisses me off to no end.
Totally worthy cause.
These are very deserving charities, like Watsi
, which allows you to directly contribute to the funding of medical care for people in need; The American Cancer Society
, because we have to remember that we haven't come close to obliterating Cancer yet; The Human Rights Campaign
, the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, just to name a few.
We live in a pretty terrible world if people aren't willing to give even a dollar to charity, just because they might get games from an "evil" company, or won't bother with a cause because the games are offered primarily through a distribution client thats seen as a "DRM laden mess". One of my newest favorite things to say lately when dealing with things like this, things that people act stupidly over while other people, somewhere, even right under our noses, are suffering, is, "First world problems," and that really is exactly what this is. Only people who have money and think they can rest on their laurels, because they have this notion that they're comfortable, can act like this.
You don't like the game or how they're played? Then make someone else's day, and be even more giving, by gifting the codes to someone who might want them. Some -most at this point- of the listed games also have Steam codes; another DRM system thats irrationally more accepted the EA's Origin, and even though the Bundle folks frown upon this, you can keep the Steam codes and gift away the Origin codes. Seriously, half a second of critical problem solving is really all that took to mete out.
If the real argument from the general population was.. Well.. One of two things really:
1) I just don't want the games, so I don't want to spend the money, no matter how little it costs.
2)EA is probably just using this to spring board themselves, or Origin, into our good graces.
Then I could bring myself to understand.
If the reason was #1, then yeah, sure, don't buy what you don't want. A sound financial decision for your home.
If its reason #2, then certainly, I applaud you for your deep thought that goes beyond your personal consumerism and reaches into the the depths of consumer advocacy, about how a company could loop around and Jedi mind trick us, just to achieve more sales later on, because they did that thing that one time that was good. To me, thats a pretty damn good reason and one I wouldn't mind EA to be pressed on a little.
This is not you, the fire is not EA/Origin.
But its not either. This is literally just people rationalizing the situation down to caveman terms of "EA, Origin, BAD!" and thats just irritating. Even Frankenstein's Monster had a deeper level of hate for fire -that shit will kill ya! Origin, maybe
EA, won't. All this comes off as is a bunch of entitled people (really wanted to use another word there), without much of a care in the world, at least not on the level of needing a charity to help them out, shrugging off the chance to do something greater then themselves, with what amounts to pocket change these days, for maybe 2 minutes of their time.
One person I spoke with said something along the lines of, "I'd rather just give the money directly to these charities then give through EA." To which I felt forced to retort: How many people are going to look at this humble bundle, say the same thing, and then actually follow through with that thought? My guess, being a bit cynical at the moment, is some where between none and not many.
Most people really need this sort of carrot on a stick, get something for almost nothing, sort of thing to push them into helping. Even people who claim to be selfless still take those lavish dinners and gift baskets they're given for large donations why they pat themselves on their backs. No ones clean here, theres just varying levels of dirty.
I made this connection to someone else, whether they got it or not, last week, and it still feels relevant: If someone just pissed on your shoe, but you saw his/her kid was dying of cancer and asked for a donation, would you not give to the kid because his parent is a jerk with a weak bladder?
Is something that generally isn't hurting anyone, being done by someone else, at all a really good reason not to help an entirely different person in need?
That's a set of questions I'd genuinely love to see answered. And thats not even that good of an good analogy, because surely the person peeing on you isn't giving you anything worthwhile in the back end, like games, unless you really really like pee/being peed on.
He's laughing at us all.
But hey, we now live in a world where Ben Affleck is going to be Batman. I guess anything goes these days.
(Seriously, like EA/Origin, don't like them, this is for charity.There's 2 days left
If you really don't like them so much that you can't get past yourself, then please go right to one of the charities listed (or all of them, all of them would be great!) and donate directly. Yeah, it might take longer to donate directly, but time is fleeting anyway, why don't we make it just a little better for the next guy, and feel a little better about ourselves in the process. The world could use a lot more of that train of thought.)