I think Humble Bundle is a really neat initiative. They provide interesting Digital Games (Origin, Steam) and eBooks (Mobi, PDF, ePUB) for a really cheap price and the providers donate proceeds to charity.
Lets look at the current bundle. You get the following games for any price that you want. I believe the minimum is one dollar. And if you pay more than the current average price ($4.80), which will be $4.81, you get Battlefield 3 and Sims 3 too.
There are a few reasons why this is interesting:
1. Price: Even though the games are old, its a really great price to acquire them. $5 is the same price most folks pay for a take out breakfast and this instead affords hours of entertainment.
2. Genres: The games cover a lot of genres: FPS, TPS, Racing, Action etc. Hence, it not only interests a huge gaming base but also introduces casual gamers to new games which could possibly translate into future revenues.
3. Digital Content: I am a proponent of digital games. Mainly because I have lost, scratched and misplaced tons of CD’s and CD Keys over the years. This helps keep all my games in one place and makes it easy to re-install games when I format my computer (which typically happens once a year). It also satisfies “instant” appetites as the time taken to start playing the game is only limited to the speed of your internet connection and not UPS / USPS / FedEx delivery timelines.
4. Public Perception: As seen below, it clearly states that Origin is donating its share to charity. So it gives them a lot of good publicity. Since over a million people have bought this bundle, it translates to a lot of goodwill towards EA, much more than traditional marketing methods. One thought, is EA paying Steam (by Valve) for the downloads? Because no where does it mention that Steam is donating to charity too.
5. Statistics: In 2 days, EA has raised over $5.5m dollars. It seems that a lot of folks are using this for marketing as we can see by the twitter handles and website link. But that’s good for EA because they have to pay high dollar amounts to do so. Lastly, I would like to point out that its super interesting that the average price is $4.80 right now. What that shows is:
- A lot of folks must have paid $1 (or a similarly low amount) to counter all the high amounts paid.
- The rest of the folks must be paying around $10 – $15 for the bundle else the minimum would have centered around $2.
So it shows that the bulk of the folks care about price, the rest pay a nominal amount even though that is higher than the average. It also serves to show that people would possibly pay $10 or $15 as round number, even though one is paying digitally and it is easily possible to pay $4.81 to unlock all the content. Lastly, it would be an interesting marketing exercise to see why EA put “The Sims 3” as a bonus and not a more popular game. They could have simply switched around Dead Space 3 with Sims or even have added Crysis 3.