There are a number of charitable organisations in the world of gaming. We spoke fairly recently of the fund raising efforts of a number of people in the wake of the ‘GamerGate’ issue, and charities such as Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play initiative continues to do amazing work in addition to demonstrating that a large proportion of gamers are also altruistic souls.
The Humble Bundle is another charitable initiative that deserves recognition. Though a number of people have decried its fairly innovative and controversial “pay what you want” pricing scheme, the organisation does a lot of good work for charitable organisations in addition to providing an excellent platform for small developers to release their creations and receive feedback from some of the most dedicated players on the planet.
It’s a reputation that the organisation is keen to uphold and should be extremely proud of, especially in the wake of recent comments from the co-founder John Graham. He claims that, since the site’s inception in May 2010, the organisation has delivered over $100 million to small developers, demonstrating that many gamers will happily pay a price for their games, assuming they are of a high enough quality.
Perhaps more importantly, the charitable side of the organisation has also delivered impressive numbers, with around $50 million having been donated to a wide variety of causes in the past four and a half years. In a recent interview Mr Graham commented: “Charities often are very surprised by the amount of money sent their way by our community. Even the larger charities like the Red Cross are amazed once the payment arrives. It has often been the case that we exceed charity expectations and they’ve had the good problem of figuring out how to scale up the work they do.”
The news will act as a welcome demonstration of the value of such a platform within the gaming communities, though some will decry the payment scheme operated by the company. After all, if a game does not prove popular with the community there is every possibility that gamers will only pay pennies to purchase it, rather than a fair price. While this is an extremely legitimate concern, that fact that the organisation has managed to make $150 million in a little over four years also demonstrates that many players will be willing to pay what a game is worth, and perhaps more, assuming the quality is there. For some it may even act as a motivator to continue honing their craft and delivering games that receive the desired reception from the people who use Humble Bundle.
Mr Graham did address the concerns that some developers have raised about the issue regarding users setting their own prices, addingthat many developers still “enjoy the goodwill and buzz that gets driven onto their titles during our promotions” along with “the revenues we are able to bring them.” Furthermore the platform also offers welcome exposure for new developers, indicating that it may well be around for a long time yet.
Charitable donations are raised through an payment option that allows purchasers to assign a proportion of the fee they have chosen to pay to a charity supported by Humble Bundle, with the rest going towards developers and operational costs. Regardless of the debate surrounding the overall concept, we believe that it can be agreed that it is a noble idea and once again demonstrates that altruistic nature of many gamers.