Pay £1ish for £65-worth of PC games (while supporting charity)

If you’re a passionate gamer, you might have heard of Humble Bundle – as a games journalist for eight years prior to joining MSE, it’s a company I’ve followed with interest, and one I’ve personally bought from several times…

If you’ve not heard of it, and you’re a PC gamer, now’s a great time to acquaint yourself with the charitable gaming company as you can get about £65-worth of games for £1ish or about £205-worth of games for £10.50ish until 7pm on Tue 24 May – while also helping a great cause.

Through the support of its community, Humble Bundle’s raised over $70 million (£49m) for a wide range of international charities including Unicef, Diabetes UK, Parkinson’s UK, Amnesty International and GamesAid.

One of the main ways the US-based company raises money for charity is through sales of Humble Bundles, collections of digital games typically offered for a couple of weeks. The games available in these bundles vary, from classic titles to more modern releases, and from small budget games made by independent developers to blockbuster titles from major industry players such as Electronic Arts and Sega.

Why do companies offer their games for inclusion in Humble Bundles? Simply put, they see it as a great way of growing their audience while also meeting charitable commitments (or more cynically we reckon, it’s good PR).

You choose how much you pay (and where it goes)

It lets you ‘pay what you want’ for content, within limits, and choose where your money goes. In practice though, what you pay dictates what you get – but it’s really cheap. While we’ve headlined this as ‘from £1ish’ (as this is the minimum you can pay), if you can afford to pay about £10.50, you’ll be doing more to help a good cause while getting the maximum number of games available.

When you pay, you choose how your payment is split between Humble Bundle, the game publisher, which in this case is Capcom, and the charity, which in this case is the Kumamoto Japan Earthquake Relief Fund via GlobalGiving.

While your natural inclination might be to give your entire payment to charity, we think you’d also be wise to consider supporting Humble Bundle itself, as the cash will help enable it to continue the good work it’s doing organising these promotions. Likewise, game publishers big and small are more likely to partake in similar promotions in the future if there’s a financial incentive to do so.

What you can get right now

A current Humble Bundle promotion, the Humble Capcom Bundle, features a collection of PC games playable on Steam for Windows (they’re not available on Mac).

The most important thing to understand is the number of games you get depends on what you’re willing to fork out. You can pay by debit/credit card or PayPal.

There are three tiers…

– TIER 1: Basic minimum cost $1 (about 70p) – though you can give more. Games include StriderResident Evil Revelations 2 – Episode 1: Penal Colony, Lost Planet 3 Complete Pack and Bionic Commando: Rearmed. These games normally have a combined cost of up to £65.

– TIER 2: If you pay more than the average – currently $9.23 (about £6.50). Then it unlocks five more games and one game add-on pack: Resident Evil Revelations, DmC: Devil May Cry, Resident Evil 4, Remember MeBionic Commando and DmC: Devil May Cry Vergil’s Downfall add-on pack. The average price is updated in real time and when you go to make your payment, you’ll be told what it is. These games normally have a combined cost of up to £99.44.

– TIER 3: Pay a fixed $15 (about £10.50). 
This will add two more titles to your collection: Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition and Resident Evil 6. These games normally have a combined cost of up to £39.98 – taking the total value of all 12 game downloads you now have to £204.81.

Since its release on Tue 10 May, the Humble Capcom Bundle has been bought over 79,000 times.

How do I do it?

1. Before purchasing, check the system requirements your PC needs to run the games.

2. The games come in the form of digital codes, so you have to download them. The codes are only redeemable through Steam, an online game store and a massively popular platform for playing games (there are over 125 million active accounts). If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to create a Steam account and install it. See detailed Steam instructions.

3. You’ll also need to create a Humble Bundle account and make your purchase, choosing the amount you want to pay and how it’s split between Capcom, the Kumamoto Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, and Humble Bundle.

4. Within a few minutes you’ll receive a purchase confirmation email directing you to your digital game codes, which will be accessible from within your Humble Bundle account.

Anything else I need to know?

– These games are for 12-18 year-olds, so if you’re buying for kids, check the age ratings first by searching on European game classification body PEGI’s website.

– Most cards carry the usual 3%-ish foreign transaction charge (see our how much does your card charge? tool to make sure you use the card that charges you the least) but a $1 purchase is likely to cost no more than £1, which is what we were charged. Though some debit cards may add £1.50 per transaction.

– The whole process, from signing up to Humble Bundle and Steam, to playing the games on my work computer (for research, honest) was straightforward and perhaps took 45 minutes, although if you’re PC savvy, have a decent internet connection and don’t spend 10 minutes thinking up passwords for new accounts, you can probably do it much faster. And once you’ve completed the initial set-up, making future Humble Bundle purchases takes just a few minutes.

– We used normal Steam prices to value these games. While Steam isn’t always the cheapest place to buy PC games, the ‘pay what you want’ nature of this promotion means it’s great value – a number of the games featured in this promotion would cost at least £10.50 each if bought elsewhere, which is the price you pay for the whole lot in the Humble Capcom Bundle.

Will you buy this Humble Bundle, or bought one before? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below or on Twitter @MSE_Deals