Ah, the indie bundle – what a fine idea. Ever since the Humble guys started their collections of interesting indie titles back in 2010, the concept of the bundled game collection has exploded. It’s good for gamers, who get access to some of the finest games around for bargain prices, and it’s good for developers, who get their games in front of a much larger audience. No wonder so many people are doing it! (Wow, this is starting to sound like a local news report on some new keep fit fad).
Anyway, there are a couple of good ones running at the moment, so we thought we’d alert you to them, just in case you’re not an avid bundle watcher.
First up is the Best of British Bundle, a patriotic bargain running on Steam right now. There are six (well, sort of seven) astonishingly good games in the collection: Introversion’s groundbreaking Defcon, Mode7′s addictive Frozen Synapse, Dan Marshall’s silly Time Gentlemen Please (presented as a double pack with Ben There, Dan That), the gorgeous Eufloria, the sci-fi strategy romp Gratuitous Space Battles and tower defence star, Revenge of the Titans. All for £7.99! For heaven’s sake!
Also you have eight days to sample the Green Light Bundle, a collection of games set to appear on Valve’s new Green Light community-reviewed service, where studios can submit projects for possible inclusion on Steam. You can pay just one dollar to get four games or if you pay $5 or more, you get six more. Five percent of all funds will go toward the Green Light Fund, which has been set up to help struggling studios finish their games. There’s a little video about all the games in the bundle here – some of them look awesome:
Finally for today, there’s the Getaway bundle, which appears on the extremely interesting Indie Royale site. This is a sort of specialist bundling service, which offers cheaper prices to purchasers who buy early, and provides perks if you chose to pay above the lower-end asking price – sort of indie bundle meets Kickstarter. On the Getaway bundle you’ll find six great titles including the PC version of my current favourite Xbox Live Indie Game, Super Amazing Wagon Adventure, as well as well as the highly praised interactive novel, Analogue: A Hate Story.
So, with the proliferation of bundles, is this still a good way for developers to get some publicity – and sales? “I think they are, yeah,” says Dan Marshall of Size Five Games. “I can see that the public’s starting to tire of them, they’re a bit of an in-joke, and that’s clearly an issue. Every game site tends to report on them with a wry, ‘lol, another bundle’ attitude… but they still do really well which obviously not only helps boost the coffers, but also importantly brings the games to a whole new audience who otherwise wouldn’t necessarily have bothered…
“It’s those people who take a gamble because it’s only costing them pennies, which suddenly leaves you with an army of people on Reddit or Twitter who’ll stand up and say ‘yeah, I’ve played that, it’s actually really good’. That sort of mass support is kind of invaluable.”
He does have a caveat though. “Worryingly, you do see comments like, ‘This game looks great, looking forward to picking it up in a bundle’ which as a developer, isn’t ideal; you really want those people who are keen and interested picking it up at full price!”
So, give these bundles a go, discover your new favourite developers, then support them!