THQ’s Not So Humble Revenue Boost

By Alec Meer on December 3rd, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

THQ comes out of the cold, etc

The internet had itself a good old shouting match about the concept of a pay-what-you-want bundle for mainstream, traditionally-published games rather than indie games, but whatever the ethics of that particular drinking receptacle-based meteorological event, it appears the effects have been highly significant. Beleaguered publisher THQ has seen a 40% jump in its stock price in the wake of its Humble Bundle, having so far brought in $3.25 million – and with nine days left to go, too.

Sez my old stomping ground GI.biz, THQ shares last week reached a high of $1.60, having been down at $1.07 before the bundle. Is that good? Probably.

Much has been made of THQ bossman Brian Farrell giving $1650 to the Bundle, but he’s since claimed that 100% of his pledge went to charity rather than his company’s coffers. Though I have to laugh at his coda to that, “That should not be interpreted as a recommendation to others on their split.”

The average purchase price for the bundle of Saints Row 3, Darksiders, Metro 2033 and the Company of Heroes collection is currently $5.64. None of those are indie games but the Humble Bundle has traditionally been for indie games only: now go forth and form your own opinion out that.

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134 Comments »

  1. Hazzard65 says:

    I don’t see independant video game developers as any more deserving of charity than a large publisher like THQ.

    The only reason I give money to any of these people in a preorder, kickstarter, paywhatyouwant, environ is in the hope that they make stuff I like.

    THQ has made a fuck tonne of things I really, REALLY like and I think that if any publisher went belly up, it shouldn’t be THQ.

    This has nothing to do with ethics. I couldn’t give a shit how big your company is, just make shit I like. THQ makes shit I like.

    • Matt-R says:

      Yeah, THQ consistantly puts out great games it seems a massive shame to me that what you could say are my two favourite publishers (just due to the games they bring out) that is THQ and Square Enix are struggling.

      Either way I’m fully supportive of them doing stuff like this if it means investors gain confidence in the brand (as seen in the stock price increase) that can mean a whole lot more than just the money they earn from this insanely good bundle and good on them I hope to see a lot more games from them in the future.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        I’d like to state that I fully agree with the gentlemen (and/or ladies) saying things like the person above. THQ isn’t perfect but does make rather good games and treats their customers rather well as far as I’m aware.

        • neonordnance says:

          Absolutely. THQ’s post-release support for their recent releases (DOW II, Saint’s Row the Third, Metro 2033, etc.) has been top-notch. Company of Heroes was still getting patches years after release– let’s see EA or Activision do that! Heck, if COH had been released by either, the servers would be offline by now.

          The only thing that THQ has done recently that I begrudge them for is shutting down Company of Heroes Online. With a bit more work it could have been a gigantic sleeper hit.

          • jessicahutchins7 says:

            until I saw the draft that said $4750, I be certain that my sister woz like they say realy bringing home money part-time from there labtop.. there friends cousin haz done this 4 only 6 months and as of now cleard the mortgage on their mini mansion and got a top of the range GMC. I went here.. http://www.Google.MEL7.CoM

          • neonordnance says:

            @jessicahutchins7

            I’m sorry to say, but i’m pretty sure your sister is a hooker. Also, not real. A fake hooker.

          • The Random One says:

            Gasp! The worst kind of hooker!

          • BooleanBob says:

            @The Random One

            Fake herpes is the best kind of herpes, though, so it balances out.

          • Phantoon says:

            Fake person, real hooker.

    • TimMc says:

      Yeah I’m going to buy this at a reasonable price just to support THQ.

      I mean, out of all the oversized, evil publishers… they are the least evil and produce alot of games I love.

    • MrLebanon says:

      if it was a Humble EA or Humble Activision bundle I’d tell them to go somewhere not so nice… (or give 100% proceeds to charity and get myself some games)

      THQ on the other hand is one of the last great publishers standing… every game there is a game I own and love and I want to see moar from them. It’s sad they had to lay off whom they did, but lets keep the people still there employed!

      I’m glad to see it’s had a positive effect on their businessy stuff and all that (wish I had thought to by stock before the bundle was posted!)

      • S Jay says:

        In fact if EA offered me the chance to get Mass Effect 1 and Dragon Age: Origins for 1 dollar, I would totally buy it.

        Just not on Origin.

        And would give 100% of the money to charity.

    • Stevostin says:

      I bought Darksiders II on Steam the other day at a price I would normally not accept for that very reason. THQ just makes good game after good game – Stalker, Darksider, Metro, DoW, Saints Row, CoH – I think what’s significant is that there are just no bs game in their production. They diserve to stay.

    • Kadayi says:

      ^Truth.

      They ‘ve made good games and they’ve basically ended up in the shitter primarily down to (since gone) management gambling big on Udraw for the Wii, which totally floundered (like most 3rd party stuff has).

      I’m hoping that they manage to stay out of administration because I’d hate to see them bought up by the likes of activision (who certainly have the money).

      • Jason Moyer says:

        UDraw on the Wii did well, it was UDraw on the 360/PS3 that was a massive failure.

  2. Fazer says:

    3 million $ isn’t really much for a big game publisher. I have my doubts if it helps them in the long run.

    • InternetBatman says:

      The increase in share price is helpful for them for negotiation, and it’s very possible that they’ve gained far more from that then from the HB.

    • Dexemplu says:

      At least one of their next 3 games needs to succeed for THQ to be saved. Every single dollar that they make now is going into helping development. It might not seem like much, but it’s mostly polish money. Very little art.

      • Captchist says:

        1 Polish zloty = 0.1970 British pounds sterling

        So you’re right, it’s not a lot.
        (⌐■_■)

    • D3xter says:

      It’s not so much the $3 Million they’ve made but the marketing effect, people are talking about THQ, people are talking about Metro, Company of Heroes, Saint’s Row and Darksiders and hopefully people are playing them too.

      Let’s not forget that Company of Heroes 2 and Metro: Last Light are set to come out soon and a bit of extra coverage and potential buyers isn’t a bad thing to have. Darksiders 2 is already out, but maybe there’s people that like the first one so much they might buy the second.
      Another Saint’s Row is also in the making. There’s only so much money they can make with “old products” and especially in their financial situation this might just be a welcome boost to both their older, as well as their upcoming titles.

      • meatshit says:

        There’s also a chance that some of those people will like the games they got enough to buy some DLC. Even if it’s only a few percentage points, it could make them more than the bundle itself.

    • devil_92 says:

      It may not be worth it in the short run but look at this,the sequal to “metro 2033″ is coming out very soon darksiders 2 just came out and this helps to get more people into theses “new” franchises not to mention that a new company of heroes is coming :D

      • Firez0r says:

        Problem is darksiders 2 didn’t actually help, but make the situation even worse. They haven’t even managed to break even yet.

        • KikiJiki says:

          Which is a real shame, because Darksiders is a fantastically produced, although hugely derivative franchise.

        • devil_92 says:

          I am hoping that this bundlle may help break people into the darksiders franchise :D

        • Drinking with Skeletons says:

          Yeah, Darksiders II is one of my favorite games of this year. Sure, it’s derivative, but it’s fun. And, frankly, I thought it’s additions and alterations to the Zelda formula were actually better than those seen in Skyward Sword, which tried–and, in my opinion, failed–to mix things up. When I consider that Okami and Darksiders both failed to really capture the public’s attention, I can’t help but wonder if people simply can’t recognize a Zelda-style title that’s not actually Zelda and just overlook them, or if people think anything that tries to do the same style of gameplay is nothing but a cheap knockoff.

          It’s unsettling to think that a franchise can so dominate the mindset that it actually kills off other titles that try to fill the genre, but I think that’s where we might be.

          • ucfalumknight says:

            You hit on a key point about derivatives: They can be fun. This is the first time I played Darksiders. Sure, it is a carbon copy of God of War. BUT, I find the story interesting and the game Fun. I don’t understand how people like to put their noses up at clones. So, they gameplay mechanics are like game X. Game X was fun, and now I have a new way to enjoy Game X.

          • man-eater chimp says:

            It is derivative, but instead of controlling a small elfling dressed in green you control one of the horseman of the apocalypse. Absurdly oversized weapons and all.

            Despite Zelda being of higher quality, the Darksiders games are both very, very good. And to risk using the term, insanely cool.

    • JD Ogre says:

      More like $2.1 million, though probably a bit less, at the default split of 65% (to the company; 20% to charity, 15% to Humble). Still, when you consider that it’s over a mere 5 days, it’s looking pretty damned good for a non-new release period.

      How much of that is actual profit is anyone’s guess (depends mostly on whether the ones who negotiated the Bundle were on salary/retainer or were brought in from outside, and whether or not Steam had to be paid anything to generate the keys).

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:

      Three million is like 100% of their market value

    • Stevostin says:

      A lot of people not loosing their job this month may think otherwise.

  3. Wisher says:

    I find this a great thing for both THQ and us, gamers. We get awesome games for silly price and they to dig themselves out of that bankruptcy hole at least slightly. They are one of the rare “consumer friendly” publishers that dont deserve this mess.

    • Hazzard65 says:

      Exactly.

      I find these kinds of discussion INCREDIBLY annoying. We aren’t talking about cancer cures here. This website is dedicated to the discussion of toys and the companies behind them.

      If you want to talk about charity or helping the poor, ethics and all that, toys and toy manufacture is not the arena.

      Independent developers are not a charity. Ethics have nothing to do with any of this. It’s a freemarket system, money should go where people want stuff. If you aren’t making stuff people want, you don’t get no stinking money mane.

      • njolnin says:

        I completely agree. People seem desperate to drudge up controversy. At the end of the day, this is a great deal on some fantastic games.

      • chuckles73 says:

        No, this is a site dedicated to discussing videogames, not toys. How do you read the Gaming Made Me articles and just write them off as silly people making a big fuss about toys? Your arguments are extremely annoying.

      • Yglorba says:

        > independent developers are not a charity.

        Technically, Humble Bundles (including this one) are charities, in that you can choose to donate all the money you give them to charity and they will still give you the games.

      • Consumatopia says:

        Games are art, and plenty of charitable contributions go to art. Maybe it’s wrong to donate to a museum when kids are starving (in which case it would be wrong to waste anytime reading RPS when you could be at a soup kitchen or on a collective farm or whatever), but it’s not just about toys. Or, well, maybe it is, but sometimes toys find their way into museums.

        That said, charity and art doesn’t have to be indie. And there’s certainly no inherent reason why the “pay-what-you-want-plus-charity” model is inherently indie–in fact, I think it would be awesome if all entertainment were funded that way.

    • Lemming says:

      Consumer, but not developer friendly if their past history is anything to go by. Remember they were one of the first stories of corrupt management taking all the money and screwing their staff with overtime pay.

      Just because they’ve made some good games doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the mess they are in. It’s entirely self-inflicted, and if they come back from the brink of it, it only justifies those corrupt business practices for a second go.

      It’s Relic that should be getting money, IMO, not THQ.

      • Optimaximal says:

        Do THQ not 100% own Relic?

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Thank you for bringing some common sense to this discussion in lieu of blind fanboy devotion. THQ have an atrocious history when it comes to treating their developers properly.

    • Lord Byte says:

      Right, awesome game at silly prices… Awesome games that maybe you should’ve paid full price for instead of a few measly dollars. I didn’t buy the bundle, because I already HAVE all the games, all (except Darksiders) bought at FULL price, because they were worth it! (And some even multiple times like the Dawn of War 1 + XP and COH, just to get them on Steam).

      If everyone did that, maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t have been in trouble and wouldn’t have to prostitute themselves so much…

      • f1x says:

        Dont make assumptions, I’m sure most of us bought some or all of those games at full price back then,

        on the other hand you cannot blame THQ’s failure because some people cannot afford to buy all games at release-full price, can’t blame price drops either
        if you want to blame gamers for this (which should not), rather blame the fact that the same iteration of COD sells trillions every year while games like Darksiders or Darksiders 2 are almost “ignored”

      • Nick says:

        More like maybe if they hadn’t wasted money on the obvious failure that was Udraw.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        It’s like you don’t understand the concept of “pay-what-you-want” at all.

      • The Random One says:

        I think I only paid full release price for two games in my entire life, Saints’ Row 2 and The Third.

        I helped as much as I could.

      • RobF says:

        That is a fairly good solution to most businesses woes. If everyone bought everything they put out at the price they asked for, they’d be made.

        I’m sure there’s like, loads of other stuff to factor in or something though. Dunno.

      • Sayori says:

        Uh, sorry that I don’t have so much money to buy games at full price on day 1. I’m so so sorry, but I promise I will try to get more money if you can only give me some directions to the money tree.
        What a horrible person I am to be not rich.

  4. SquareWheel says:

    “THQ has seen a 40% jump in its stock price in the wake of its Humble Bundle”

    Speculation is this wasn’t due to the bundle but insider whisperings. It’s only a few million dollars after all.

    • herebedragons says:

      Their market cap (share price * number of shares outstanding — how much the company is worth in total) is only about 10M. Before the Humble Bundle-related rise, it was a bit over 7M. If they’ve suddenly made about 3M in cash, it makes perfect sense for their stock price to adjust upwards accordingly, because the new worth of the company is 7M + about 3M in new cash.

      • ulix says:

        10 million… wow. Considering that making a “Big” game today costs several tens of million dollars, this is a ridiculously low price.

        • Lanfranc says:

          It’s not a low price if they’re not earning any money. The $1.42 per share are basically a lottery ticket that they’ll be able to turn the situation around.

        • Carra says:

          Unless you take over their debts when you buy the company…

  5. Bhazor says:

    It’s not just the revenue from the bundle. It’s also all the DLC being bought by the Johnny Come Lately’s.

    Be interested to see if they release the numbers after this.

  6. Crainey says:

    It’s unfortunate to see a major publisher in such desperate need of money, and a crime to see what are in my eyes some of the most unique games around going for so little. It is what it is though and I have to agree with Hazzard65. While I own all of these games asides RF:Armageddon (Though a big fan of the series) I dare say that one game alone is worth at least the average. And if it keeps THQ publishing games like these I can’t fault it.

    I’m not sure why the share price has went up. What does this show, that people know a bargain when they see one? Do people really think this shows interest in THQ’s games.

    Somewhat ironic that the CEO finds this a good time and place to be charitable.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      I love a disproportionately large chunk of THQ’s games too. But given the age of most of those game I wouldn’t say it’s a crime that anyone could get them so cheap, if anyone hadn’t bought them by now (especially with the constant THQ mega sales recently) I imagine they wouldn’t have bought them at all otherwise. I’m just glad a whole bunch of extra people get to experience a slew of excellent games they might have otherwise missed out on. (Shame it’s not RF:Guerilla instead though)

      I do worry this all points to THQ exhausting all their catalogue in crazy sales to pump up their quarterly figures for investors who don’t know any better, rather than a long term plan to keep publishing brilliant games. Not nessecerily, I mean I kinda believe they weren’t going to wring many more sales out of any of those titles anyway, so it seems like a smart move. But publishers don’t seem to think like that very often and I worry if they have other motivations, like pumping up share price in the short term to abandon ship in more favourable circumstances.

      • Crainey says:

        Even if THQ go under, it’s just a name and brand, the people who made these great games will still be around and shouldn’t find it hard to get other publishers to back them.

        • Optimaximal says:

          I believe Volition and Relic are majority owned by THQ. If THQ goes, the studios will close.

          • Zyconis says:

            No they won’t. If THQ goes under, they’ll liquidate it’s assets and sell off the brands. Perfect example: Hostess.

            That being said, if EA or Activision acquires them, it could be worse than closure.

          • The Random One says:

            True that. EA and Activision will be punching each other to get to Volition, the makers of the only series to go toe-to-toe to GTA and fail gracefully.

            Is it too much to dream that Paradox will scoop them up and release the announced Dominatrix expansion as a $30 standalone? And also release a gangsta-themed RTS?

  7. Vaedresa says:

    This hasn’t been a good thing for THQ. It’s the equivalent of a closing down sale; sure, you make a bit of money in the short term, but ultimately you’re still going to die.

    The only thing THQ shares are good for now is selling off while they’re high. As bad as it may be, especially for a good company, there is no way THQ can survive now, and no amount of “WE’RE SAVING THE INDUSTRY GUYS” posts on here can change that.

    • hatseflats says:

      You lack an elementary grasp of how stock markets function. Millions of players – individuals, investment funds, pension funds &c. – are active on the stock market. If they deem the THQ stock to be worth 40% this means that they expect THQ to be more likely to survive.
      Certainly, THQ may yet fail, however, $2-3 million in cash for a company like THQ which has great difficulties in obtaining funds may well turn out to be the saving move.
      Or it may not and hurt their future prospects. Both are possible, and your guess is as good as mine. But most people (most of whom are more sophisticated analysts than us) have decided this move has improved THQ’s prospects, both now AND in the future (the value of a share depends on both current AND future income. The idea that increasing current revenues at the cost of future revenues increases share prices is absurd, unless one is capable of hiding that move. The very public figures of the Humble Bundle are, however, no secret).

      • frightlever says:

        Stock prices (buy/sell) only reflect the last price that was offered/paid on the last transaction. Barring disasters only a few percent of a stock is traded on any particular day, even when there is a bit more activity, a mini-boom, the bulk of trades will be the same shares trading hands multiple times as people adopt positions, while others rush to get in while they can in the hope of making a quick buck. Then on no concrete news the price will gradually drop back to around what it’s “worth”.

  8. Randomer says:

    Yes, the creed of the Humble Bundles is to offer cross-platform, DRM-free video games. No, this publisher bundle doesn’t fit that creed. But neither did the ebook bundle nor the music bundle nor the Double Fine thingy. Do I begrudge them for making those bundles? No, because it’s cool that they are harnessing their power to showcase an interesting variety of products. If they had made those bundles (or this one), instead of their usual offer of indie games, I might be a bit miffed. But the frequency of Humble Bundles is only increasing. And that’s great!

  9. D3xter says:

    “Much has been made of THQ bossman Brian Farrell giving $1650 to the Bundle, but he’s since claimed that 100% of his pledge went to charity rather than his company’s coffers. Though I have to laugh at his coda to that, “That should not be interpreted as a recommendation to others on their split.””

    Wasn’t that Jason Rubin? http://venturebeat.com/2012/11/30/thq-president-donates-1050-to-charity-through-the-humble-thq-bundle/

  10. povu says:

    Hopefully this will keep investors happy until South Park/Metro/CoH come out, which will hopefully pull THQ away from the edge.

  11. Captain Joyless says:

    Jump in its share price? Alec, what the hell are you talking about?

    http://community.nasdaq.com/News/2012-11/thq-humble-bundle-earns-23-million-as-investors-flee.aspx?storyid=194721

    “THQ (NASDAQ: THQI ) has dropped more than seven percent today after launching a new Humble Bundle that includes seven of the company’s most popular games. Saint’s Row: The Third, Darksiders, Metro 2033, Red Faction: Armageddon, Company of Heroes, Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts and Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor are included with the bundle, which allows consumers to pay whatever they want for the package. Saints Row: The Third is only offered to those who pay more than the current average of $5.69, however.”

    So maybe it’s up from the week before, but the immediate reaction is just as easily interpreted as bad, not good.

    Besides, there’s A LOT more going on with the company:

    http://www.gamersdailynews.com/story-29018-THQ-Inc-NASDAQTHQI-to-Dilute-Shareholders.html

    “The company defaulted in covering credit facility debt earlier this month but has managed to arrange a forbearance with Wells & Fargo, giving THQI some borrowed time until January 15. The unpleasant part is that even with this time frame, THQ has no releases that could rack up revenue and help them seal the leaks of their ship. This leaves the private placement of equity as the only solution that could save the company.”

    Depending on what people think of their ability to borrow more money, they are buying or selling. Very little of this has to do with a single sale.

    • Captain Joyless says:

      In fact:

      http://netprnews.com/investors-alert-on-nasdaq-big-bulls-thqi-acur-iqnt-ocz/124783/

      “NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 30, 2012 — (Net PR News) — THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) stock’s volume on November, 29, 2012 was 1,386,300 shares, that was greater as compared to average volume of 375,186.00 shares. THQI showed a bullish movement of +37.96% and closed the trading day with the price of $1.49. THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) has signed a forbearance contract with Wells Fargo Capital Finance, LLC. Under the terms of the agreement, Wells Fargo has contracted to make extra loans to the company.”

      You guys aren’t market journalists. Stick to what you know.

      • Vaedresa says:

        THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) has signed a forbearance contract with Wells Fargo Capital Finance, LLC. Under the terms of the agreement, Wells Fargo has contracted to make extra loans to the company.

        There’s the fucker. I knew there was something more to this.

      • D3xter says:

        To be quite frank, you are wrong and RPS/GameIndustryBiz are right, they had announced that contract weeks ago and signed it days before the Humble Bundle: http://news.stockmarketvideo.com/thq-inc-thqi-signs-a-forbearance-contract-with-wells-fargo-capital-finance/17169/
        Which came out on the 29th, which is about the exact point the price went up: http://www.google.com/finance?cid=655998

        • Captain Joyless says:

          Lol, still heading down:

          http://community.nasdaq.com/News/2012-12/thq-drops-another-5-as-the-humble-bundle-tops-33-million.aspx?storyid=195143

          The Humble Bundle had absolutely nothing to do with the stock price going up. The huge increase was because Wells Fargo agreed to loan the company more money, keeping it in business.

          Go read the 10-Qs and let me know what you think.

          Oh, wait, you don’t know what a SEC form 10-Q is, do you?

          • Phantoon says:

            Even if you are in fact right, your tone makes me reactively disagree with you.

            Because of the context, not the actual facts which I cannot be bothered to look up, I think you are wrong. This is pure psychology and does not reflect if you are right or wrong, only that I think your distasteful ways of communicating must mean you are wrong. This is logically fallible, and I know it, but I cannot foresee where dealing with such a hostile person could be to my benefit even if they happen to know what they are talking about.

            Consider how you sound when read next time.

        • Captain Joyless says:

          The thing you don’t realize is that agreeing is not signing. Shares go up with things actually happen, and there was a modest boost on the announcement. The real boost was when the forbearance was actually signed.

    • Vaedresa says:

      I was thinking it’d be a little strange for investors to see such a blatant money-grab as anything but negative.

      • lizzardborn says:

        This is not a money grab – this is awesome promotion of your upcoming titles, not only for free, but by the community throwing money your way.

        It was a brilliant move, that got the whole industry press talking. For free, with positive coverage.

      • DClark says:

        I don’t see it as a blatant money grab, I see this as THQ saying to their potential customers ‘Here are the franchises we’re proud of – if you give us money for them we can survive, if you don’t we won’t.’ It’s the classic vote with your wallet and it’s not only earned them millions in cash that will be extremely useful to them right now (thanks to their recent missteps like the uDraw GameTablet – they took a bath on that one) but shows potential investors that their paying audience will buy their franchises.

        I gave the bundle ten bucks even though I already own Metro 2033 and Saint’s Row 3, the two games in the bundle that interest me. I did it because I don’t want to see those franchises in the hands of a publisher like Ubisoft, EA, or Activision.

    • Unaco says:

      “Jump in its share price? Alec, what the hell are you talking about?”

      I think he’s talking about the jump in THQ’s share price of just shy of 40%. It’s in the GI.biz link Alec has posted.

        • Unaco says:

          That link doesn’t say anything about the THQ share price NOT jumping by 40%. Are you sure that was the link you meant to post?

          • Radwulf says:

            A dead cat bounce is where things temporarily improve before worsening again soon after. He’s saying that it may well have improved but it won’t last for long.

          • Unaco says:

            So what? Does it change the jump in the share price? No.

        • KevinLew says:

          The term “dead cat bounce” is just something that stock analysts use to explain brief rises in stock shares before the stock continues its downward trend. This can be caused by a few things, such as idiots short-selling the stock thinking that they can make fast money on a failing company. As an aside, selling short is exactly how many investors (day traders, in particular) lose everything that they own.

          The important thing here is that the term is used after the fact, so to use it before it’s happened is the same as yelling that you’re a lottery winner before the numbers are called. I seriously doubt that a dead cat bounce will explain a 40% increase in a stock price anyway. My guess is that it’s investor expectation that THQ will be bought out or merged with another company for their IPs.

      • Captain Joyless says:

        No, he’s talking about it being BECAUSE of the Humble Bundle. The evidence just doesn’t support that.

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:

      They jumped up 40% but it was at 1.07 a stock initially, so that changes fuck all

  12. Jams O'Donnell says:

    To me the main draw of Humble Bundle is the charity aspect, not the indie aspect. It’s always made the Humble Bundles seem friendlier than their myriad competitors, and while being DRM-free and largely cross-platform is laudable I have wondered if that is limiting their options somewhat.

    I don’t have any problem at all with a non-indie Humble Bundle. If other publishers want to go Humble, I’m all for it.

  13. Gurrah says:

    I know the humble bundle and it’s offspring are all built around the pay-what-you-want model, but I find the 5.64 average appaling. We’re talking about really great AAA-titles here and people are really paying so low a price that the average is not in double figures. I’m glad it helps THQ out a bit because they are amongst my favourite publishers but I still can’t get to grips with how cheap people are.

    • malkav11 says:

      I don’t know about anyone else, but I already own literally every title in the bundle. I was paying enough to get a Steam key for Company of Heroes and an extra copy of Saints Row 3 in case I ever find someone to play it coop with me. I think slightly under $6 is perfectly fair for that.

      • The Random One says:

        You can’t get extra copies of games you already own, though.

        • pyroj says:

          I have from two separate bundles now. one of which was torchlight.

    • Randomer says:

      Really? These are games that I have basically no interest in (apart from a very slight inclination towards Darksiders) and would never buy apart from a huge promotion like this. It’s not like we are talking about amazing indie games here. I only bought in (at ~ average price) in hopes that the soundtracks might be worthwhile. The Darksiders one seems fine so far. Haven’t listened to the rest yet.

      They got money from me that they would never have gotten otherwise for games I will never play. Given the circumstances, it’s a little frustrating to be called cheap.

    • LostInDaJungle says:

      I already own Saints Row 3, and to be honest, the other games were ones I hadn’t heard of or thought about in ages. I gave $6, all to THQ, and spent the weekend playing Far Cry 3.

      “I still can’t get to grips with how cheap people are.” – When in many cases this was an opportunity for folks to give money to THQ.

      Look at the games in this bundle and ask yourself… Would THQ have done 3 Million in sales on these titles any other way? People were really beating down the door for Metro 2033? Conservative estimates would assume that around half a million people picked this up over one weekend. That’s better than Metro’s launch month. Darksiders has only moved 1 Million units in total. Sales for Darksiders 2 were underwhelming. I’ve already passed on Company of Heroes at $10 a number of times with Steam sales.

      I think people who were going to pay more than $5 for any of these games have already done so. The folks who wouldn’t? They’re now introduced to these series and their upcoming sequels. Considering how poorly games like Metro 2033 were marketed, this might just be the best thing for THQ.

      http://www.vgchartz.com/company/1685/thq/

      It’s a shame that 2 of their biggest games ever were “Rugrats” games. And WWE Smackdown fills out the rest of the top 10.

      They’ve monetized properties that were for all intents and purposes dead. But I guess we’re bad people for being so cheap. It’s not THQ’s fault for stumbling and bumbling to the point where they NEEDED my $6 worth of charity. It’s my fault for not buying the “Penthouse Pack” DLC at full price.

      • MrLebanon says:

        I would pay 60 dollars for a WWE smackdown game made for current gen PCs

        if not WWE then something wrestling… and yes I’ve seen that kickstarter for that wrestling game… BUT THQ DOES IT SO GOOD

      • Wolfoz says:

        I’m not sure the figures in there are correct. Only 20,000 copies of each Dawn of War release sold since launch? Doesn’t that seem a bit low?

    • sinister agent says:

      People paying what they’re willing to pay instead of arbitrary numbers plucked out of the air by multi-million dollar companies with no concept of normal life budgeting. Madness.

    • elderman says:

      The pay want you want model asks faces you with an ethical dilemma, if you choose to see it. I think it’s interesting how different people respond to it in their own ways.

      I choose how much to pay for a Humble Bundle based on how many games there are, how many of those I want to play, my current bank balance, and how shame-faced I feel looking at the number I come up with after taking all factors into account. I had to take the Linux platform average as an absolute minimum once.

      We all have different circumstances, of course, different levels of desire, different irrational boundaries, different understandings of what pay-what-you-want means. And the Humble folks keep on putting out bundles, so I guess the model works for them. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, though, if there’s a little moral pressure to really pay what you think the games are worth, not just what you can get them for.

  14. Eclipse says:

    it’s Jason Rubin, not Brian Farrell

    • Unaco says:

      What is Jason Rubin and not Brian Farrell? I’m looking at the Humble page just now, and Brian Farrell paid $1,650, and Jason Rubin paid $1,050… so the numbers in the article are right. But it was Jason Rubin that tweeted his donation was 100% charity. I don’t think Brian Farrell has a twitter.

  15. jealouspirate says:

    Why should pay-what-you want bundles only be for indie games? I don’t understand how anyone could be angry about being offered such a good deal.

    • lizzardborn says:

      You don’t get the mind of the hipster gamer. Something is valuable only if it is successful just enough. Before it was cool.

      • mondomau says:

        Going by one of the hilarious reddit threads, it’s the lack of cross-platform support and the DRM (steam) that has most neckbeards up in arms. Pleasantly surprised to see none of that in this thread actually.

        • El_Emmental says:

          That’s because RPS usually have people expressing their thoughts more calmly :)

          And because the topic was already discussed (6 pages) in the previous news about the Humble THQ Bundle : http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/11/30/wait-what-the-humble-thq-bundle/#comments

        • f1x says:

          Yeah you are never free of angry people
          but population on RPS is usually more calm, thats why we keep coming back ;)

        • Malibu Stacey says:

          Give it time.

          The anti-DRM crowd & pro-Linux crowds probably haven’t woke up yet.

          • cpt_freakout says:

            …what? Where? Oh – *clears throat* – Steam??? THOSE ROBBER BARONS

          • The Random One says:

            I’ll never understand how the pro-Linux crowd is shoehorned into the same box as people who defend things like no DRM, which, while important, are much more nebulous than ‘it sure would be nice if I could run this game on the machine that I own’. I would think PC gamers would be very well acquainted with that concept.

  16. uh20 says:

    although its sad to not see my linux support in this bundle, or the lack of the word indie…

    I guess i will let it slide, besides, they already promised they “wont stop having those bundles” and that they may actually be able to pull off a third of such before the end of the year.

    thq just narrowly avoided going bankrupt this year, cant say thats as innocent than a indie developer, but hey, its helping a bit.

  17. Rian Snuff says:

    I gave them the little money I had. Will be enjoying Company Of Heros all over again.
    Red Fractions actually looks pretty awesome, never played it before. Co-op should be grand.
    Metro 2033, well I’m hoping I’ll get a giftable copy for a friend since I had it, had to submit a ticket.

    Joy! I hope this will save their asses.

  18. goettel says:

    Some euro’s went to charity. Some to THQ/bandwidth.

    I got some games (loving CoH so far).

    Before that: no charity, no tip, no games.
    I felt good about the change, and have moved on with my life since.

    • MrLebanon says:

      if you’re loving COH check out blitzkreig mod… you’ll love it x2 :)

      • goettel says:

        Thanks !

        Incidentally, I’m actually trying to fill the gap left by the 2003 Blitzkrieg game, which I loved.

  19. derbefrier says:

    A big publisher wants to sell a bunch of thier best games for cheap and for charity and your questioning the ethics of this? Are you fucking kidding me? You would have to be the world’s beiggest idiot to think there is anything even remotely unethical about this. sometimes I hate calling myself a pc gamer when I see you all act like this its all so petty and immature. We should be thanking THQ and the humble guys for this wonderful opportunity not being so goddamn insulting as to question thier motives and ethics.

  20. wisnoskij says:

    40% stock price boost because they are going to make enough money to publish 1/10 of a game?

    • sinister agent says:

      If my company earned three million in a few days without even doing anything, I would probably consider it a very positive sign, too.

    • X_kot says:

      The cold, calculating capitalist in me says that this is a positive sign for a potential corporate buyout: the bundle sales show that there is still interest in those franchises, thus supporting a higher valuation of the company. There’s a better chance that more Darksiders et al. will be made in the future, just not by THQ (as it stands today).

      • Brun says:

        This. After years of rather questionable management decisions, someone near the top of THQ has finally done something smart in creating this bundle – not because it will save the company (I don’t think ANYTHING could do that at this point) but because it will probably double the company’s perceived value to anyone that may be interested in buying it out.

  21. Kohlrabi says:

    It’s a bit sad that the average people paid is (at this time of writing) only $5.63. Any single of these games is worth that amount of money. Hell, you even get the best current RTS and all expansions.

    • LostInDaJungle says:

      Isn’t value relative? Most of these games have seen huge Steam Discounts, if you didn’t but CoH for $10 before, then it’s not really worth $10 to you, is it? I know I convinced a friend to pick up SR3 for $8 over the summer.

      You can say any of these games are worth more, but simple supply and demand shows that 500,000 people thought this was the right price point for these games at this time.

    • uh20 says:

      theres a lot of hotshot mac/linux users that boost the average price up to about 7-8 dollers, were desperate for games, so when we get the chance to throw money at people, we damn well do.

      since this is a windows-only bundle, the average will just stay down to its normal $5-6 per.

  22. TsunamiWombat says:

    At this point isn’t giving THQ money the equivilant of giving alms to the poor anyway?

  23. kalirion says:

    Much has been made of THQ bossman Brian Farrell giving $1650 to the Bundle, but he’s since claimed that 100% of his pledge went to charity rather than his company’s coffers.

    If he did it early enough, it must have made a humongous boost to the average price….

  24. SirKicksalot says:

    Past humble bundles featured games published by EA (Shank), Warner (Bastion) and Paradox (the Penumbra series). Games from other, lesser publishers were featured too.

  25. EdHardy says:

    I did a video on the bundle and the practices being put forth check it out

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg92xXNkZCU

    Anyway I think that THQ is a good publisher and deserves support just as any good developers do so I don’t mind this bundle

  26. Jimbo says:

    In layman’s terms, THQ went from being worth almost nothing to being worth a teeeensy bit further away from -but still very close to- nothing.

  27. DrazharLn says:

    I think that insisting that all games released in bundles were DRM free and cross platform were two of the most laudable and progressive things that the Humble Bundle has done for the gaming industry and I’m disappointed that HiB seem to think that those qualities are optional.

    It would have been nice if THQ had made some kind of commitment to those principles for their future titles, at least.

    ~ A gamer who happens to use a GNU/Linux OS.

  28. Alexrd says:

    Again, if they had release them DRM-free, I would buy the bundle for a good amount of money. They didn’t, and as such they get nothing from my wallet.

  29. Felixader says:

    For German Gamers: You can’t get Saints Row Three. I men i don’t regret paying more than the average sum anyway, since it is THQ and i don’t want them to fall and die. But i thought it would be good to mention since the Humble THQ Bundle doesn’t do it itslef.

    There is a reason that as an German Gamer i more or less NEVER buy really big Games on Steam.