Pandora For Pennies: Humble Borderlands Bundle

‘Humble’ is not a word I would rush to associate with Borderlands, given the chest-thumping, max-volume mania of 2 and the recent Pre-Sequel, but in this instance it means you can lay hands on the bulk of Gearbox’s FPS/RPG series for few-pennies.

Paying what you want – i.e. anything from $1 and upwards – gets you Steam keys for Borderlands 1 and its purportedly much-improved DLC. You’ll have to beat the average price – currently around $6 – to get Borderlands 2 however, but that gets you three of its nine DLC packs plus, confusingly, a coupon for $75% off third game Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (which would bring that game’s price down to around $15).

Pay $15 or more and you get the rest of the BL2 DLC and 25% off merchandise from the 2K store. More thingers are due to be announced on the 30th, and the bundle becomes an ex-bundle on Tuesday July 7th.

As always, you can split your financial vote to apportion money wherever you prefer, in this instance between 2K Games, The Videogame History Museum and Humble themselves.

I don’t particularly enjoy the Borderlands games because I like a quiet life, but don’t let my old man curmudgeonliness bother you, eh?


  1. kalirion says:

    “Pay $15 or more and you get the rest of the BL2 DLC”.

    Wrong, there’s still plenty BL2 DLC missing from the bundle. Some of it will probably be added next wee to the Beat The Average tier (most likely Headhunter 1-4). But all the cosmetic DLC? who knows.

    • Damien Stark says:

      This is a really infuriating new trend.

      It used to be you waited for the “GOTY edition” or “Complete edition” or whatever, and that was all the DLC. Now I’m starting to see several games, from several different devs/publishers, with a strategy like:
      1. Release 20 bits of DLC
      2. Put the bundle/GOTY on sale with 16 of those.
      3. Completionists feel compelled to buy the other 4 at regular price

      I know those last few bits are probably cosmetic crap I won’t even use anyway, but it really irritates me as a practice.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I also like to wait for the GOTY edition so that I can get all of the content at once, at a very low price on a sale of course. Borderlands is one of the earliest and most well-known offenders of not putting everything in their GOTY editions (or season passes for that matter). Since most of are just cosmetic, I don’t care about that since I can just download a mod for that. If there are no mods, then I’ll sure as hell won’t support their anti-mod mentality, so either way I won’t pay for it. Not including bigger DLC’s in the GOTY is different, because that can add more hours of actual gameplay.

        I bought it for 5,82 dollars when the beat-the-average-price was at 5,81 dollars, hehe. Serves them right for their “not in the GOTY edition or season pass” shenanigans.

  2. jrodman says:

    What’s the DRM story with this bundle and Borderlands in general?

    • jrodman says:

      Mild digging suggest they all use and require steamworks & steam DRM.

      • Koozer says:

        Just to confirm It gives you Steam codes only.

      • jrodman says:

        Humble bundle. Both DRM-only & windows-only.
        I used to respect this site more.

        • orionite says:

          This site? Come one, just because you dislike steam, RPS should not report on deals for popular games? If you mean Humble, they’ve given out steam keys for a long time now.

          I think it’s time for you to welcome our new Valve overlords!

          • jrodman says:

            Humble bundle. That was the context.

          • skittles says:

            In the case of Borderlands you get the Steam key giving you PC, Mac and Linux versions. Should you expect more?

            I don’t see why you should stop respecting them. They still offer the same stuff they did all along, now they just offer more. Just take a look at the Eye Candy 3 bundle. They offer everything available when they can, and when they can’t, they simply offer everything they can. Personally I think it is great, the fact that they have managed to convince the big publishers to come on board. And expecting there to be DRM-free versions for Humble, when they simply don’t exist is silly.

          • skittles says:

            To clarify for the ORIGINAL borderlands is PC only. Borderlands 2 is PC, Mac, Linux. Nothing Humble can do about that.

          • frenchy2k1 says:

            The Humble Indie Bundles are still multi platform and DRM-free.
            However, humble has multiplied the types of bundles and partnership they do.
            They still do the same indie bundles, at about the same rate, but now, instead of doing nothing in between, they have added more deals.
            Not all deals will please all people.
            Enjoy the ones you like, ignore the rest…

        • Shadow says:

          I’m not even sure there’s non-Steam versions of any Borderlands game.

          Tangential comment: it’s become progressively hard to understand anti-Steam sentiments. If it were a fringe thing like Origin or UPlay, I’d understand, but Steam has become so widespread most people inevitably end up with a bunch of Steam games. And suddenly, having it running doesn’t seem like such an inconvenience.

          • Emeraude says:

            Well, if anything, the anti-Steam sentiment should grow *because* the platform has become so ubiquitous, not in spite of it. If you’re against what Valve has been doing, being forced into the choice of a commercial relationship with the company or having to ignore a whole swath (I almost want to say the majority in volume) of the PC market certainly isn’t a satisfying outcome.

            I love how Valve always celebrates openness.. while being successful for creating and imposing a walled garden on a the PC platform.

          • Xocrates says:

            Let me tell you a story.

            Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 2: Retribution, launch day. I open up steam, decrypt my pre-installation, play a few missions, and take a break for lunch. Shortly thereafter, I return and find that I cannot launch the game, and apparently my installation has been re-crypted to the pre-launch status. I head to the steam forums to find out if I can figure what happened.

            The game had been un-launched on my country, with the release date pushed back for nearly a week.

            It appears that someone, somewhere, had screwed up, so despite the fact that Steam had that release date on the site for weeks, and the publisher itself having stated that to be the release date, the release was changed AFTER launch, and everyone that had been playing was locked out of the game.

            This only happened on a very small number of countries, with small gaming communities, so no one gave a fuck (including steam or the publishers, which I believe didn’t even bother giving a token apology) and the thing went completely unreported.

            But it made me very much aware of how much control Steam has over your games, including the power to take away your games, at any time, for any reason.

            I still primarily use Steam, because it’s just so damn convenient, and I have so many games that having them centralized is nice, but it does mean that if I manage to get a DRM free version along with the Steam key (via Humble, mostly) I very much prefer to do so.

            There are some perfectly valid reasons for the anti-steam sentiments, even for those that were never screwed up by it. DRM is DRM, so its always up to how much control you’re willing to relinquish in the name of convenience.

          • Shadow says:

            That Steam can theoretically “take away your games, at any time, for any reason” is primarily an exaggerated bogeyman used by some people to scare others away from the platform. But the truth is that Valve doesn’t exercise that kind of power on a whim. Those claims make it sound like Steam can be arbitrary and totalitarian, and randomly deprive people of their games library when Gabe’s having a bad day, when in reality cases of such happenings are virtually non-existent.

            It’s true that it’s sub-optimal that we’ve come to depend on this relationship with Valve, but so far it’s been quite benign to the overwhelming majority of users.

            On the whole, most anti-Steam sentiments are grounded on hypothetical nightmare scenarios which have never taken place and are highly unlikely to ever happen. If Valve were to become power-crazy for some reason, and start arbitrarily mistreating customers, Steam would come crashing down in flames and developers would break free of it to save their own profits and images. The platform’s success depends on its responsible management.

            Personally, beyond convenience, I can say I could’ve never afforded as many games as I have without Steam’s generous discounts. In the 3+ years I’ve been using it, I haven’t had a single significant hitch, so I can say its impact on my gaming has been overwhelmingly positive.

            Now, if you’ve been trenchantly anti-Steam in recent years, have somehow managed to only acquire a couple of Steam games and don’t really have friends who use the service, then yes, it’s probably as inconvenient as UPlay or Origin are. Seems like rather rare circumstances for a serious PC gamer, though.

          • Kollega says:

            Rule #1 for a wary consumer: never fully trust a de-facto monopolist, even if said monopolist depends entirely on the public goodwill to survive. The call of more money and power is often far too tempting for them to resist.
            Rule #2 for a wary consumer: please consult rule #1.

          • Xocrates says:

            @Shadow: Except the point of my story was that they HAVE done it. It was brief and temporary, sure, but it still means I and many others were punished for doing nothing wrong. At the very least it was a huge WTF moment.

          • jrodman says:

            1 – I didn’t express annoyance with Steam. I expressed annoyance with Steamworks DRM.
            2 – Sure, currently there’s only windows + steam borderlands. In the *past*, humblebundle would contract to get the games on Linux for their bundles.

          • jrodman says:

            As for your dismissal of DRM preventing the functioning of games as never going to happen, you are wrong. The only question is when it will happen.

          • Shadow says:

            jrodman, as for the bundle, I meant that I’m not sure non-Steam versions of the Borderlands games exist outside the bundle.

            As for DRM taking away your games -forever- (because that’s what the bogeyman implies, and why I dismissed Xocrates’ story), I’m not going to talk in absolutes because I can’t predict the future, but I’d say it’s highly unlikely. There’s no precedent for it and, on the contrary, there’s examples of games who got their DRMs patched out over time, presumably when said DRM became unsustainable for the developer. Other than a few multiplayer-only games perhaps, there’s no (significant?) cases of games who got killed en masse by DRM and remained irrevocably unplayable (except perhaps extreme cases of the notorious Starforce). To say this is certain to happen in the future is to be quite the doomsayer: I don’t find it a realistic scenario at all.

            As for trusting a defacto monopolist, this isn’t really about trust. On the one hand there’s no choice in many cases, it’s either get it on Steam or don’t get it at all (legally speaking). And on the other hand, there’s little reason to believe Gabe will wake up one morning and decide to set the PC gaming world on fire, risking his entire business to boot. Sometimes these sentiments get to the point I can compare them with those of some American rednecks, who are certain the government will go fascist one day and come to get them for whatever reason.

          • Kollega says:

            I don’t know about you, Shadow, but for me personally the anti-Steam sentiment that hinges on the possibility of our games being taken away and us not being able to do anything about it (except pirate them, of course) is less “OMG the Federal Government is coming to take our guns!” and more “OMG the Central Committee is coming to take our property!”. The latter actually happened, albeit not in a capitalist system. And just because Valve have nothing to gain and everything to lose from mass seizures of games, it doesn’t mean they will not abuse that power in any way.

          • datom says:


            There absolutely are precedents. JManga, Yahoo Store music, OnLive, MSN Music …. When the store goes, so does your ability to access the material you bought a license for.

            Equally, there are examples of Steam no longer working on OS that you could originally buy the games from (used to work on OSX 10.5, now needs 10.6.8).

            And this isn’t a bogeyman, it’s a simple balance of probabilities: one day, Steam will change ownership, either internally or by being purchased by someone. At that point, someone else will be renting you out the licenses you own. And what if they aren’t so benevolent?

          • jrodman says:

            Shadow: your argument is one of ignorance. You can’t imagine that Steam will ever shut down. it will. It is not immortal.

            Whether the fact that the Steam service will not last forever represents a practical concern to you is irrelevant to the fact that it cannot remain intact eternally. It’s a very real risk that you are choosing not to care about for whatever reason.

          • jmtd says:

            Blands 1 certainly had a GFWL version, but I have no idea whether it still works.

        • baozi says:

          For a while, what the Humble Store stood for me was DRM-free version + Steam key, so quite nice. Now a lot of the games are just Steam.

          They took so long to even add individual pages for games.

          GOG’s premise is much clearer, and their client is as one should be: optional and with useful tagging and filtering capabilities, much better than those of Steam.

          • baozi says:

            (Talking about the Humble Store here, not the Bundles, of course the pay what you want bundles are the most distinctive thing about the Humble site)

          • Kollega says:

            Actually, to be a pedant, the Humble Bundle folks haven’t really stopped giving out DRM-free versions because they changed their DRM policy. They stopped giving out DRM-free versions because they changed their policy on which games they sell. It’s easy to give out DRM-free versions of indie titles, but when you’re selling AAA games, many of them will come with Steamworks as the core of not only their DRM, but also their multiplayer functionality, so they can’t really toss that out for the sake of a DRM-free bundle even in the hypothetical scenario that they wanted to.

          • baozi says:

            Yes, of course. I was just saying that my perception of what the store is about shifted; I don’t really care about yet another Steam reseller, and IMHO it’s just muddling things up. But they do sometimes still have DRM-free versions that GOG doesn’t have, so good on them.

  3. silentdan says:

    I realize Tales From the Borderlands isn’t in here, but if it were, I would recommend the bundle on the strength of that title alone. Not everyone likes Telltale games, but for those who do, this is one of their best. The story is told in flashback by two rival unreliable narrators, who sometimes contradict each other’s version of events. I’m having a really great time with it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Risingson says:

      “Telltale games” as the ones they have been doing since The Walking Dead, I suppose. Only the most recent ones.

  4. FCA says:

    Annoyingly, I seem unable to buy this, because my (American) credit cards are refused, probably because I am trying to buy from a German IP. Also, if I somehow buy via some approved way, I get a censored version, which may or may not keep on working outside Germany, may or may not be compatible with DLC, and may or may not be totally in German (which I don’t speak too well). Stupid censorship laws in this country, oppressing non-citizens…
    It’s even worse for some games. Apparently, even a foreign-bought Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition (which is not sold on the German Steam store, not even a censored version), cannot be activated or played if your IP is too German….

    • jrodman says:

      Not to deny the stupidity/annoyance of all of this, but can this be defeated with a VPN or is it more insidious than that?

    • Nixitur says:

      True, the first Borderlands was released as a censored version in Germany, but the second one is completely uncensored.
      And I’m pretty sure you get the English voices with the game as well, at least with the second one. I’ve been playing it the last few weeks and the language is set to English, but I can change it from inside Steam via the game’s properties.
      Not if you’re from Russia or Eastern Europe, though. When the game was released, this caused quite an outcry because not only could you not change the game’s language from Russian, but they also released the Russian version in countries where Russian is not even an official language, meaning that a lot of players were literally unable to understand the game. No clue if they fixed that, but I got the full version here in Germany.
      Also, the country where the credit card is from should not really be a problem. Contact Humble support, they’re usually very helpful. It might just be a bug in the system that they could fix.

      • Kollega says:

        And you know the funniest part? The Russian-language version’s co-op was entirely incompatible with that of the main version’s. When the co-op is pretty much the whole point of Borderlands. This was eventually pulled, and the customers who got the crappy Russian version also got the rest-of-world version so that they could play with others, but by then I personally have already bought said rest-of-world version from a third-party seller, at a higher markup even, since I didn’t hope the publisher would bother with the proper service for the “unwashed Bolshevist masses” (so to speak). And now I can’t even buy the stupid DLCs for it because I don’t have the local version in my Steam library, and had to ask friends to gift me the season pass for the four main ones. So thanks, 2K.

    • slight says:

      The credit card thing is most likely because of the new EU VAT legislation. Sellers of “electronic services” (which games shouldn’t really come under by my understanding but I’m not an accountant) have to verify whether the buyer is in the EU and provide two non-conflicting pieces of evidence for. 3 common pieces of evidence are the card issuer country, the cardholder address and the IP. If they only have the card issuer country (likely) and your IP then their system will probably be failing as it can’t collect enough information. I had a similar issue with a UK card (though registered to a Spanish address) and a Spanish IP.

  5. Xocrates says:

    Huh, seems like Claptrap’s Robot Revolution DLC for the first is not included, which is kind of odd.

    Maybe they’ll add it later, but it’s still a weird omission.

  6. Jalan says:

    Single keys for the tiers makes this all the more aggravating that they just didn’t put the GOTY editions in there. I guess there wouldn’t have been enough justification in calling it a “bundle” and I’m sure Gearbox was fine with them not reminding people of any other titles they’ve sold like DNF or anything like that.

    Anyway, a potentially good deal for people who don’t own the games already, were interested in either of them and may/may not have missed them on individual (and better) sales throughout the years. Also, just because I know the “but… charity” crowd is waiting in the wings to say it, a win for charity from those who always seem to need an excuse to be charitable and remind everyone of that fact.

    But if you fall outside of any of the above, then the bundle isn’t great and is a sign that maybe there shouldn’t have been a bundle to close out this month after the close of the big Steam sale and they should’ve opted for something more varied to open July up with instead.

  7. vlonk says:

    For someone who did not dip into Borderlands yet the “beat the average” + 15squid for the Presequel pricetag must be outrageous. You get 2 basegames with a vast amount of playtime to be expected and tons of additions on top for 6 $. Then you can add the third installment for a deep cut on the pricetag at a later time. If the baseprice of the presequel drops by then the better for you.

    So the bundle does not include every software on sale on these 2/3 products. So what? it is still an insane bargain offer easily dwarving the offers on sale that where in the recent steam sale. If I would have bought Borderlands 2 in that steam sale I would be mildly annoyed right now.