I’m putting this in a separate post because it’s long:
I wonder what’s in it for EA. You see, the reason pay-as-you-want bundles include a charity option is not because because they are just great and wonderful people. Putting in a charity option increases payment amounts so much that, even with the charity, they make more. For small indies with relatively cheap games, it can actually do better than selling the games directly, even.
If you have a pay-as-you-want system without a charity, people are more likely to view it solely in monetary terms and pay the minimum amount or close to it, because that’s the “best deal.” And people who do pay a higher price tend to feel bad at not getting that deal. But throw in a charity, and people are much more willing to pay above and beyond without feeling like they are being ripped off.
But if everything (besides the Humble Games cut) goes to charity, that system doesn’t work. If all the games were only on Origin, I’d think that was the reason–to get people to use Origin. But they aren’t. I also don’t think they are going the Deep Silver route and using it to prove that their games still have value. So all that’s left, from a business perspective at least, is trying to get good PR, which is a good idea for a company like EA that has a lot of bad experiences.
I’d love to believe they were doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, but experience has shown me otherwise in pretty much every example I can find. Businesses just don’t suddenly turn a new leaf, and EA is not known for being that charitable. They are known for going ahead with things that cause problems and gamers don’t want just because it is predicted to improve their bottom line.
Whatever the reason, I am glad they are doing it. Doing good things for the wrong reasons is still doing good. I just can’t help but wonder what those reasons are.