(Edit 12/5/2015: Check out my update post titled “Humble Monthly Gets Better”)
Since 2010 Humble Bundle has been providing PC video game bundles for whatever gamers offer to contribute to its various charities.
Want to donate $1? Great, have Insurgency, Men of War: Assault Squad and Abyss Odyssey. Want to donate $10? Here are those same games plus Blackguards 1 & 2, Contagion, Citizens of Earth, Euro Truck Simulator 2 and four other titles.
Seriously, that’s the current bundle terms they’re offering right now. All the funds raised by the bundle, minus sales tax and a few other unavoidable small fees, go to any charitable organization you designate or gets split between whichever charities Humble Bundle is currently supporting.
For years they’ve been refining their service by offering weekly bundles, book bundles that give donators popular digital reading material, mobile bundles that feature Android and iOS games, and even their own store that offers a variety of gaming titles.
What is Humble Monthly?
Humble Monthly is their newest service. Essentially it’s a Loot Crate for PC games. Anyone who subscribes to the service for $12/month will receive a customized surprise bundle of PC games on the first Friday of each month. As with their other bundles, all games are redeemable through provided Steam keys and many are even made available as direct downloads.
Today the first Humble Monthly bundle was released, which begs the question – is it worth it?
The bundle came with 7 games:
- Legend of Grimrock 2 ($23.99)
- Valkyria Chronicles ($19.99)
- Saints Row IV ($14.99)
- Towerfall Ascension ($14.99)
- Lethal League ($13.99)
- SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition ($7.99)
- Besiege ($7.99)
Current Steam Price: $104
Monetary-wise, compared to Steam, Humble Monthly is well worth $12. It’s even worth it if you take into account the cost of third-party key sellers, which were offering each game for $3 to $7 before the bundle was released.
However, compared to the $266 worth of games you can get for $9 from the current Humble Jumbo Bundle 5, it’s hardly company’s best offer. Even the current Weekly Bundle that offers $85 worth of games for $9 is statistically better, considering many of its items were exclusive DLC additions to popular games like Trove, which don’t have an official value and weren’t included in the calculated price point.
Why should someone subscribe to Humble Monthly if they can get better bundle offers each month that are up front about the games they provide?
An argument could be made for the quality of games. Upon unlocking, the monthly bundle was quick to point out the overwhelmingly positive reviews each of the seven games have received on Steam – praise that many of the titles in other offers can’t attest to. Does that really make up for the overall price difference though?
The monthly bundle undoubtedly dipped into a much more popular pool for its selection, but in doing so it raised the chances that the bundle will offer people games they already own and/or have played.
I know what you’re thinking, “That’s not a problem. I’ll just sell the keys for games I already own and/or don’t want.”
That’d be a good idea if the key price for these games didn’t plummet to $2 or less the second the bundle was released due to immense market oversaturation. Right now you can get keys for any of these titles incredibly cheap on sites like G2A. It’s financially smarter to simply grab the keys you want as soon as the bundle comes out.
This issue is compounded by the fact that Humble Monthly’s most valuable, and arguably best, offer was Legend of Grimrock 2 – the game it gave subscribers early as a thank you present. If this bundle offer is a picture of things to come, will the next offer be less one game because it’s no longer the first?
On top of it all, Humble Monthly gives only 5% of its proceeds to charity. This doesn’t make a lot of sense considering every other bundle offer gives everything it receives.
Is Humble Monthly Ultimately Worth It?
Technically yes, but with a few serious caveats. It’s not worthwhile if you:
- Already have a large collection of popular titles.
- Aren’t a highly eclectic gamer.
- Are mostly concerned with your money going to charity.
Essentially, if you don’t have a lot of games and have enough extra money lying around after exhausting Humble Bundle’s other offers, then Humble Monthly might be for you. Otherwise it’s a bad bet.