Distressed publisher turns to indie pay-what-you-want platform, makes $1m in five hours

THQ teams up with Humble Bundle

THQ has launched a package deal on the Humble Bundle website offering seven games on the platform’s pay-what-you-want scheme.

The publisher, once one of the strongest trading public companies in industry history, is facing technical default and is in desperate need of capital after years of serious setbacks.

Though THQ said it would be pursuing every available option, no one thought this is what they meant.

The bid for help from a major publisher may be the proudest moment yet for the bundle, which started as a vehicle to get more attention and cash to deserving indie developers.

The THQ package includes Metro 2033, Darksiders, Red Faction Armageddon, Company of Heroes, CoH: Opposing Fronts, and CoH: Tales of Valor.

Those who pay more than the average will recieve Saint’s Row The Third.

In just five hours the bundle raised over $1 million, with most of 14 days remaining on the campaign.

While this is a stunning and unexpected stroke from THQ and the Humble Bundle alike, many fans – particularly linux and Mac users – are upset that this is the second offering in recent weeks to cut them out of the fun.

Every bundle aside from the recent Double Fine Amnesia Fortnight event (still under way) and this THQ deal has offered Mac and Linux versions in addition to Windows.

Some customers see this and the lack of a download option aside from Steam for THQ’s products as a betrayal of the principles that made the Humble Bundle a beacon of hope for open source and free software buffs.

While a degree of skepticism is certainly healthy, for most of the industry this is yet another fascinating experiment for the Humble Bundle and the new economics of the games industry.

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