THQ Humble Bundle closes with $5m raised and share price up 30 per cent

THQ and the death of gaming's middle tier

THQ Humble Bundle closes with $5m raised

The THQ Humble Bundle, in which the struggling publisher offered up a slew of high-profile games in exchange for as much, or as little, as people wanted to pay, closed last night having raised over $5 million.

The promotion, which kicked off two weeks ago, let players pay what they want for Company Of Heroes and two expansions, Metro 2033, Darksiders and Red Faction: Armageddon. Those paying above the average also received Dawn Of War, Titan Quest and Saints Row: The Third.

A total of $5,097,474.23 was raised from almost 900,000 backers – though the list of top ten contributors reflects just how different this is to the usual Humble Indie Bundles, where Minecraft maker Notch and other monied indie luminaries battle for top spot.

Company president Jason Rubin tops the list with $10,000 paid – apparently he specified that his entire payment be given to charity – and is also at number seven, with a contribution of $1,050. Clearly, despite THQ’s troubles, he’s being well paid.

CEO Brian Farrell is there too, his $1,650 pledge putting him at number four. Two members of staff at middleware company Havok are in the top ten, as is Rad Game Tools, the maker of the Bink video middleware.

That $5 million is hardly going to rescue THQ overnight – it lost four times that much in its last financial quarter alone – but the promotion has proven that a market still exists for THQ’s games. Including Company Of Heroes and Metro 2033 was a smart move from the publisher given that sequels to both games are due in the first few months of next year.

It’s had a positive effect, too on the publisher’s share price. It’s not so long ago that THQ faced being delisted from Nasdaq after its stock spent too long below a dollar a share. But it rose 38 per cent overnight when the bundle launched, and ended yesterday’s trading at $1.40 a share, up 29.6 per cent on its pre-bundle price.