Game bundles have been around for a long time, but the offerings have really exploded in the last few years. This week's Humble Bundle is a perfect example of why these things are so popular: a group of games put together around a theme, so most or all of them will be appealing to the same target audience.
This month's bundle is all games from Firaxis, best known for the Civilization series. Unsurprisingly, the top tier game is the latest Civilization game, Beyond Earth (plus a map pack and discount on the Rising Tide DLC). Civilization III, IV, and V are in the lower tiers. Other Sid Meier games - Starships, Pirates!, and Ace Patrol - and the squad-based tactics game X-COM (with expansion) round out the bundle. (There may be more games added later...often the bundles expand as the window of availability moves along.)
Just about all of those games are relevant to my interests, which is why this particular bundle caught my eye. I already own several - all the Civilization games except Beyond Earth, the base X-COM game - but the rest of the bundle is plenty of content to be worth the $15 top tier price for me. I'd had my eye on the X-COM expansion and Starships for a while, but never pulled the trigger since my (virtual) stack of unplayed games is ridiculously high already. When a bundle comes along with those in it, though, that's an easier sell.
The genius of the bundle concept is that it sells games that I'd never have bothered to pick up otherwise. I played a little of Civilization: Beyond Earth during a weekend that Steam was offering free play, and thought it was a bit below average. Ace Patrol never really sounded all that interesting to me. But I've got them now, as part of the bundle, and so who knows - I might actually play them a little at some point. Maybe some person out there has yet to discover Civilization games but loved X-COM, and this bundle starts a whole new gaming obsession. Putting the games together gives them more exposure than just selling each individually.
Playing X-COM again with the latest expansion has moved near the top of my gaming TODO list, thanks to this bundle. Trying out Starships isn't far behind, and I may even take another shot at Beyond Earth at some point. And that's probably exactly what Firaxis was hoping for when they put their games in this bundle.