The EA Humble Bundle isn’t just a great deal for gamers, with multiple great titles being offered a reasonable price, it’s also a great gesture by EA itself. Most Humble Bundles send a percentage of profits to various charities and allow users to choose how much goes where, but with EA’s bundle each and every cent of revenue goes to charity. This is what makes the acts of eBay user jazz_singh.88 all the more problematic.
Because in this eBay auction Australian user jazz_singh.88 is selling the Origin keys from the games in the Humble Bundle to unknowing consumers for a flat $10 fee, presumably buying multiple copies of the bundle at close to the average asking price in the humble bundle (currently $4.82) and taking the profit for himself.
“For Sale is a huge origin bundle,” reads the auction. “This Offer is for a limited time only so get buying!!!”
The auction then goes on to list Battlefield 3, Medal Of Honor, Dead Space 3, Dead Space, Burnout Paradise, Crysis 2, Mirrors Edge and The Sims 3 as games available in this “Origin Bundle”.
The Humble Bundle is essentially a ‘pay what you want’ service. Consumers are able to go directly to the Humble Bundle site, pay what they want and receive all the games in the bundle. It’s a site that runs on good faith, and encourages users to pay more than the average payment to receive extra games. EA’s Humble Bundle was interesting specifically because EA is donating all of its revenue from the bundle to charity, which means that jazz_singh.88 is essentially taking money directly from these charities by attempting to make a profit on what is, essentially, a gesture of goodwill.
We sent off a direct email to jazz_singh.88 questioning his motives for the auction, but have yet to receive a response. One Kotaku reader, however, did manage to get a response earlier today and was told to “mind his own business” if he “wasn’t interested in buying”.
EA’s Humble Bundle has, at time of writing raised almost $7 million for charities such as the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. This auction is essentially taking potential funds directly from those charities.
We also contacted eBay Australia for an official response. We’ll update as soon as we hear back.
UPDATE: eBay has now removed the auction, and sent us the following statement.
The listing in question has been taken down because it was in breach of the Digitally Delivered Goods policy. The policy exists to protect both buyers and sellers as there is no way for eBay to track digital delivery of goods.
The resale of items purchased from charities is allowed on eBay. But we do reserve the right to make judgement calls about them – for example we would hope that our members would not knowingly divert funds away from charities, and we wouldn’t allow listings that somehow suggest that the item for sale is still of benefit to a charity. We have taken many of those types of listings down in the past and will continue to do so moving forward.