Huge bundles of games on the itch.io store are frequently used as a means of raising money for charitable causes. Typically, they let you set your own price (above an extremely reasonable minimum), and the proceeds go to various charities and organizations. The new Queer Games Bundle is a little different. Each purchase costs $60, and the money goes directly to the LGBTQ developers who made the more than 500 games that are included. As of this writing, the bundle has made over $17,000. Whether you’re interested in visual novels, a card game about mech pilots, or even want to read a guide on how to make your own video game, this bundle’s got it all.
According to the itch.io page, the proceeds will go to all of the developers who contributed to the bundle. Hence the AAA price tag, though again, for the price of one full-price AAA game, you’re getting a whopping 500 handcrafted works here. The organizers hope that the proceeds will “nurture our diverse queer arts community, [and] fund the creation of the next great game you love.” The bundle also offers a sliding scale option that starts at $10 for those who can’t afford to pay $60. The proceeds will be evenly split between all developers who opted-in to receive a portion of the sales, regardless of how many games they contributed.
It’s clear that initiatives like this can have an impact in cultivating the development of queer and independent games. BáiYù was the lead developer for the micro visual novel Weltschmerz and a programmer on the psychological horror game Up All Night, both of which are included in the bundle. He told Kotaku that it was the sales from last year’s Queer Games Bundle that supported him through the development of Weltschmerz. And so far, this bundle’s sales are outpacing the previous year’s:
Kaiju Noir, another game included in the bundle, is a “pulp fiction” visual novel about giant monster detectives. The developer Kaiju submitted the game demo to last year’s collection after finding out about it through Discord. They told Kotaku that it felt “right” to include the full game in the Queer Games Bundle this year. Both BáiYù and Kaiju found out about the bundle through word-of-mouth, and they plan to use their platforms to grow the project.
You can buy the bundle until July 5.