The Open Bundle

Six years later edit (April 21, 2019): Links to the bundle have been removed. They now lead to a page that seems dangerous. Additionally, I’m no longer convinced bundles are a good thing. That’s another story, though.


There are so many game bundles on the internet (thank you, Humble Bundle, for making this a trend) that The Open Bundle is easy to overlook. Its name is simple but not descriptive, and to be honest it doesn’t actually include any games. Instead, it has art, music, and code for making games. What really makes it special, though, is that it’s a grand experiment in leveraging crowdfunding to make releasing things under Creative Commons licensing viable for artists.

Enter The Open Bundle

The way the Open Bundle works is simple. Pay at least $10, get to use 6 artists’ assets for free under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. Purchasers can modify them, use them as-is, or whatever they want (commercial or non). The only stipulation is they must give credit to the original artist(s) somewhere in the work. If the funding campaign reaches its goal within the time allotted, the artists will release all of this material under a CC-BY license for anyone to use, whether they paid for it or not.

It’s a situation where potentially everyone can win and no one loses. The artists have already gotten quite a bit of money from those of us who have contributed to the project; we who have put money into the project now have access to some really great stuff to use; if another $1500 or so is raised in the next three days, these works enter the CC domain; and if it doesn’t get funded completely… well, those who weren’t interested in paying for this haven’t lost anything.

I think this is a fantastic idea. I would like to see it succeed to encourage others to do stuff like this in the future. If you have $10 to spare and any interest in making games or even just supporting a neat experiment in open stuff on the internet, why not at least give The Open Bundle a look?

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