Bundle of Holding 2019 Year in Review – Bundle of Holding Blog

Received this in an e-mail from Bundle of Holding. I cut it down as much as possible, but it’s still long. You can view the full post at 2019: The Bundle year in review. It’s over 1,200 words with what I removed!

When they do a revival as opposed to a different version of a bundle, if you previously purchased the earlier bundle, they upgrade your bundle package for free with the new stuff depending on which package you chose. They tend to offer two bundle packages for each bundle – Basic Collection and Bonus Collection.  I go for the Bonus Collection most of the time as it’s a bit more expensive.

Figures, retrospectives, and a 2020 preview — and don’t forget our SEVEN* offers now in progress

*Two offers ended before I could get this posted and some end today.

Adventurer! You subscribed to this Bundle of Holding mailing list to receive news of our pay-what-you-want collections of tabletop roleplaying game .PDFs and RPG-related ebooks at http://bundleofholding.com — and, in this case, to get a retrospective on the year just past.


Though there’s no new offer this week, we wanted to mention (in case the hurly-burly of the holidays distracted you) we’re running seven (five) simultaneous offers right now, a Bundle of Holding record. Most of these end soon!



As an experiment, I’m posting here my “2019: The Bundle year in review” article from the Bundle of Holding blog, Beyond the Bundle.

When the Bundle debuted in February 2013, I never imagined I’d eventually prepare more than 420 time-limited offers comprising nearly 3,000 RPG ebooks. This floors me. In my whole life I’m not sure I’ve done anything 420 times that wasn’t strictly biological.

This month the site’s lifetime total sales surpassed 303,000 bundles, purchased by more than 59,000 customers. With three days left in 2019 as I write, you’ve bought 49,360 bundles this year, down about 7% from 52,922 in 2018. (2017: 51,600; 2016: 37,938; 2015: 37,789; 2014: 41,915.) As always, I thank all of you for your kind support. And a hearty callout to the many customers who buy dozens of offers — to the 194 customers who have bought 100 or more — to the 25 with 200+ — and especially to four longtime supporters who have, incredibly, bought more than 300 offers apiece. I wish you all a long life with enough free time to play all those games.

This year’s first-time contributors to Bundle offers included BTRC (EABA), Brutal Games (Corporation), Design Ministries (Fragged Empire), Intellistories (Seven Worlds), Outland Arts (The Mutant Epoch), Sanguine Games (Ironclaw/Jadeclaw), The Tékumel Foundation, Wonderland Imprints (Castle Oldskull), and others. They joined many returning publishers such as Alderac Entertainment, Arc Dream Publishing, Atlas Games, Bully Pulpit Games, Catalyst Games, Cubicle 7 Entertainment, The Design Mechanism, Evil Hat Productions, Far Future Enterprises, Gallant Knight Games, Goodman Games, Modiphius Entertainment, Mongoose Publishing, Onyx Path Publishing, Palladium Books, Pelgrane Press, R. Talsorian Games, and Ulisses Spiele. Since 2013 over 235 publishers have contributed, and I’m deeply grateful to them.

In “2018: The Bundle year in review” I projected 68 offers in 2019, “of which 50-51 are new and 17-18 are revivals of past successes.” I guessed low, because this year saw a record 75 offers. (2018: 69 offers; 2017: 67; 2016: 69; 2015: 53; 2014: 62.) I was half right, in that 17 were revivals — though one rerun deserves a footnote. In April, to mark the premiere of Season 8 of Game of Thrones on HBO, I presented a new offer of Green Ronin Publishing’s licensed Song of Ice and Fire RPG. Just five weeks later I revived that offer for a five-day encore, timed with the series finale. (I’d say both runs of the SIFRP bundle found more welcome with Thrones fans than did Season 8 itself.)


Charity in 2019

Leaving aside the four designer benefits I mentioned, ten percent of the revenue (after payment gateway fees) from each Bundle of Holding offer goes to an established charity. At this writing the Bundle’s 2019 charity earnings total nearly US$110,000; lifetime donations (counting those from seven offers in progress, which I’ll send in January) stand at $645K. Frequent beneficiaries this year included the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Ocean Conservancy, Rainforest Trust, and Vision Rescue.

For the three-day Bundle Birthday 2019 that marked the February 20 anniversary of the site’s launch, more than a thousand generous customers paid money for great RPGs that are free downloads elsewhere. Why? Because all proceeds ($3,665 after payment gateway fees) went to the RPG Creators Relief Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that assists tabletop RPG creators hit by medical emergencies, natural disasters, and other catastrophic situations.


Recently the Bundle of Holding has supported The DOTS RPG Project, a nonprofit founded in 2017 that makes roleplaying games accessible to visually impaired players and other people with disabilities. DOTS has created 3D-printable Braille polyedral dice and Fate dice models, transcribes rulebooks in Braille, and works with publishers to address screen-reader accessibility.

The mysterious mailing list

This announcement list is a puzzle. Its growth is weirdly burst-y.

  • July 2013 – Aug 2014: 7,000 subscribers in the first year, yay!
  • Aug 2104 – Aug 2016: Wait, only 2,000 more names in two years?! Wha’ hoppen?
  • Sept 2016 – July 2019: Some kind of network effect kicks in, or the planets realign, and suddenly ~500 new people join each month, +15,000 in three years, zoooom!
  • July 2019: The list reaches 24,500 addresses and then — stops. Or rather, it churns, with hundreds of subscribes and unsubscribes balancing in steady state.

In all that time I never changed anything. It’s just weird. But anyway, this mailing list remains your best way to learn about new offers, and I don’t sell, rent, or do anything else with your address. You might also follow the Bundle of Holding Facebook page and @BundleHolding Twitter feed. But really, the less time we all spend on social media in 2020, the better we’ll feel.

The year ahead

My 2020 vision for the Bundle site calls for, let’s see, about six dozen offers. In contrast to past years, many of these will be revivals of popular past bundles, including some that haven’t appeared for four or five years. For longtime mailing-list subscribers who might not want to hear about revivals, I plan to set up an option on your Account Settings page so you can choose to receive announcements of all offers, or of new offers only.

Every year I talk about introducing new bundle sites that appeal to different hobby communities. At last, after more than a year of work and huge expense, the site programmers have finally rewritten the codebase to enable these spinoffs. Next month I hope to launch a new site featuring collections of .PDF sewing, quilting, knitting, cosplay, and fabric arts patterns and ebooks. I’m told there’s a nonzero overlap between gamers and knitters, so if you know someone who might be interested, stay tuned and I’ll let you know when to start spreading the word.

(Your existing Bundle of Holding account login will work on all the spinoff sites too. And on your Account Settings page you’ll be able to subscribe to just the announcements for the sites that interest you.)

For America and the world it’s been a tough run of years, and in 2020 things will grow still worse on many fronts. I hope the Bundle of Holding, at least, can provide a bright spot. Again I thank you all for your interest and support.

(Previous year-in-review posts: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014)


About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's collaborateDealspotr.com
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