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THQ, Others Offer Free Game Downloads For Charity Promotion

Game publishers THQ, Encore and inXile are teaming up to offer five casual PC titles as free downloads, in order to attract attention and donations that will go towards care packages for members of the U.S. military.
Game publishers THQ, Encore and inXile are teaming up to offer five casual PC titles as free downloads, in order to attract attention and donations that will go towards care packages for members of the U.S. military. Game-based charity group Goodplay is offering free downloads of Encore's Hoyle Crosswords & Sudoku and Bicycle Texas Hold 'Em, THQ/ValuSoft's 18 Wheels of Steel Extreme Trucker and Hunting Unlimited 2011, and inXile's Line Rider 2 Unbound in an effort to draw optional donations to Operation Gratitude, which sends 100,000 care packages to troops each year. The FreePlay download site, which debuted early Friday morning and will remain up through October 24, has attracted 444 downloads as of this writing early Friday afternoon. The top donation currently stands at $500, and the group estimates it will be able to send one care package for each $15 raised. The highly successful line of pay-what-you-want Humble Indie Bundle game packages also allows for optional donations, raising millions for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Penny Arcade's Child's Play charity over the years. Since 2005, the ESA has raised millions for its own charity efforts through an annual "Charity Game Pack" of retail releases donated by various publishers. Goodplay says it plans more such partnerships with existing charities in the coming months.

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