Some Final Stats On The Humble Indie Bundle

from the slice-the-humble-pie dept

BigKeithO writes in with some more followup, including some more results numbers from the Humble Indie Bundle experiment that we’ve written about a few times, involving some indie developers bundling up a bunch of PC games in a “pay what you want” pricing scheme. The program went on for two weeks, bringing in a grand total of $1,273,588. $833,630.69 went to the developers (or $166,726.14 to each), while the EFF got $183,601.47 and Child’s Play got $188,578.04. I’m sure some will knock these numbers, suggesting that they’re significantly lower than what some big name EA game would get, but you have to remember that these games were a bit older and weren’t likely to get that many new purchases. On top of that, in two weeks, that’s a pretty good sum of money for some indie developers on older games.

The other interesting tidbit, as many noted, is that despite suggestions from some that the “open source” world are folks who “just want stuff for free,” the average amount paid by Linux users ($14.52) was significantly higher than those paid by Mac ($10.18) or Windows ($8.05) users. Obviously, averages are only so useful, given that they can be skewed by outliers (anyone got the medians? standard deviations?) but it’s still information worth pointing out. All in all, a very interesting experiment, with some great results for those who participated.

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Comments on “Some Final Stats On The Humble Indie Bundle”

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Anonymous Coward says:

In other independent video game news:

Independent games have a hard road to tread—little to no marketing budget, small teams, competition from huge, well-known names. That’s why it’s worth celebrating when a great game from a small developer becomes a hit. And Torchlight didn’t just sell in decent numbers, it sold in huge numbers for a game of this type: 500,000 copies to date.

That’s not just a hit in the world of independent gaming, that’s a hit in any corner of this business.

Anonymous Coward says:

lets see. windows users paid on average what, about $1 a game? what was the actual market price for these games? world of goo alone is a $20 retail price. so what this says is that people are on average willing to tip about 1/20 of the market price for a product. even if we assume every other product in the bundle was somehow free, they still paid less than half the asking price, even when it was at least in part “for a good cause”.

you would have to wonder how much they were paying for the products, and how much they were paying just because it was convenient to get them all in one shot, or “for a good cause” mentality.

another very inconclusive grey nothing in a sea of give it away and pray.

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re: Re:

You know what else proves that? Mobile phone app stores. Developers like Glu and Gameloft are providing full-featured, full-length 3D games the equivalent of what you would find on PSP for around $5-7. In fact, Gameloft’s Assassin’s Creed game is $4.99, and it is an EXPANDED version of what they released for the DS…for $30. I have a Palm Pre, and I know that iPhone users experience the same thing. A good mobile phone is now the best value for mobile gaming because games are selling at actual market prices, not artificially inflated prices. And clearly Gameloft is profitable at those prices because they keep pumping games out left and right.

Michael Whitetail says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Always taking the contrary opinion, without a reasoned, cited argument is *always* going to be considered trolling.

If you’d like to be taken seriously, try using an argument that doesn’t rely on whining emo angst. Maybe for the hell of it, throw in some credible research, argument, or anecdote or something other than “It isn’t how *I* would have done it, so it’s shit and means nothing” tirade and maybe you’ll actually contribute to the conversations around here.

Bottom line: you were trolling; you know it, we know, move on with you life.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

you can ignore the idiot that posted before you, it wasnt me. the question still stands: the world of goo people made approximately 1/20 of what they would make selling the product normally. what does that say about how the public values this stuff? are they still over priced at anything over $1 a copy?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

i got the $20 figure by going to the world of goo website and attempting to purchase directly from them. i felt that their website direct purchase should be the best price, because it has the lowest real overhead, no commissions, etc. so that $20 would be $20 less credit card processing to the company.

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

They made 1/20 per copy, but they attracted a TON of sales that they would not have had otherwise. It’s the same reason a store has a sale. Is Best Buy stupid if they offer 15% off appliances because they are making 15% less? No, because the sale adds volume.

In the case of World of Goo, the games are now 100% profit. They are all older games that have covered their development costs. The distribution is so close to free as to be insignificant. So, every sale was profitable. They gained a lot of new customers, and they attracted users, like myself, who have never even heard of them prior to this sale. How were they dumb again?

As far as how the public values stuff…it’s pretty clear. They value it far less than corporations want them to value it. Games are diversions, like a DVD or a book. For some reason, games are far more expensive, and people don’t value them at that price. Anyone who has taken basic, junior-high economics understands that pricing a product is a game of finding the sweet spot of price and demand. Halving the price, but tripling your sales is a net gain, especially with digital distribution. Corporate collusion has done such a good job brainwashing people like you into believing that a game is worth $60+ (!) that you think it’s “wrong” for people to pay less. Well, time to wake up.
Direct distribution is empowering a lot more developers, and prices are going to fall, dramatically, until they reach that sweet spot.

Personally, I love paying $5.00 for a quality 3D title on my phone while DS and PSP users pay $30+ for the same game. I’m not ripping anyone off. I’m paying the true market price, and I am happy to do so. I have purchased more games since I got my phone 2 months ago than I have in the last 3 years combined. Why? Because they are priced at a point where they are a value. It’s not even worth the effort for pirates when they’re that cheap.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“they attracted a TON of sales that they would not have had otherwise.” – is speculation, not fact. would they have gotten similar sales by just selling their product $5 instead of $20 originally? are the not just doing the evil windowing of their products, full price, lower price, bundle? why didnt they sell at the bundle price to start with, that is the standard techdirt logic, right?

Mark Murphy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

are the not just doing the evil windowing of their products

Windowing generally refers to distribution channels, not pricing. In the case of movies, windowing refers to timetables for distribution in theaters, on pay cable, on basic cable, on broadcast networks, at Netflix, at Blockbuster, on airline AVOD systems, etc.

why didnt they sell at the bundle price to start with, that is the standard techdirt logic, right?

No, “standard techdirt logic” does not preclude price changes over time. If you have evidence to the contrary, please include a TechDirt link next time.

Blake (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I think its a valid point. People are paying “relatively” small amounts for these games compared to what they could have sold for otherwise.

But with things like this, there are dozens of factors that skew the results.

For example in my case, I already own World of Goo & Gish. If I didn’t I would have “paid” more for the bundle. Secondly at the time I bought it I was just thinking of the windows side (and registered my preference accordingly).

Since then, quite literally the weekend after I bought the pack, I was stuck out in the country with my macbook for a day, with only my mobile as a modem. Wanting to play some games all I had installed was Spore which I played to death and WoW (which would have sucked being rural and on mobile).

So I downloaded a couple of the titles for the Mac. If I had thought of this before I bought them I would have definitely paid more. Hindsight is unfortunate.

On a similar note I often buy sale titles on Steam or GoG. Steam in particular there are dozens of titles I’ve bought just because they were on sale – that I’ve never played (particularly from last Christmas when there were dozens of daily sales). The marginal cost for sending me these games is very small, but they got HUNDREDS of dollars out of me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yet it is still a viable business model that works perfectly fine and benefits everyone. No need to charge everyone 20 times more than what you can charge them, instead, charge them much less, get people to contribute because they want your games to continue, make money and continue making games. What’s wrong with that?

John Doe says:

Re: Re:

Your first wrong assumption is to say that they were willing to pay 1/20 of the market price. The market price, by definition is whatever people are willing to pay. The retail price is what the seller thinks the market price is. The problem digital businesses have today is that the market price for a digital good is much lower than that of a physical good. And it should be, there is almost no distribution cost for digital goods.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cost of gaming

People should understood that most of the cost for making games (and also for softwares) are fixed cost. Variable costs are very little when compared with that.

If you can lower the price in order to let more people to get the game, in the end you can have more profit (if your game’s not those “a waste in time to play with” quality).

So much for school level economic class on “demand and supply” and “cost and profit”…

PRMan (profile) says:

I almost never buy PC games anymore...

This is because:

1) I’m old.
2) FPS are boring. Most new games are FPS. (I did love Portal and playing Lego Star Wars/Indy with my daughter was fun.)
3) DRM is annoying and not worth buying. (Steam’s DRM is tolerable. Although I haven’t tried to install Portal on my new computer, so I guess I don’t really know yet.)
4) MAME and console emulators keep me plenty busy when I want to play something. Plus we have a Wii and the games on there are more fun than most PC games.

I bought the Humble Indie Bundle for $20, because I’ve been meaning to buy World of Goo for years and never got around to it. I have no desire to play the gory MA games (although Lugaru/Kung Fu Bunnies training mode was fun). World of Goo is a poor man’s Lemmings with better graphics, but not bad.

Pretty much, I just wanted to support the concept.

Rich says:

Didn't Like The Games

I think it was a good thing what they did, but as someone who bought the games, I am sorry to say that each one without exception is crap. I gave them all to my daughter and she didn’t like them either. I buy a lot of games and like most people I am getting tired of large game companies, with their consistent lack of innovation, buggy games, and ever increasing DRM schemes. So, I was ecstatic to see an indie bundle like this. To be honest, at the last minute I felt trepidation and only gave them one $1 (and felt very guilty about it!). I glad I did. It was not a dollar well spent. If this is the alternative to the large game companies, I’m not any happier. I miss the early years of Id, Apogee, Infocom, etc.

Rich says:

Re: Re: Didn't Like The Games

I found World of Goo every simplistic. I like platformers, but no, I didn’t like Gish. I think Penumbra Overture is the only one that remotely interests me, but I don’t have the time right now to devout to an adventure game.

My daughter liked Lugaru, but I found it extremely repetitive and empty.

As senshikaze said, “to each, his own.”

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