Second Humble Indie Bundle Does Even Better Than The First

from the but-it'll-never-work-twice dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about the “Humble Indie Bundle,” which was a group of indie video games available in a bundle on a pay-what-you-want basis (and with a nice charitable component). The bundle got a lot of attention, and they were able to bring in $1,273,588 in just two weeks. After it was all over, one complaint I heard was that such things were clearly a “one-off” that could never be repeated. Well, recently, the Humble Indie Bundle 2 came out, and with plenty of time to spare, it’s already made more money than the original. Also notable, just like last time, it was Linux users who are still paying a significantly higher amount on average — contrary to the typical claims that Linux folks just want stuff for free….

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Anonymous Coward says:

it was Linux users who are still paying a significantly higher amount on average — contrary to the typical claims that Linux folks just want stuff for free

If they don’t pay for anything else in the year, they have plenty more money left over for a one off.

Even with all that, the average ticket price is 90%, and that even with a charitable component.

Any reports on how sales went of last years games after the bundle was done?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

As ever, the point escapes you. The myth is that Linux users just want everything for free, when in fact the reality is that they’re quite willing to pay for something worth buying. It’s a shame that not so many of those products are being offered, but it doesn’t change the fact that they paid (I paid $20 for the bundle on Linux, even though I already own Braid on the 360).

“Even with all that, the average ticket price is 90%, and that even with a charitable component. “

So? What’s the average ticket price paid on standard retail games, once sales, discounts, etc. are factored in? I’m seeing a lot of games being massively marked down on other platforms today. Does this somehow prove they aren’t selling, or are you clinging to a mythical 100% retail value as an ideal target?

interval (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“…they’re quite willing to pay for something worth buying.”

Could be, but I think folks who like and want something are willing to pay for it no matter who they are. I think the Linux community (of which I am a proud member) understands and embraces the concepts OSS, Copyleft licenses, “pay go”, etc. much more readily than people who only work in a retail, fully licensed atmosphere.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You missed both points.

If you are not paying for an OS, you are not paying for your “office” tools, and so on, you have plenty of software money left for games. After all, something like this might be the only “purchase” a linux user makes in a year.

You paid $20. The average person paid $7. The retail is $85. A few people paid thousands. Most people are paying little or nothing.

I went shopping yesterday for video games. Average ticket, about $30 (console games). That is sending probably $10 a unit back to the producer for a single title. The bundle? $7 divided up by 5 titles, and that isn’t considering that EFF is likely getting a good percentage too. So they are getting $1 per copy, if they are lucky – and then who knows what is lost because the games are then pirated and shared for free?

I personally cling to nothing other than valid, functional business models. 100% is a myth, just like 10% is a fantasy business model. Trying to pin 100% on me is pure strawman 🙂

btrussell (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“If you are not paying for an OS, you are not paying for your “office” tools, and so on, you have plenty of software money left for games. After all, something like this might be the only “purchase” a linux user makes in a year.”

Software budget may have already been zero.

Personally, I like food on the table and a roof over my head before I have a budget for software, music, movies or games…

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“A few people paid thousands. Most people are paying little or nothing.”

Yet, the people who “want something for nothing” are the ones paying the most. Interesting…

“Average ticket, about $30 (console games).”

I bought 4 games in a pre-Boxing Day sale today for the XBox 360, average game price about 5GBP (US$7-8 including shipping), some of which were less than 6 months old (Kane & Lynch 2 being the most notable title for that price). I also bought the Lara Croft XBLA game for the same price, all without having to step outside my door.

Then again, I’m not particularly interested in buying the latest bug-filled title for full price and struggling along until they get the servers and patches sorted out before charging top dollar for similarly buggy DLC. I’ll wait for the bargain price or the GOTY with all patches & DLC included…

“The bundle? $7 divided up by 5 titles, and that isn’t considering that EFF is likely getting a good percentage too.”

…which is better than the $0 they would have gotten from many people had the sale not happened. Hell, I love Braid and I didn’t even realise there was a Linux version till it went on sale in this bundle, let alone give the other games I’d never heard of a shot.

“So they are getting $1 per copy, if they are lucky – and then who knows what is lost because the games are then pirated and shared for free?”

As ever, you people have the realise that there’s a wide gap between “100%” and “nothing”. That’s why business models have to built without the assumption that 100% is the norm, which has always happened with retail copies.

“Trying to pin 100% on me is pure strawman :)”

You implied that the sale had somehow failed because 90% was the average being sold:

“Even with all that, the average ticket price is 90%, and that even with a charitable component.”

Sorry if my addressing your actual words is somehow a “strawman”, or is the gap between 90% (as you claimed) and 100% somehow more significant than your new claim of 10%?

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but I’m not sure where you are getting 90% from.. The suggested price is 29.95$ and the average sale seems to be around 8$. It doesn’t matter though, the goal is to make money, not to sell at some specific price.

As for reports of how sales went after the bundle was over,
I think the goal is to make their money during the bundle rather than to act as a promotion for sales afterwords. The first bundle of games (except world of goo) released their sourcecode after having reached their goal of 1 million dollars.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Switched to Linux

That’s funny, I switched from Linux due to it’s serious case of developers syndrome*, and having more updates then Windows. Plus the “emulators are not an answer thing” and I don’t feel like learning to compile a kernel.

*Developers Syndrome – when a program is written by someone who is so detached from the end user that only someone who could program it can use it. (Something I thought up over the past few months working with developers like this).

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Switched to Linux

Those are both hyperbole. You can find ‘developers syndrome’ software on ALL platforms. And, given the state of todays’ amazingly user friendly installation interfaces, I doubt you’ve ever needed to compile a kernel.

Did you give it a “real” try-out? Like, at least a year? It’s easy to give something a weeks and say “too hard for me!” but that’s not enough time to really discover whether the relationship twixt you and your operating system is going to work.

Seriously, I don’t believe you’ve ever given Linux a shot–you speak like somebody who only knows what they’ve heard about it, and never even tried… : (

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Switched to Linux

VirtualBox is my virtualization software of choice. For USB support, you must compile from source, but… it’s free. You can find easy step-by-step instructions on ‘how to’ which is how I’ve been acquiring all of my Linux skills thus far.

WINE is quite good for general lite running of Windows programs. Additionally, there are a handful of very good gaming-oriented shells based on WINE which provide an amazing level of performance and large numbers of games 100% supported.

(PS — the CNC router a scant handful of steps from my office on running on Mach 3! But, using parallel port.)

interval (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Switched to Linux

Virtualbox is quite stable and usable; they’re even experimenting with gfx hardware acceleration lately. The bad news is (in my case) out of like 12 or so windows-only games I have only 2 of them work at all.

As to the installation/usability situation, I’m surprised I’m still seeing comments on this. They’ve come a long way since the days of cmd line tools and boot disks. d/l an iso image, mount, run, easy. You don’t even have to burn a cd/dvd. As for compiling a kernel, not necessary unless you want to support some device that doesn’t have a lkm, which is rare, or you have some other custom need, or want to minimize the size. All elective needs.

AR (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Switched to Linux

“For USB support, you must compile from source,”

No you dont. USB support is built into virtualbox now. both virtualbox OSE and non-free (3.2.10) allow use of USB devices (with permission change) “out of the box”

Ive been running Mint for 2 years now and havent had to compile anything yet. I switched to linux because my computer is fine but M$ is going to stop supporting XP for security patches and force people to pay $300 to $400 dollars for 7 (which I dont have) just to keep my computer running. Not to mention all the updates almost every Tuesday, which sometimes causes system crashes and/or bugs. Linux updates are tested by the developers before they are put into the repositories for downloading. I dont even have to have my system slowed down because of running an anti virus program. So this developer thing someone thought up, IMHO, is just a bunch of crap they use as an excuse to justify their opinion.

With linux its pay what you want. Just like Humble Indie Bundle. A lot of people switch for reasons other than monetarily free.
Oh and by the way non-free means “not open source” or “with limitations”, not “pay hundreds (or less) of dollars”.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Switched to Linux

You know what, I was going to write up a full explanation on why I think the way I do, but I’m not going to go that far off topic. Some day soon I’ll write up a full thing on my blog and hopefully someone in the Linux development community can learn from it and finally kill Windows.

I will say two things. I have been using Linux for many years, and I thought up Developers Syndrome working on crappy Windows programs (it just fits with Linux).

pringerX (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Switched to Linux

I haven’t really used Linux much, but I had plenty of Compsci friends who did (and our school workstation network was linux based). I must agree that with the more sophisticated builds of Linux, Developer’s Syndrome is very much in effect. However, builds like Ubuntu are pretty user-friendly.

In some ways, Linux is like Mac, in that it caters to a niche market. With Mac, the niche is based on $$$ and chic which means as long as it wants to corner that market, it can’t expand. Linux has potential though. Sure, its niche is the tech savvy, but there is nothing to prevent more user-friendly versions from taking over the market space. It just needs to convince the multitude of PC xenophobes to make the leap.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Switched to Linux

“Linux has potential though. Sure, its niche is the tech savvy, but there is nothing to prevent more user-friendly versions from taking over the market space”

But only one has so far, Android. I think the Android OS is a sign that Linux is finally coming out of it’s stigma. It’s not there for laptops or desktops, but it’s coming (I hope). I did just finish writing up my opinions on that and I hope that pointing out the problem will quicken the “coming out” and the death on Windows.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Switched to Linux

” I think the Android OS is a sign that Linux is finally coming out of it’s stigma.”

I’d say it’s more like the fact that the mobile market has traditionally been much more fragmented than the largely homogenised PC market (want a computer without either the Apple or MS logo on it from a major retailer? Good luck…). So, a new OS spread across multiple manufacturers’ devices has a better chance than any one Linux flavour on a desktop market tied up by MS years before a real competitor emerged on the same hardware. The myths spread by “you can’t install software” and “you have to recompile the kernel” folk hardly help, either.

Great leaps have been made, but thanks to MS the average consumer doesn’t even know they have a choice on a non-Apple PC other than Windows. Hopefully Google Chrome OS will break this, but it’s all about marketing rather than technical quality and/or ease of use.

Freak says:

Re: Re: Re: Switched to Linux

I’ll echo the sentiment in Lobos statement with the exception that I’m satisfied if you’ve at least actually tried it.

Most of your problems are probably fixed these days on modern distros. Try Ubuntu, it has a great community, and it focuses on user friendly-ness.

It doesn’t have developer’s syndrome, makes downloading and installing most software you’ll want a one-click process, and is stable enough that I haven’t crashed it more than twice. In more that number of years.
Take in mind, too, that I even managed to crash slackware once.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Switched to Linux

Funny, I’ve been using Linux as my primary OS for several years, and currently use Ubuntu on 3 different computers – and I’ve never had to compile a kernel. Emulators *shouldn’t* be necessary, of course, but we don’t have much of a choice if developers ignore the market.

As for “developers syndrome”, I do tend to find that people who haven’t used Linux recently are the ones making these kinds of complaints. Have you tried, say, Mint or Ubuntu in recent years? Your opinion is your own of course, and as valid as anyone else’s. but often these kinds of complaints are akin to trashing Windows 7 because you had a bad experience using 98.

Jason says:

Re: Re: Re: Switched to Linux

Seriously? my 69 yr old retiree mother has run Linux for two years now without ever having to compile anything.

Her updates were incremental, automated, and set up to run at night while she slept. She set that up herself all with a simple GUI interface.

Her VCR (yeah, you heard me right) still flashes 12:00, but she can run Linux with ease.

El queso es viejo y mohoso porque fue comprado in 2004, dude. Time to try some fresh.


Re: Re: Re: Another Linux user myth.

> Plus the “emulators are not an answer thing” and
> I don’t feel like learning to compile a kernel.

The last time I actually had to “compile a kernel” was back at the 2.0.0 version of the kernel. Do you realize how REALLY LONG AGO that was? Your remarks are were outdated 10 years ago.

I can (and have) replaced an entire system motherboard on a machine without needing to touch a thing. Everything “just works” when the machine is powered back on. THAT is one of the reasons I switched to Linux.

Freak says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Another Linux user myth.

If it doesn’t just work, you google “ubuntu [problem]” and it’ll be the first, sometimes second link.


(For other less popular distros, it’s still very possible to find anything you’re looking for)

In the past 4 years, I’ve nearly entirely forgotten how to use the terminal.
Which is, IMO, a bad thing, but that I could do that and not care enough at any point in time to learn again indicates something good about the system.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Another Linux user myth.

“Google it, and then follow the instructions on the forum post that addresses your issue.”

i.e., the same way most people deal with their Windows problems.

The kernel references are about as relevant to most modern distros as me complaining about having to mess around with config.sys to get X-Wing working on my 486… It might have been true at one point, but it’s a distant memory for most.

Freak says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Switched to Linux

It’s not like you are forced to update, either. you can put them off however long you like. And, you can do partial upgrades of nearly any flavour you want. Upgrade my file-system, but not my kernel? Okay!

I’m actually sitting on Jaunty, currently, barely even supported anymore, since I’m afraid of what will happen if I try to update since I seriously screwed over my system, (partially on purpose). :p

If I hadn’t deleted and re-written large parts of the kernel, and the gnome suite, I’d still be perfectly okay upgrading.

(I did that bit to learn. I have an external hard drive for everything I do, so the worst I could do is need to wipe the small 10 gB ubuntu partition on this laptop and install the newest version of ubuntu instead)

Anonymous Coward says:

Linux is not just about free beer.

It is about freedoms and the philosophy behind it to make it happen.

It is about reclaiming your rights to own something and to be able to use it to fit your life and not fit your life to fit a business model.

It is about work done and how to get people to cooperate willingly to achieve something.

For me it is a breakthrough in human social behavior.

halley (profile) says:

the product's the thing

I have bought both of the Humble Bundles, and also got into the alpha of Minecraft fairly early on. (I also liked the similar MacHeist bundle promotions.)

In part, I love supporting the indie sized projects because I identify with their very personal development stories.

In part, I love supporting the indie sized projects because while the massive multi-million dollar games may be very pretty, they’re usually not better games, and they’re too big for busy people to really sit down and enjoy in their spare time.

(From Wikipedia: “Development of Final Fantasy VII … required the efforts of approximately 120 artists and programmers, … and a budget of more than US$30 million.” — and that’s simple compared to today’s mega games.)

Machinarium can be played through in about five to six hours, and I played it with my daughter, with the computer wired to the living room television.

Speaking of family play, these games are all DRM free, so I didn’t have to do anything special to move them from my personal machine down to the family machine so my daughter could play them from her own account. I just moved the file or folder over the network and voi la.

Braid, Osmos, Aquaria and Machinarium all have great ambient soundtracks (and for one, Machinarium’s tracks can be bought separately). Small studio and indie projects often have the best in quirky music — Katamari Damashii comes to mind.

Once I bought, these two bundles became supported as redeemable tickets on Steam, so I can also request a re-download if I ever need it. But notably, many of the Humble Bundle games are being “bought out” and source code made available to further enrich the community. The “pay what you want” angle is interesting, but that’s just scratching the surface of how these bundles are changing the software landscape.

senshikaze (profile) says:

I’m a Linux user and bought two copies of the bundle (one for me and one for my brother) both times I put over double the Linux average, and the copy I bought for me I put over three times the Linux average.
Any asshole who thinks us Linux users want everything for free are idiots. This may be shocking, but some of us actually just plain prefer a Linux environment over a Windows or OSX one. It doesn’t have to be this big conspiracy or whatever. Or it can be. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.


Re: GNU isn't entirely accurate.

In the days before I discovered Linux, I was a new DOS & Windows user that found that running the monopoly platform wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. So I sought out alternatives. Being exposed to a University computing environment, I had access to a number of alternatives including commercial Unix.

I would have paid the asking price for either NeXT or Solaris in the day if only those rather expensive operating systems actually ran on my consumer class PC hardware.

The fact that the non-Unix known as Linux is gratis is just an added bonus.

dm3k (profile) says:

At first the whole Humble Bundle thing might seem like a clever promotion scheme, but actually shows that people are willing to pay if the product is right. And people chosen a bundle free of DRM, not sold by a faceless coorporation (you can even chat with the developers!) and, yes, at the price it seemed right to them.

As for me, I am a Linux user and certainly I haven’t switched from Windows to Linux because it’s gratis (I could use gratis software on Windows or OS X as well), but because I care about using libre software or at least non-libre software that respects my digital rights. I suppose this is the reason why I and many other Linux users support HIB.


Re: DOS was always free too...

…good point.

Most Linux users could run Windows if they wanted to. Windows is shoved down everyone’s throat if you try to buy something other than a Macintosh. Chances are that you have multiple copies of Windows that you aren’t using if you have a PC and are running an alternate OS.

Windows piracy is rampant too. So it’s not like you have to pay for anything on a Windows PC besides the hardware unless you choose to be legitimate.

senshikaze (profile) says:

Re: Re: DOS was always free too...

I find that hilarious: “choose to be legitimate.”
I don’t have to make that choice and yet, I am still “legitimate.”

Thankfully, since I built three of my computers and denied the EULA on my netbook, I don’t technically own a Windows license at all. (BTW: Acer will not refund the cost of Windows on netbooks.That should be illegal.)

Alias (profile) says:

Humble Bundle update

BTW folks, I am a customer of the first and second bundles and received the following email today:

“Six games have been added to your bundle

Dear Humble Indie Bundle customer, I would just like to personally thank you for your support in making the Humble Indie Bundle #2 even more successful than the first one. As thanks, I have added the Humble Indie Bundle #1 into your bundle. If you go to your personal download page, you will find the following games waiting for you:

– World of Goo (now a top seller on the iPad)
– Aquaria
– Gish
– Lugaru HD
– Penumbra Overture
– Samorost 2

Happy holidays! They’re (mostly) redeemable on Steam too, if you would like to link them to your account.

If this kind of thing makes you happy, please feel free to add a little more to your Humble Bundle purchase (you can help bring up the average on your download page) and keep spreading the word!

Jeffrey Rosen
Humble Bundle”

While I already own the first bundle, it seems like a nice gesture and smart business decision that can drum up more buzz and business for the second bundle.

JustSomeGuy says:

And yet I notice, like with the first bundle, that the “pay what you want” *still* doesn’t allow you to pay nothing. Until that’s one of the price points, this is all very similar to false advertising. Don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to pay for useful software but I think it’s disingenuous to claim that phrase when it’s clearly not true. I suspect if people *could* pay nothing, you’d get a lot more freeloaders, and hence the results of the experiment would change quite a bit.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

There’s already a “pay nothing” option – piracy. These experiments still prove that people will pay if a reasonable option is given to them, even if they can still go to the Pirate Bay and get the same thing for free.

The point is that while many mainstream developers sit and whine about piracy, these developers of relatively unknown games (I had only really heard of Braid before this offer) manage to rake in some reasonable income even though most (if not all) of the games are being freely pirated. That sits against what most mainstream developers are trying to claim, including those trying to impose restrictions and mandatory online or DLC for future products, even in single player mode.

sam sin says:

95% of people are quite happy to pay for anything and everything they get, provided the price is right, it is drm free, is what it says it is (not a load of hyped up BS!) and can be downloaded at a sensible speed. shame the entertainment industries are too rapped up in ripping people off, lying through their teeth to get laws changed and suing as many people as possible, whether guilty or not, to realise this. morons!!

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