Humble Indie Bundle Well On Its Way To Break Sales Record

from the meek-shall-inherit-the-earth dept

A new Humble Indie Bundle is upon us. Once again, the guys who popularized the “pay what you want” model have brought it back with a whole new treasure trove of DRM-free, cross-platform PC games. This time, they have brought a number of heavy weights including Super Meat Boy and Cave Story+. While the games themselves are awesome, what makes this bundle so amazing is that it is already well on its way to breaking the sales record of the third bundle. Announced via twitter, the Humble Guys proclaimed, “We just hit 100,000 sales and $500,000 in a tiny bit over four hours!” The previous sales record was the third Humble Indie Bundle which brought in a total of $2,167,519.10 and sold 372,346 bundles. If this bundle can sell 100,000 in 4 hours, breaking that record should be a snap.

Perhaps this success is attributable to this being the holiday season and the addition of the Red Cross instead of the EFF as one of the supported charities. Or maybe in some strange way this success is a result of my 1000th tweet being a promotion of the Humble Indie Bundle. Most likely, this success is a result of a group of dedicated game developers connecting with their fans and giving them a reason to buy. That is true success. While the “pay what you want” model won’t work for everyone, all developers can learn from the attitude and effort these developers put into selling their games.

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Comments on “Humble Indie Bundle Well On Its Way To Break Sales Record”

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52 Comments
Prisoner 201 says:

If it won’t work for everyone regardless of talent, skills, ambition and effort, what’s the point?

If I can’t sign with a gatekeeper, get $20M in marketing and then kick back and live off copyright the rest of my dynasty, then I won’t bother.

If not guaranteed the payment that we deserve, I and plenty of artists like me won’t make any more content, and then you’ll be sorry!

/s

Beech says:

Of that $2000000 I wonder how much went to the developers and if that was more or less than they would have made if they had not gone with the bundle. I’ve bought every one of the bundles so far, and it’s gotten me paying games I never would have heard of otherwise.

Now all we need is a humble inde music bundle. “pay what you want for a bunch of mp3s!”

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“it’s gotten me paying games I never would have heard of otherwise.”

A lot of people are in the same position, I think. I know I’ve bought more games through these bundles for PC or Mac than I had for at least 4-5 years prior. Some (Meat Boy, Braid) I was already familiar with. Others have been a complete revelation.

Whether they get more or less than releasing without the bundle, who knows? There’s too many factors to say for sure, but if nothing else it’s always interesting to note that the “freetards who don’t pay for software” running on Linux are the ones consistently paying the more per person.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: EFF, not Red Cross

According to a tweet from the Humble Bundle, the inclusion of the Red Cross instead of the EFF was the result of a close vote between the developers.

https://twitter.com/#!/humble/status/146655575290286080

So this was a developer choice. But if you want to support the EFF, you can still do that directly.

https://supporters.eff.org/donate

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: EFF, not Red Cross

For anyone complaining about the charity portion, it’s not exactly a hard thing to get around with the controls available. Simply buy the bundle, set the charity portion to $0 then manually donate to Child’s Play and/or EFF afterwards.

Yeah, it’s a few minutes more effort than letting HB donate automatically, but if the charity is the important thing to you, why not?

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: EFF, not Red Cross

While I also thought the Red Cross thing was completely boneheaded, I still think that the good that they do around the world is a worthy cause.

If you still want to donate to the EFF, by all means do it. Nothing is stopping you.

If you don’t want to donate to the Red Cross because of that issue, turn its slider down to zero when you buy your bundle. no one is forcing you to donate to them.

Jason (user link) says:

Super Meat Mall

The PC version of Super Meat Ball was first released via Steam on November 30, 2010 for the same price. The PC level editor, PC level portal, PC non-Steam version, and Mac version of Super Meat Boy came out in 2011. The game was originally going to be released on Nintendo’s WiiWare service, but was later cancelled due to their small filesize restrictions.

Jose Wilson says:

no name games

And these are also a bunch of no name generic games that may or may not resemble real games. Im guessing Super Meat Boy is a knockoff of Super Mario Brothers. Any decent major name game like Diablo 3 or Skyrim, or Call of Duty would not make much money this way as the player base is much bigger and they are actually decent games so if they were pay what you want a lot of people wouldnt pay. The ONLY reason people are buying this bundle is BECAUSE its by a small no name developer and the pro piracy and free everything on the internet groups are supporting them to try and get their message out that it would work if every game company/music company did it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: no name games

“Any decent major name game like Diablo 3 or Skyrim, or Call of Duty would not make much money this way as the player base is much bigger and they are actually decent games so if they were pay what you want a lot of people wouldnt pay.”

So, because the player base is so huge and the games are good, they wouldn’t make any money in a pay-what-you-want scheme? This makes no sense whatsoever.

“The ONLY reason people are buying this bundle is BECAUSE its by a small no name developer and the pro piracy and free everything on the internet groups are supporting them to try and get their message out that it would work if every game company/music company did it.”

And the fact that the games are multi-platform and DRM free doesn’t matter?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: no name games

“And these are also a bunch of no name generic games that may or may not resemble real games.”

I’d research a little bit before you start making ignorant comments. Start here:

http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/super-meat-boy

“the player base is much bigger and they are actually decent games so if they were pay what you want a lot of people wouldnt pay.”

Erm, what? People are happy to pay $60 for a game but wouldn’t pay anything if they had the choice? Why, then, are those same games making so much money while being pirated at the same time?

“The ONLY reason people are buying this bundle is BECAUSE its by a small no name developer”

So, people are willing to buy independent product instead of depending on whatever’s being pushed out by EA? This is not a bad things.

“the pro piracy and free everything on the internet groups are supporting them”

You realise this literally makes no sense whatsoever?

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: no name games

“You realise this literally makes no sense whatsoever?”

It does make sense, but you have to be a little crazy to understand. I am a little crazy so I’ll translate.

‘These games are from indi developers so they must suck, no one would pay for them without an ulterior motive. That motive is to sway public opinion in such a way that copyright won’t be enforced and they can get back to their mass piracy.’

Basically he’s claiming that anyone paying for these games is part of a giant conspiracy who’s end goal is getting everything and anything for free.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: no name games

Yeah, I kind of got that, but really it still makes no sense. People who want “everything to be free” pay over $500k in 4 hours, and that’s meant to have an effect on business models even though Skyrim took $450 million in its first week on the “old” model?

There’s conspiracy theories and there’s utter idiocy that even a second’s worth of logic blows apart. Should be used to it round here I suppose…

Adam G (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: no name games

The funny thing is that half of the time, half the games in the humble bundle, I had already purchased within a few weeks of their release, sometimes the day of their release because they were worth while games that I was quite excited for.

I know Ive put in at least 30 hours of super meat boy, prior to this humble bundle. I also bought this humble bundle because there were some additional no name games. I’ll admit that since I already own the bigger titles here, I am not paying as much but the few games I haven’t heard, of I have enjoyed quite a bit, this time.

Ive not bought all humble bundles because 1 of the recent ones had average and mediocre games, at least to my gamestyle. I don’t buy it, just because.
I do buy it because I want a game and to support developers, I often put nothing to charity, a little to humble bundle, and mostly 90% to developers.

Ilfar says:

Re: Re: Re:2 no name games

That’s my problem too, I already own most of the games in these bundles. The few I haven’t, I’ve already passed over when on special for less than two dollars during Steam specials. I know I can pay sweet bugger all to get them, but it doesn’t feel right.

It’s not pay what I want when my conscience is telling me I have to pay at least $x amount ๐Ÿ˜›

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: no name games

You know, I thought about it for a minute and realized your absolutely right. A big game that supposedly has a 80%+ piracy won’t benefit from pay what you want. They would benefit from lowered prices and removal of DRM.

Your last sentience is a crock of shit though. People pay because they get a bunch of games cheap. Little risk and big reward. I’m not going to risk $60 on a game that might suck, but I will risk $10 on a few games that might suck.

As for Diablo 3, I’m not spending $60 on a game that forces me to be online all the time even though I’m only playing single player. $80 a month isn’t enough to pay for the internet connection required.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: no name games

I know Skyrim was a hit with some people, but there were several others (esp in my WoW guild) that ended up being very unhappy with blowing $60 for a game that is still kinda buggy and unfinished.

I had thought about getting it, but after getting burned on Aion, I decided to wait this time. Glad I did.

As for Diablo 3, I get it for free, for being part of the loyal WoW fan base and signing my life away to WoW for the next year. Of course, not like I was gonna quit in the next year anyway….

Ya, even the big guys can compete with free…

Adam G (profile) says:

Re: no name games

Although Super Meat Boy is a platformer, and Super Mario Brothers is also a platformer, it is most definitely NOT a knock off. It is a completely different gameplay style in every sense.
_
Everything from violence to level design to scrolling level to art style. Aside from the fact that they are both jumping type games, there are no other similiarities.
_
Most of the humble bundles have often had pretty well known developers. Albiet, they aren’t hundreds of million $$ strong but very well known nonetheless.
_
I think major titles like the ones you listed would make a lot of money, perhaps not the same as they sell outright. But perhaps after a year release and most sales are leveled off, itd be interesting to see how well it truly holds up to see what people pay on those games.
_
_
I also oppose your final statement, I don’t think this particular model would work for every game company/music. I am quite sure they would need their own customized versions of packages if they were to fair well.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: no name games

The more I think about this comment the more I am convinced that it is satire. I honestly can’t believe that anyone would be able to spew forth this crap with a straight face and an honest mind.

Of course I have seen my share of nutters in comments around the internet. One in particular claimed to only buy games that HAD DRM in order to support developers that cared about copyright.

Bengie says:

Re: Re: no name games

“One in particular claimed to only buy games that HAD DRM in order to support developers that cared about copyright.”

I buy cigarettes, then throw them away, because I support people’s choice to smoke and want to support the big tobacco.

I only purchase jewelry from thieves because I support their work ethic.

I only purchase diamonds from conflict zones because someone has to think of the children.

I think you’re onto them. They be troll’n dirty.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: no name games

Anecdotal evidence: I’ve played all the Elder Scrolls games since Arena, and I’m really excited by Skyrim, but I haven’t bought it yet because $60 is too high a price point for me. If I could choose my own price, paying $0 might seem tempting, except that I want to encourage and reward the developers; I would pay what I feel is a fair and reasonable price, probably between $20 and $40, which is what I’ll probably end up paying when the price drops in 6-12 months anyways.

DCX2 says:

Re: Re: no name games

This is an interesting point. In some ways, many people already “pay what they want” by waiting for a sale where the game reaches their price point.

I picked up Oblivion for like $7. The game is mature, bugs are probably all fixed, there are tons of mods. Sure, I had to wait until Skyrim was released…

…and whenever the next Elder Scrolls is released, I’m sure there will be a fire sale on Skyrim, which is probably when I’ll pick it up.

By allowing the customer to set their own price, the company will get more of their customers’ money up-front, instead of waiting for folks like me to buy it when it goes on sale.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: no name games

The ONLY reason people are buying this bundle is BECAUSE its by a small no name developer and the pro piracy and free everything on the internet groups are supporting them to try and get their message out that it would work if every game company/music company did it.

Nope, I don’t care about the true things you said, and even less about the non-true things.

I cared about getting what looked like great games at a great price. I’d never heard of any of the games from the last two bundles, but my kids liked the trailers so we bought the packages for Christmas.

And now I’m addicted to Crayon Physics.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

“Most likely, this success is a result of a group of dedicated game developers connecting with their fans and giving them a reason to buy.”

The humble indie bundle is becoming the marketing. If they continue with this, it will grow, and reach more people each time. In five years this could end up being a sizable chunk of the profits for indie games.

AndyD273 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If the EFF is the only reason you aren’t buying it, buy it anyway, setting the price what you would have paid (x) minus the cut that would have gone to the EFF (y). Then take that difference (x – y = z) and donate that amount (z) directly to EFF. They do have a donate page. In this way you get some fun games, you get to reward some developers, donate to childsplay and the red cross (both good causes), still help the EFF, and as an added bonus the EFF donation will be tax deductible, when it normally wouldn’t if going through HIB. Win win win win.

AndyD273 (profile) says:

Why pay full price?

I haven’t purchased a game at full price since Civ4 came out, and I’m pretty sure that one was some kind of a sale, now that I think about it.

I have just about perfected delayed gratification when it comes to entertainment. All the games I have gotten in the last couple years either came from a HIB, Steam holiday sale, or used. I don’t think I’ve paid much more than $5 for a single title in a long time.

Through this method I have a library of 30 games I haven’t had the time to play yet, none pirated.

I look forward to playing Skyrim, in a year or two, when I can pick it up in a Steam Christmas sale for $5. I might go as high as $10.

Edit: Actually, when we bought our Kinect for the 360 we also picked up an extra game so we would have more than the bundled game to play on it.

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