Latest Humble Bundle Of Pay-What-You-Want Indie Games Raises $1-Million In Five Hours

from the better-than-ever dept

We’ve been following the Humble Bundle for a while, both because it’s an interesting business model experiment and because the games are awesome. For the uninitiated: the Humble Bundle is a pay-what-you-want package of cross-platform, DRM-free indie games that gets re-issued regularly with a new selection of games plus a bunch of extras like soundtracks and concept art. Each package is available for a limited time, and the proceeds are split between the developers, selected charities and the people who organize the Bundles. They have pulled some impressive revenue numbers in the past, and the most recent bundle has yet again broken records, raising $1-million in the first five hours.

In some ways, the Humble Bundle is a “give it away and pray” approach, and not necessarily a model for the entire industry—but it also serves as a fantastic example of how to connect with fans and encourage them to spend money. Firstly, all games included in Humble Bundles are DRM-free and available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Secondly, they put a lot of emphasis on the fact that your money is going straight to the developers and the charities—and they give you precise control over exactly how it is divided up. Thirdly, they offer added reasons to spend more than the minimum one cent: for $1 dollar you get a key to unlock the game on Steam, and there is usually a bonus game or two (or more) that is only available if you pay more than the average contribution (which of course also serves to keep pushing the average contribution up). That feeds into another great tactic: they reveal a bunch of live-updated stats about the Bundle as it sells, including sales and average contribution breakdowns by OS (notably, Linux users always have the highest average) and a leaderboard of top contributors. The leaderboard has regulars, too, like Minecraft developer notch, and the “HumbleBrony Bundle” (a group that does a collective fundraising effort within the Brony community), both of whom contribute to the tune of thousands.

All of this clearly works well to encourage participation and support, as the ever-growing numbers confirm. The current Bundle still has nearly two full weeks to go, and with such a huge rush in the first day, it’s sure to be the biggest one ever.

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Comments on “Latest Humble Bundle Of Pay-What-You-Want Indie Games Raises $1-Million In Five Hours”

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51 Comments
AW says:

Humble Bundle is a reason to buy.

In the past few years a few things have changed. I went from buying no games to buying a few games to buying a decent number of games. I bought no games when I was very, very poor. I bought a few games I really loved at a decent price as things slowly got better, but only those games that gave me what I want. Since the humble bundle came out, I’ve spent more on gaming in 2 years than in the 10 years prior. It’s not because times got better for me. It’s because they stopped treating me like a thief. I pay to the humble bundle because I feel good buying from them, I trust them, and they give me a reason to buy. I would not have bought most of these games at retail, so it’s only a net win for these providers. They didn’t lose a full price sale, they gained a sale for a game I wouldn’t have bought otherwise. In fact some of the bundles, I already owned the game I wanted to support, but because they did something good for charity and for freedom, I wanted to support them more. How much better could it get for a consumer? A good feeling from donating, a good feeling from supporting game developers, a good feeling for supporting freedom and a chance to try games you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Anonymous Coward says:

Aside from helping people, which is always a good incentive, Linux users have the highest average because Linux hardly has games released for it – most linux users interested in gaming support linux releases as a form to incentive developers to pay attention to them and release games that run natively (i.e. not depending on compability layers such as Wine).

It’s tough being a Linux gamer, most games are clones of old simple games and if you wanna play anything more complex than educational or b =/ you’re usually put in a getto playing old games and knock-offs/mods built on Quake III’s engine, if you wanna play anything else you gotta fight with a tool like Wine to tweak and make games work and depending on what engines are involved in the making of the game and what APIs are there, it won’t work.

I gave up some time ago, swallowed my geek pride and now I dualboot windows for my gaming needs but it was hard man… I know it was as bad for Mac users unitl a few years ago.

It’s the price we pay for having a marketshare of 1% in the desktop market *sigh*

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re:

As a long time Linux user, I have long left the world of Windows gaming. I still have a number of games that run fairly well in Wine. But I stopped buying Windows only games long ago. I have bought nearly every Humble Bundle since its beginning and have been able to have more gaming than I can handle from it.

I think that the Humble Bundle is probably the best thing to have happened for Linux gaming ever. It has shown that even though the Linux OS makes up 1% of the market, it holds a much higher (nearly 25% at times) of the game buying public.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I wouldn’t say 25%. I think Humble Bundle attracts a higher percentage of Linux users because most of those games are premiering on the platform. Aside from the “feel good” from charity, they’re novelty.

On Windows and Mac those games were available for 1 year already, so the people getting those are getting for the charity or the sales off approach, more or less the same for Mac. The online one of the others available on Linux is bastion and through Google’s Chrome Web Store.

Not dissing on Linux gaming scene, 0 A.D. for example seems to be an awesome project made to run natively on the OS, still, I’d dare to say that the majority of their players will be coming from the windows port.

I tried to leave the windows gaming scene but I gave up, the trouble of making certain stuff on Wine enrages me, if the game runs on Dx10.0 it’s as battle that I already lost, and when I used to play WoW I was always wary of updating Wine or the patching days of the game in fear that he game would stop working.

Don't Toews Me Bro says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Wine enrages me,”

^This.
i have a few AAA titles for linux, but they’re old games: quake 2 quake 3 Descent 1 and 2 (thank you dxx-rebirth!), as well as a couple of FOSS projects built around the idTech engines that have been open sourced.

i also played WoW for a few years. And as the poster above states: wine patches or wow patches were a “plug and pray” experience with wine. “you missed the raid last night. what happened?” “wine update…” …and of course these conversation were met with the usual “why don’t you just dual boot?”

i don’t want to as i don’t want to “run windows”….it’s fine for a VM if i need it once in awhile but i’m not going to reboot everytime i want to just play a game. it quickly gets old and i feel as if i have to shower afterwards…..

but, there appears to be a sea change afoot, thanx to android and iOS. see, MS’s direct X is only available on windows on x86/x86_64 PCs and xboxes. possibly even their phone(dunno, haven’t looked). OpenGL however is utilized on mobile smartphones like androids and iphones. And gaming companies want a share of that market. OpenGL doesn’t come with the cumbersome licensing issues and fees that directX carries. Gaming companies have been busy porting some of their current lineups and classic titles to OpenGL to take advantage of the huge market available to them through the smartphone gaming market. You can look forward to code bases being even more portable in the future since OpenGL is cross platform as well, instead of just being tied to one OS.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

True, it probably is not 25%. However, there is a sizable above 1% Linux gaming community that should not be ignored.

As for Wine, I have my issues with it and don’t particularly like using it. But for the small selection of games I have that I still play through it, it is good enough. There are just not enough new games to make me feel the need to go back to Windows.

JustSomeGuy says:

Actually, after being bitten by the previous iteration, I’m going to avoid this one. Of all the games I installed under Ubuntu, only one worked straight off. Two were gotten working with quite a bit of tech support and the others never got there, even after a week of trying.

No, I think I’ll stick to running commercial games under Windows and leave Linux for my serious stuff. I’d rather pay $80 for a game that runs immediately than $20 plus many hours of my time.

This is not necessarily a problem with Humble Bundles, it may well be a “Linux isn’t ready for gaming on the desktop” but, honestly, I don’t care – I want the stuff I pay for to just work.

Don't Toews Me Bro says:

Re: Re: Re:

actually anymore for a good portion of basic computer stuff such as hardware working straight away and not having to be tinkered with to get it going, linux does an excellent job(i just did a fresh install of precise last week and OOTB my blutooth dongle and headset work spectacularly, usb gamepad didn’t have to be calibrated, nor did i have to do tinkering with any of the other hardware or installing driver after driver after driver after driver after…u get the idea if you’re from windows land…).

the only driver i had to install was the proprietary nvidia drivers and tinker a bit with setting up dual-monitor, and even then those were merely a few GUI clicks and a reboot away. In windows, i’d have to install all the drivers for all those things (NIC, video card, chipset, Areca 1231-ML 12-port RAID HBA(in linux, raid just works), etc etc etc))

but yes, linux does have it’s downsides where things “just don’t work”. Gaming under wine is one of them…….

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Umm these games in the bundle will work on Win, Mac, and *nix (and they all actually do work on *nix with the only problematic one being Sword & Sworcery since it needs the latest kernel)

They are also commercial products in their own right. Not only do they normally retail for over $100US if bought seperately, Games like bastion and Limbo (OMG that’s a freakin creepy game) are major titles.. Limbo is also on all consoles.

Also if you think $80 games for PC (Win) run immediately out of the box you must be living in an Alternate reality where Bethesda, Ubisoft and other AAA Publishers must not exist.

Also it might be your xWindows as the problem. (Though personally ubuntu is the problem in my experience.. I use either Fedora or Slackware running KDE for graphics and/or gaming.)

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I took the Amnesia developers’ advice and played in a dark room with good headphones. And they are right: that game is damn atmospheric. Scary is one thing when it’s because a zombie jumps at you from behind a door – but Amnesia manages to make walking down an empty hallway thoroughly chilling and terrifying. That said, I actually got pretty bored with it after the initial immersive rush wore off – but now that it’s turned up in the Bundle perhaps I’ll give it another shot.

RonKaminsky says:

Re: Re:

Yeah, I never did get Aquaria running under Ubuntu, but really, your comment doesn’t make sense. If you buy the bundle, with the Linux version you get the Windows version automatically, so just run that one, instead (like I did with Aquaria).

> I think I’ll stick to running commercial games

These aren’t commercial games? There’s some kind of price cutoff for commercial games? Some kind of marketing model limitations?

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I have bought nearly every Humble Bundle and have about a 75% success rate for installation and playing. There have been a few games that took some external tweeks to get running or to even install, but for the most part it has been double click, install.

Some of my favorites so far:

Aquaria, World of Goo, Machinarium, Trine (which actually took a few tweeks), and with this bundle, it looks to be Bastion.

skeptical says:

Re: Re:

Did you know the games from this bundle are (or at least will be) all redeemable through the Ubuntu Software Center?

Until the are all installed and working on my machine, I’m not making any claims about them running… but as someone who felt your pain with previous Humble Bundle downloads, I’m very excited by this new option.

Michael Whitetail says:

Lets not forget...

Lets not forget that while the Humble Bundle was the first and so-far, the best known bundle concepts, lets not forget about the Indie Royale bundles!

http://www.indieroyale.com/

They pop up way more often than the Humble Bundle, and tend to have games that are a bit more obscure, but they tend to trow in other extras like Indie music, art, and movies along side the games.

This time around they have Airmech, a modern reboot of the old Genesis classic, Herzog Zwei! The grandfather of RTS gaming!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herzog_Zwei

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Lets not forget...

Doh! Forgot to mention the rest of the stuff in the bundle:

The Void for: steam (pc), windows, desura
Dead Pixels for: windows, desura – an exclusive PC debut!
The Ship for: steam (pc) – includes 2 giftable Steam keys!
1000 Amps for: steam (pc and mac), windows, mac, desura
LaserCat for: windows, desura

MUSIC BONUS! If you pay $7 or more, you’ll get Cheap Dinosaurs’ acclaimed self-titled chiptune-rock album.

RonKaminsky says:

Re: Re: Re: Lets not forget...

Yeah, one of the reasons I’ve splurged and spent many $$ on Humble Bundle games which I haven’t played and may never get around to playing: the fact that they are DRM-free and ported to Linux leaves me the impression that even my grandchildren will be able to play them (in a VM).

I’m probably correct but possibly in theory only, because the work involved in resurrecting such old distros could probably be massive. Always the chance one of the other buyers will set it up for me and make it easy, though.

Anonymoose Custard (profile) says:

Re: Lets not forget...

They also don’t often have Linux support.

At least with the Humble Bundle, I’m guaranteed that all or nearly all of the games will have native Linux ports. With Indie Royale, it’s a crapshoot – if I’m not lucky enough to get a Linux port of a game, there’s a good chance it won’t work in Wine either.

PaulT (profile) says:

A quick point to raise – as I always buy the bundle to support both the charities and indie developers, I’ve ended up buying some games *twice*. Most notably, I bought both Braid and Limbo for full price from the XBox Arcade marketplace, and I’ve ended up getting another version to play on my other boxes.

Since I’m still getting a bargain on the rest of the bundle, and helping out charity while doing so, I don’t feel ripped off, and in fact relish the idea of replaying games I have already enjoyed on other platforms.as well as discovering the new ones.

In some ways, I can’t help but wonder if we’re starting to see a sea change in the way non-console gaming is being treated. While EA, Blizzard and Ubisoft seem intent on assuming their customers are criminals and stick to the lowest common denominator, indies are coming into their own. I can’t help but notice that many of the games both in these bundles and being funded through Kickstarter are cross-platform, loaded with extras and often belong to genres the bigger publishers have rejected outright. Giving customers real choice instead of forcing what marketers say they want leads to different results? What a shock!

Oh, and guess what people aren’t doing while they’re enjoying their Humble Bundle and Kickstarter-funded games? Playing the DRM-laden crap spewed out by the larger publishers. But, of course, they’ll blame “piracy” for their falling profits…

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