Sunday, June 24, 2012

Who benefits from Humble Bundle?

Humble Bundle made over $5,000,000 but who was the real winner of this promotion. Humble Bundle is a collection of cross platform, DRM free independent games that can be purchased at a cost you determine. You also have the control of the proportion you pay to, developers, charity and Humble for setting up and hosting the promotion.

Ethical direction

The games involved are not open source but the scheme does feel very open and fair. Probably because:
  • All games are DRM free 
  • No Operating System is left out 
  • Consumer pays what they want/think its worth
  • Charities benefit. 

Financial viability 

The humble scheme offers developers addition revenue and/or advertising. The consumers get to decide how much to pay, meaning on average cheaper games (saving of around $146.47), and help a charity if they desire. Charities benefits as they have no costs in the scheme.

Being associated with a project like to humble is great advertising. Their software maybe being sold at extreme sale prices but their brand benefits from being associated with a charitable and open scheme.

The games "donated" look to have just passed their peak in revenue and industry focus. Nothing wrong with that: I buy mobile phones that just stop being popular/expensive enabling me to benefit from an upgrade without the cutting edge price. At worst case a developer is selling their games for nothing, charity and Humble benefits from 5 million dollars of revenue, their older games get regenerated and their brand receives public respect for their involvement.

Case study: LIMBO (

  • LIMBO was released 2 years prior to Humble V. 
  • From Xbox sales alone it made 7.5 million dollars. 
  • During Humble V it cost £9.99 in Ubuntu software centre. 
  • 599,003 potential downloads by new customers. 
  • At least one new fan (me)


In utopia I would want everything to be sold in a similar manor. Imagine being able to decide how much money each person is deserving of (Distributor, Developer, Tax, Charity etc). I guess the concern is that no one would pay. I would suggest that if you are worrying people wouldn't pay it then maybe your not worth the amount.  Humble Bundle looks to be a success but they do manage the risk by: making it time bound; Selling "older" games; and having charities benefit.  Would the scheme work if it wasn't time bound, with brand new games?

Only one criticism, As a native English speaker, I never noticed anything on the site that suggested the games were multi-lingual, which would make the scheme even more accessible and open. I may have missed it and happy to change this post if I have.

No comments: