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Games

Humble Bundle

In which I write about Humble Bundle and what it has become, versus the other discount stores of the past.

A long time ago, I used to be a Mac guy. Because of that, I participated in several app bundle stores in order to get great deals on the (relatively) expensive Mac apps. All of these discount stories have gone the way of the Dodo. I even still have some licenses hanging around that reference them.

It seemed like these sort of discount stores were a thing of the past, and for many years that was the case. Until Humble Bundle showed up and started giving great discounts on collections of games. At first they were just indie titles. The shtick was that in addition to the games, you could gift part (or all) of the sale to the charity that was being represented, and that these games would be DRM-free, allowing you to play them whenever and wherever you could get them to run.

Eventually, they expanded to include digital books, comic books, desktop applications, mobile games, and more. Additionally, they now operate a proper storefront and host a monthly quasi-mystery box program where you get a collection of games for a small monthly fee of $12.

While the DRM thing didn’t quite last, they were soon purchased by publishing giant IGN, which cooled a lot of their public goodwill. Soon, though, people forgot about it, as Humble Bundle was being run as a subsidiary and generally untouched by their parent organization.

It’s nice to see a model for discounted and bundled offerings that doesn’t undercut their users by offering them low-value shovelware or being predatory with offers and upsells. The price is the price and you can adjust how much of each component goes where. This honest transparency is nice to see and goes a long way in making sure customers feel comfortable paying.

I’ll continue using their service as long as they keep up-front about their deals, give great options and provide great customer service. Not an easy act to balance, but one that keeps me coming back to check out whatever it is they’re selling.

By Nathan

Hello! My name is Nathan and I'm a technologist living and working in the south east. I love breaking crap and fixing it. I tend to break more than I fix. When I'm not breaking and fixing stuff, I'm playing games with my son or going to Disney with my family. I strongly support open source software, hardware and greater transparency in government.