Humble Bundle

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.

A picture of the old Humble Indie Bundle 4 page, showing the various games and charities being represented.
They also had these catchy videos (warning: YouTube) with an awesome voice actor and incredibly corny jokes.

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.

A screenshot of the current (2019-10-04) Humble Monthly Bundle page, showing the early unlocks and how long you have to purchase it.

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.

Posted by Nathan

IT Support extraordinaire. FOSS lover and proud Husband and Father.