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Humble Not So Friendly Anymore Bundle
Posted , 30 November 2012 at 11:58 pm UTC / 13721 views
Everyone by now should know about Humble Bundle, they used to be a provider of great DRM FREE and cross platform (Linux, Mac and Windows) indie games including games like Osmos, Aquaria,
Psychonauts, World of Goo etc.

A lot of people including myself used them as shining examples of how things should be done - cross platform, drm free, buy once get all platforms and even support charity! Now is not the case.

They launched a THQ Bundle which has AAA games (that's not the issue) the issue is that the games are DRM-bound, tied to one service (Steam), not cross platform and from a developer who even supported some rather shady internet bills.

Here is what Humble said to me about it:
Quote
Hey Liam,

Thanks for emailing us. I’m sorry to hear this bundle wasn’t as satisfactory for you as we’d hoped!

While we realize the Humble THQ Bundle is different from previous bundles, we just want to let you know that this is just one of many sweet bundles we’re going to be doing. We definitely aren’t giving up on awesome cross-platform, DRM-free bundles, and we think you’ll be super excited by our next bundle. (PS… it’s Humble Indie Bundle 7!) We’ve even hired an in-house porter who is porting sweet Linux and Mac games round the clock!

Again, I’m sorry to hear that this bundle wasn’t what you were looking for, but I sincerely hope you come back and check out Humble Indie Bundle 7 and all the future awesome bundles we have planned!

Best regards,
Matthew
Support Ninja
Humble Bundle

So they won't be stopping their usual "good" bundles but it does beg the question - why did they drop their original principles? Is it a money grab? Is it to help a in-need THQ (they are having some err financial troubles)?
Here is an image our resident reviewer Hamish dug up which explains it all really:
image
Oh how times have changed!

To me it just seems like they have lost their ways completely on this one, yes their "good" bundles won't stop but now their original purpose and original values have gone completely out the window for in my eyes - money. So it comes down to it, they are a business and they want money at the expense of their original "good" image, to me that image has been tarnished by this.

They have stated elsewhere that they hope the money from this bundle will help them better their services, just to point something out to them is their notifications of game updates which in my eyes is extremely poor, they do it via a twitter account...and that's it. You won't find mention of each patch on their blog or website it seems so you have to keep your eyes peeled to a twitter account to get notified of bugs that have been fixed and pushed to your download pages - very poor communiction in my eyes.

On top of all that their recent bundle has had a game missing for months for Linux users (not the porters fualt) they have been pushing out too many bundles too quickly and it is showing, games have had glaring bugs in them (Waking Mars for example you couldn't change screen resolution..) and Vessel is as of this moment still missing.
With that said they have hired as Matthew said a in-house porter so things should hopefully improve in that respect, at least a little.

What I would personally like to see is them be much more open than they are, they could start by having their own forum up where people can post for help and connect with the developers, hell they could even get the patch notes/game update notifications there too!
Oh and to try to fix their image, yeah they should probably do that too, either go back to your original values (Like what he said would never happen - has happened) or drop the image of a cross platform, drm free for charity games provider altogether and just stick every game you can no matter the DRM in bundles and push the Linux and Mac buyers away like you just have.

So there you have it folks, that's my view on it all and I doubt it will change in a hurry. For shame Humble.

If you want to donate to charity, then go to the charity and donate. You don't need to support DRM or a company THQ who supported shady internet bills to do it!

I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. A fan of anything techy, and not just Linux stuff.

You can follow my personal blog here.

Comments on this article are now closed.
eldersnake commented on 1 December 2012 at 12:17 am UTC
  • GOL Supporter

So basically what they are saying is.... if it's an "Indie" bundle, then fine we'll do DRM-free and cross-platform, but for anything else... get stuffed.

So basically what they are saying is.... if it's an "Indie" bundle, then fine we'll do DRM-free and cross-platform, but for anything else... get stuffed.
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Hamish commented on 1 December 2012 at 1:01 am UTC
  • Editor

I am still planning to write up my own reflections on this as well.

I am still planning to write up my own reflections on this as well.
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drogeek commented on 1 December 2012 at 3:54 am UTC

I must admit it kind of ruins the perfection image I had of it

I must admit it kind of ruins the perfection image I had of it
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Kame commented on 1 December 2012 at 4:12 am UTC

Ah, nice, I got literally the EXACT same response. Yay scripted messages!

Ah, nice, I got literally the EXACT same response. Yay scripted messages!
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eldersnake commented on 1 December 2012 at 4:20 am UTC
  • GOL Supporter

"While we realize the Humble THQ Bundle is different from previous bundles, we just want to let you know that this is just one of many sweet bundles we’re going to be doing."

Translation: Oh yeah, sorry we forgot to mention... we're doing a bunch of other Bundle ideas now. They may lack that DRM-free/cross-platform stuff you guys have been loving though... sorry about that. But hey, expanded business model!


"We definitely aren’t giving up on awesome cross-platform, DRM-free bundles, and we think you’ll be super excited by our next bundle. (PS… it’s Humble Indie Bundle 7!) We’ve even hired an in-house porter who is porting sweet Linux and Mac games round the clock!"

Translation: Okay guys, we're STILL gonna be doing DRM-free cross-platform bundles, to keep you happy. But only for the Indie bundles. Also we love using the word 'sweet' because it makes it sound so much more exciting.



Sorry I can't help it lol.

"[I]While we realize the Humble THQ Bundle is different from previous bundles, we just want to let you know that this is just one of many sweet bundles we’re going to be doing."[/I] Translation: Oh yeah, sorry we forgot to mention... we're doing a bunch of other Bundle ideas now. They may lack that DRM-free/cross-platform stuff you guys have been loving though... sorry about that. But hey, expanded business model! [I]"We definitely aren’t giving up on awesome cross-platform, DRM-free bundles, and we think you’ll be super excited by our next bundle. (PS… it’s Humble Indie Bundle 7!) We’ve even hired an in-house porter who is porting sweet Linux and Mac games round the clock!"[/I] Translation: Okay guys, we're STILL gonna be doing DRM-free cross-platform bundles, to keep you happy. But only for the Indie bundles. Also we love using the word 'sweet' because it makes it sound so much more exciting. Sorry I can't help it lol.
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Larian commented on 1 December 2012 at 6:40 am UTC

While this particular bundle does leave a bad taste in my mouth, it's still one hell of a deal - a deal that you probably won't find on Steam. Pay your buck and get all 7 or so games if you want.

But I'm curious as to the HIB7 he mentions. It might be better to take a long view of this and see where things are going rather than go nuclear because they decided to try this experiment. Making projections on a single data point is bad policy, and I'm guessing it may not happen too often in the future with all the frowny faces they're getting.

While this particular bundle does leave a bad taste in my mouth, it's still one hell of a deal - a deal that you probably won't find on Steam. Pay your buck and get all 7 or so games if you want. But I'm curious as to the HIB7 he mentions. It might be better to take a long view of this and see where things are going rather than go nuclear because they decided to try this experiment. Making projections on a single data point is bad policy, and I'm guessing it may not happen too often in the future with all the frowny faces they're getting.
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Hamish commented on 1 December 2012 at 7:05 am UTC
  • Editor

"Larian, post: 6895"But I'm curious as to the HIB7 he mentions. It might be better to take a long view of this and see where things are going rather than go nuclear because they decided to try this experiment. Making projections on a single data point is bad policy, and I'm guessing it may not happen too often in the future with all the frowny faces they're getting.


And what about the millions in the bank? I think we will see more of these AAA Steam only Bundles unfortunately. Now, to be fair, we will still be getting proper Indie bundles for the, well, millions in the bank. But I think the money raised is going to trump the pain they caused us and the wrath they have been receiving.

[quote="Larian, post: 6895"]But I'm curious as to the HIB7 he mentions. It might be better to take a long view of this and see where things are going rather than go nuclear because they decided to try this experiment. Making projections on a single data point is bad policy, and I'm guessing it may not happen too often in the future with all the frowny faces they're getting.[/quote] And what about the millions in the bank? I think we will see more of these AAA Steam only Bundles unfortunately. Now, to be fair, we will still be getting proper Indie bundles for the, well, millions in the bank. But I think the money raised is going to trump the pain they caused us and the wrath they have been receiving.
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Qantourisc commented on 1 December 2012 at 8:52 am UTC

Since we are bashing anyway:
https://bugzilla.icculus.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5143 <= STILL waiting on a fix so I can play the dam game !
Normally I pay well, but now I'll have to take into account some games might not work, and subtract that from the value.
Also IF a good bundle comes out, I'll be refunding myself by paying less.

[B]Since we are bashing anyway:[/B] [url]https://bugzilla.icculus.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5143[/url] <= [U][I]STILL[/I][/U] waiting on a fix so I can play the dam game ! Normally I pay well, but now I'll have to take into account some games might not work, and subtract that from the value. Also IF a good bundle comes out, I'll be refunding myself by paying less.
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Anon commented on 1 December 2012 at 9:41 am UTC

This is the last nail in Humble's coffin for me. Not from a business viewpoint, but a moral one. Two years after starting, and gaining a huge amount of popularity in part thanks to them being DRM-free and cross-platform, they just got rid of those two things. The two values that brought all those Mac and Linux users, and got them to convince some others to buy it as well.

There's been many issues with them over the past two years, bad never-updated ports (like SMB...), which is apparently going to change now, for some games. Getting developers on board who couldn't give less of a shit about Linux, and do the port just to get in the bundle (GSB, SMB, and some others as well). But those things I could get through, thanks to their fairly good customer support, many of whom are Linux users who try to help you and apologize for the way those went. But in this case that hardly covers it. Not only is this a company that supported SOPA, which is bad in itself, but they didn't even bother to fight to get DRM-free games into this somehow. A promise of a port would have gone miles to help them, but of course not. And then, one of the games contains always-online DRM (Company of Heroes)...

With that said, I can see while they did it - it's only been ~40 hours, and so far they've sold almost 500k bundles and in total made $2.7 mil (which let's assume, even only 10% goes to Humble). This so far has been better selling than HIBV, is on the way to beat it by the number of sales and soon after that, revenue. I do hope that after this, they'll provide some sort of a better statement than what Graham replied to Arc and RPS, which was just walking around the issue and just talking that they're 'experimenting'. Surely, they don't need to, after this - they've got the name and now they have found the ultimate cash-cow.

Looking at how when we spoke to the Ninjas, some of them didn't even know it was Windows-0nly, I wonder how some of them feel about this promotion.

This is the last nail in Humble's coffin for me. Not from a business viewpoint, but a moral one. Two years after starting, and gaining a huge amount of popularity in part thanks to them being DRM-free and cross-platform, they just got rid of those two things. The two values that brought all those Mac and Linux users, and got them to convince some others to buy it as well. There's been many issues with them over the past two years, bad never-updated ports (like SMB...), which is apparently going to change now, for some games. Getting developers on board who couldn't give less of a shit about Linux, and do the port just to get in the bundle (GSB, SMB, and some others as well). But those things I could get through, thanks to their fairly good customer support, many of whom are Linux users who try to help you and apologize for the way those went. But in this case that hardly covers it. Not only is this a company that supported SOPA, which is bad in itself, but they didn't even bother to fight to get DRM-free games into this somehow. A promise of a port would have gone miles to help them, but of course not. And then, one of the games contains always-online DRM (Company of Heroes)... With that said, I can see while they did it - it's only been ~40 hours, and so far they've sold almost 500k bundles and in total made $2.7 mil (which let's assume, even only 10% goes to Humble). This so far has been better selling than HIBV, is on the way to beat it by the number of sales and soon after that, revenue. I do hope that after this, they'll provide some sort of a better statement than what Graham replied to Arc and RPS, which was just walking around the issue and just talking that they're 'experimenting'. Surely, they don't need to, after this - they've got the name and now they have found the ultimate cash-cow. Looking at how when we spoke to the Ninjas, some of them didn't even know it was Windows-0nly, I wonder how some of them feel about this promotion.
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