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Humble Troubles Again, more platform specific bundles

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So, Humble Bundle, we meet again in my Editorials. This time, I am going to be a little less harsh than previous entries, but still I thought I should write about this and see what everyone’s opinion is.

Previously, I was, I suppose, overly against Humble because of their Windows only "THQ Bundle". It actually angered me to the core because I felt, and still feel, that it went against what their original values were supposed to be about. (See here "Humble not so friendly anymore bundle") The comments are worth a read too, as it was probably one of our most commented articles to date!

The problem is that they are further watering down their brand in the attempt of making more money. Let's look at some very recent examples shall we?

Humble Weekly Sale
This one we covered briefly before, the Humble guys are doing weekly sales of games that happen every Tuesday. A great idea, although indiegamestand already do something near enough the same, but it seems they have thrown cross platform out the window on this one as well, considering the most recent one at time of writing is a Windows only deal.

Humble Mobile Bundle
They have also just launched their Mobile Bundles which are for Android only, so no Windows, Mac or Linux (I know, I know Android is part Linux that's an argument for another day) versions, which makes me wonder just how the Windows crowd feels since they have been left out this time, too.

At the end of the day it's their decision, it's their business after all and they are out to make money. (Some people seem to think it's all for charity. Afraid not, they are a business). It just tugs at me a bit that they have watered down their brand even more again, and again have gone against their original goals.

I am wondering how long it will be until they actually open a proper store. It can't be long now. Maybe I should start doing a Phoronix, and say "It's coming!!"...

What are your thoughts? Are you at all bothered by this? Shall I go back to my corner? Talk up! Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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18 comments
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SteamPenguin 27 Mar, 2013
I 1000% agree with you, it upsets me :(
muntdefems 27 Mar, 2013
Although obviously disappointed, I guess I'm not as mad as you at them. Mainly for two reasons:

1) This time the Windows-only THQ event doesn't take place at HB's main site but on a separate, secondary compartment. At the time of the infamous THQ Bundle many agreed that something like this would've served as a mitigating circumstance.

2) As for the Android-only bundle, I'm not completely enraged by it since I own an Android phone (even though it can hardly handle any of the bundled games and most probably I'm not gonna get it). What amuses me the most is the name they've chosen: The Humble Mobile Bundle. I however understand they couldn't have named this one as The Humble Bundle for Android 6 since it's clearly a different product than the 5 previous ones.
And not that I care about iOS, but they could at least have made this bundle multiplatform by featuring games available on both mobile platforms (or even for Windows phones also).
Anon 27 Mar, 2013
I can't say I am particularly bothered by the weekly sale, and neither am I annoyed they're copying someone - Humble has much more leverage and can get bigger titles on board. It's interesting to see however that a mobile only bundle has sparked no outrage, while the THQ one was probably the most discussed bundle to date (perhaps contributing to its success).

What bothers me more is that the THQ weekly sale is all DRM, with at least Steam on all, and GFWL on Guerilla additionally. Furthermore, I might be wrong in this (in which case I apologize), perhaps, but some of the Android games this time also have some intrusive DRM - PVZ requires a constant connection, and I doubt that this version is different from the Google Play version.

I'm disappointed, since the pile of bad decisions (from a Linux users' standpoint) seems to be growing. I will not stop buying their bundles, but I won't be following their other stuff as closely. I'll probably stay addicted to bundles, as it happens.

As to the store, well, they already have a 'Humble Store' widget, via which many developers sell games. I think there's a list of those somewhere but I can't remember where it was. I do hope however, that they bagged a separate domain, on which they could do the non-bundle stuff, so as not to dilute the brand further.

It's interesting to see where this will take them, but I'm not too bothered by them doing more stuff, as long as they keep their integrity and stay away from another THQ like bundle. I would love to see developer bundles again, but from devs that actually care, and there hasn't been a debut in a long time
muntdefems 27 Mar, 2013
Quoting: AnonFurthermore, I might be wrong in this (in which case I apologize), perhaps, but some of the Android games this time also have some intrusive DRM - PVZ requires a constant connection, and I doubt that this version is different from the Google Play version.
I wasn't aware of this. If it's true, then I'll certainly hold this bundle in a lower regard than before.


Quoting: AnonAs to the store, well, they already have a 'Humble Store' widget, via which many developers sell games. I think there's a list of those somewhere but I can't remember where it was.
You're probably thinking of the Humble Store entry at the PCGamingWiki. I regularly check it to see if they have some new titles to offer.
Guest 27 Mar, 2013
It's all very disappointing, though I can't say I'm totally surprised.

It is fortunate that Valve grabbed the Linux torch before HB dropped it. That is to say, before we have another Loki style death.

Also, lol @ Phoronix reference :P
fredosh 27 Mar, 2013
Quoting: muntdefemsAnd not that I care about iOS, but they could at least have made this bundle multiplatform by featuring games available on both mobile platforms (or even for Windows phones also).
I think this might not really be something they are able to do (aside from jailbroken devices) as these platforms are locked so that you can only get apps for them from their official app stores. Or am I wrong?
Jayson 27 Mar, 2013
While I can see your points, At the end of the day it is their business and they can make what choices, good or bad, they want. You of course and any others who feel strongly that their actions are negative may show your disatisfaction  by letting them know your thoughts, refusing to buy their products, or better yet build a competing bundle that holds to your ideals. You build a bundle with linux games that  I don't already own and I will buy it and I imagine many others would too.
Septikos 27 Mar, 2013
Linux gives us diversity, so I assume diversity is a good think. Humble bundle gives us diversity too and they are definitely developing what leads to I guess even more diversity. Also I don't get why care if they are just some greedy businessmen? Just set humble tip to zero and that's it
Cheeseness 27 Mar, 2013
It seems to me that with the weekly stuff going on, this provided an opportunity for allowing Humble to explore non-cross platform space whilst still always having at least one cross-platform promotion happening at any given time. That the value of this wasn't seen (or wasn't considered high enough) troubles me.

I'd like to say that I don't care about the THQ weekly promotion, but as others have said, not being DRM free certainly feels like it diminishes the Humble brand. One thing I don't see asked enough at the moment is that with THQ defunct, mostly sold off and awaiting auction of its remaining IP next month, where is the money going? Transparency of allocation has always been a (perhaps unintentional?) prominent aspect of Humble Bundle promotions, and I find this business unsettling. Sure, the games are good, but the philosophical aspects of Humble are what resonate with its community, and I've never been comfortable with the notion of expanding at the expense of your existing followers (loyalty really does need to run in both directions).

I find the mobile bundle to be a bit confusing as well (and certainly inappropriately named), though with Popcap involved and Contre Jour championing IE, it feels a bit like cross-platform PC support for all titles would have been difficult to wrangle, and at the end of the day, I'd rather not have games that developers aren't interested in maintaining appear on Linux. We've seen this before, and it doesn't really result in positive outcomes for Linux gamers.

Septikos, it's very important to express opinions and give feedback. Simply setting the tip to zero is not enough. Not buying a bundle also doesn't really help anybody understand why they missed your sale, or how they could have gone about getting it. Whether they choose to take feedback onboard and look after their long term fans is up to them, but at the very least, they deserve to be able to make that choice.

Edit: Also, on the note of "copying" other promotions, I'd say that the industry probably owes Humble a few get-out-of-ripping-somebody-off-free cards.
Endymion 27 Mar, 2013
Quoting: AnonI might be wrong in this (in which case I apologize), perhaps, but some of the Android games this time also have some intrusive DRM - PVZ requires a constant connection, and I doubt that this version is different from the Google Play version.
You are wrong :)
Version of Plants vs. Zombies from play store do not require Internet connection. The game works perfectly even on phone set to flight mode. It checks for updates on startup so at least it phones home, but probably most of mobile games do it too.
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