Humble Bundle

Other (objects, etc.) entity

Series of time limited sales of packs of cross-platform, DRM-free games where customers set their own price and distribute it to the developers, Humble Store, or some charity as they want.


The first video game about Humble Bundle was released on October 1, 2001.

SNK, 11 bit studios and Frozenbyte has published most of these games

The effort originated with Wolfire Games who contacted several indie developers who agreed to provide games and pledged to change the game's licenses to open source if a minimum amount of profit was made. A figure of 1 million dollars was put out as a hopeful maximum estimate but no one really thought it would approach that amount. Customers were able to distribute there payment in any way they liked between charity and developers and the it was decided that the Humble Bundle would be a success if money was donated to charity. In fact about 1/3 of the over 1.4 million in sales was donated. The Humble Bundle revealed some trends that were surprising to publishers. Despite an overwhelming perception of major publishers that Mac and especially Linux having a minuscule market share at not worth their effort, nearly half the profit was from non-Windows purchases. Mac users are willing to pay more than windows users and Linux users are willing to pay a lot more, twice as much as Windows users in fact. The HIB also shattered the perception that gamers, and especially Linux gamers, are a selfish group with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement that will demand and even take for free anything they can get away with. Given the opportunity to buy 5 games for $1, they averaged almost 9 times that amount (over 14 times as much for linux). Also, we live in a world that, on average, will allocate 2% to charity when given the opportunity. This should shame everyone else that gamers chose a whopping 31%.

Some 'piracy' was traced also. But it is noted that most of the 'piracy' was probably people making multiple downloads with one large payment instead of making multiple payments for each download (ie: I want 10 copies to give 9 to my friends at $20 each, here's $200 instead of paying $20 ten times). The instructions were not clear for the first bundle, the 2nd bundle had a gifting/multiple purchase option. There were other reasons legitimate customers may have mistakenly included themselves in the piracy count, including technical difficulties with payment methods that the customers bypassed (illegitimately) in order to acquire their legitimate purchase. But, some actual theft did occur also. For the 2nd HIB, Wolfire games provided their own torrent in case customers chose to acquire their copy this way due to technical difficulties of the legitimate interface (and simply to offload illegitimate bandwidth from their servers for the convenience of legitimate customers). On Wolfire's blog it states, "If you are deadset on pirating the bundle, please consider downloading it from BitTorrent instead of using up our bandwidth!". This 'semi-official' torrent allows further distinction between blatant piracy and 'customer self-support'.

On February 17, 2012 the Humble Bundle Mojam ran for 60 hours with all proceeds going to charity. One of the games from the event, Fists of Resistance from Oxeye Game Studio, was only available on a single platform and not pledged to be ported in the future (as has occurred in past HiBs). This marks the first time the Humble Indie Bundle team decided to exclude the customers that routinely provide them with %25-%50 of their income.

Some packs turn the games open source afterwards. Details are as follows...
Changing licenses to Open Source is highly encouraging but not a strict requirement of HiB. Each developer makes this decision (it is widely presumed that the HiB team favors those that pledge Open Sourcing in the decision of which games to include in each Bundle). The game engines, and not necessarily the content, are released as Open Source. As some developers relied on proprietary code from 3rd party sources, a few were unable to release any useful code (World of Goo, for example.) Some developers set a minimum amount of profit and other requirements for fulfilling their pledge to Open Source. In each case, all pledge requirements have always been met thus far. Some developers have Open Sourced before conclusion of HiB sale or the moment it began (including games that were not available before the sale).
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