What is up with the Humble Daily Bundle?

For the past week or so, the guys at Humble Bundle have been putting out a new bundle every day. This should be something I’m excited about – I am passionate about getting good deals on games! However, this whole thing feels very, very wrong. I’ve been disappointed almost every day. I think I know why, though.

Humble Values

To me, prior to this daily sale promotion, Humble Bundle as a brand represented:

  • A limited time offer
  • Pay what you want
  • Get a bunch (say, 4-8) good games
  • Support charity

Of these, I think only the “support charity” element is still present in these daily sales.

  • Some of the bundles have been re-runs of previous bundles or featured games that had been featured before. So much for limited time!
  • There have been several bundles that “pay what you want” got you no games whatsoever… You either had to beat the average to get a game, or pay above some minimum threshold.
  • Most of these bundles have featured three games or fewer, again, with minimum thresholds to get more than (or sometimes even) one.

Other Stuff Humble Lost

  • Indies – Once upon a time, the Humble Bundle was all about indies. Several of the recent bundles have struck this from the Humble Bundle charter, though.
  • Cross-Platform – At the start, having a Linux port was a must. Now I’m seeing more and more Windows-only or Windows-and-Mac only.
  • DRM-Free – It’s typical now for games to have a Steam requirement.

All of these things I can get – probably the primary audience is Windows gamers who prefer Steam. It doesn’t take a lot of analysis to understand that’s where the market is right now. I still just think it’s sad to see the things that defined the “humble” in the “Humble Bundle” fall by the wayside.

What’s the Deal, Humble?

When Humble announced they were doing daily bundles, I was excited. I figured that doing a daily bundle meant they had enough cool stuff to show us that they were confident in their lineup.

However, what’s been shown so far is disappointing. A lot of it is recycled, and even beyond that the offerings are weak and break the “Humble brand” that they’ve established.

I don’t really know what the future will bring for this set of daily sales, and I don’t know what they have planned long term for the brand. However, as someone who valued what they had created previously, this current set of sales is troubling to me.