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Open Source PC Games (Games) The Almighty Buck Games

Indie Pay-What-You-Want Bundle Reaches $1 Million 238

Posted by kdawson
from the doing-well-by-doing-good dept.
Spinnacre writes "The week-long Humble Indie Bundle, a pay-what-you-feel-adequate promotion, reached a million dollars in total contributions with just 50 minutes of sale time remaining. For a minimum price of a penny, gamers could get DRM-free downloads for World of Goo, Gish, Aquaria, Lugaru, Penumbra: Overture, and Samorost 2. The bundle gained great success immediately after being featured on sites such as Ars Technica and Slashdot for followup blog posts about game piracy and multi-platform gaming." According to this tweet from Steve Swink, the milestone means that several games will release their source code. In fact Wolfire is in the process of creating a public source code repository for Lugaru; Aquaria, Gish, and Penumbra: Overture are also due to be opened up within the next week.
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Indie Pay-What-You-Want Bundle Reaches $1 Million

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  • by Bamfarooni (147312) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @04:37PM (#32174434)

    I wonder how this compares to the total sales all 5 (now 6) games had prior to being included in the bundle?

    Oh, and awesome job, guys. Goo is a great game. Haven't had time to get to the rest yet.

  • Indie Gaming (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spqr0a1 (1504087) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @04:37PM (#32174450)

    This shows that the giving freedom to your customers can work. It is a momentous slap in the face to the big boys like EA and ilk.

  • Re:Indie Gaming (Score:2, Interesting)

    by u-235-sentinel (594077) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @04:53PM (#32174706) Homepage Journal

    This shows that the giving freedom to your customers can work. It is a momentous slap in the face to the big boys like EA and ilk.

    This also shows that people won't pay very much for games if you let them decide how much they will pay, and EA is not interested in getting less money per game. They want to bang out the big number of big-budget titles that let them play up in the rarefied air where, presumably, they pay little taxes, where cities in fact will offer them deals to come to their town and employ their best and brightest.

    With that said, getting money is good, and this surely provided sales that wouldn't have otherwise been made. I was too lazy to even play the goo demo for example, and I bought the bundle and downloaded goo first. Shrug.

    It also demonstrated that the Linux users were willing to shell out double compared to Windows users for quality games.

    And yes, I bought it and they run great under Ubuntu 10.04 :D

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alarindris (1253418) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @05:07PM (#32174914)
    Yeah, It just goes to show the impact that advertising has.

    The bundle gained great success immediately after being featured on sites such as Ars Technica and Slashdot for followup blog posts about game piracy and multi-platform gaming.

    Whether it's indie games or music, it's all about advertising. People can say fuck the middleman all they want, but that middleman (large label) has the money/connections to promote and advertise so you can make some money.

    Granted, if you're product is FANTASTIC it will go viral, but without the initial kick that advertising gets, you don't stand to make much money without a lot of footwork and effort.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @05:10PM (#32174950)

    I find it comical that the Slashdot submission makes no mention at all that they also said 25% of downloaders were "pirating" it, and not paying even a single penny.
    But that doesn't fit the Slashdot worldview, so it was left out.
    http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/Saving-a-penny----pirating-the-Humble-Indie-Bundle

  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rennt (582550) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:52PM (#32176914)

    I didn't know Penumbra was a late addition, but I did get Samorost 2 for nothing after purchasing the bundle.

    It was a pleasant experience I could certainly get used to. Never before have I paid an agreed price for something and had the publisher contact me with: "we've changed the deal - in your favour. Head back to our website to download your extra shit".

  • by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @08:03PM (#32177058)
    Indeed and don't forget that the 25% likely include some people that weren't able to get in on the action legally. Either they didn't have a credit card or they live in a part of the world where they have no access to the payment processors. It would be interesting to know how many of those would've paid had they been able to send in a check or pay in some other fashion.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @08:43PM (#32177458) Homepage

    Well, that's a guesstimate based on number of IP addresses... if you download it from more than one IP your other downloads will count as a "pirate". Plus I suspect that if you tell people they can choose how much to pay, many want to play first and decide afterwards. Like the blog says "25% seems incredible given that you can simply pay $0.01 to be completely legitimate." so why not play first and decide if it deserves a little more. Or maybe nobody at the link site even told them anything about the offer. Does it matter? It just proves that some people really don't want to pay anything, period. I doubt you could have earned anything on them anyway.

  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jesus_666 (702802) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @08:26AM (#32180960)
    True. They also cleverly added per-platform statistics enticing people to enter higher numbers in order to look good in comparison. I paid 11 USD. Why? Because the Mac average was at 10 USD.
  • Re:Indie Gaming (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adamofgreyskull (640712) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @09:07AM (#32181246)
    The tone of your post is a little condescending. World Of Goo originally sold for $20 a pop on it's own. Available on Steam etc. 2dboy were probably making more than "beer money" before they had even their first pay-what-you-want sale. So I'm not sure they needed a gimmick. That $1 million you're talking about was just made in a week. 2dboy got $145k from that, split between just the 2 of them presumably. $70k is not such a bad annual salary where I'm from, but maybe it's just beer money in San Francisco. I'd also bought the Penumbra trilogy before this sale, and judging by the number of people who regularly sing it's praises on Slashdot, I don't think they were living hand-to-mouth before this either. Maybe they weren't pulling in "EA money", but nor do they have EA's overheads.

    Secondly, I don't think it's necessarily any more gimmicky than say, Valve, having a weekend price-reduction to boost sales. All these games have been out for a while...how often do you see older video games on sale for $5-$10 at the local EB/Gamestop? This is exactly the same, except they're relying on people's honesty to pay what they feel is appropriate. You'll always get the people paying $0.01, just like you'd have people shop-lifting the game from a store, but you'll also have people thinking that it's worth more. The benefit of this is that a)no-one would offer to pay $20 for a game marked down to $10 at Gamestop, but they might in this case and b)if someone genuinely thinks $10 is too much for a game, but they'd pay $7.50, wouldn't you rather have the $7.50 than nothing?

    Long and rambling, sorry. But my point is, as far as I can see it's a perfectly valid way to boost sales for an indie developer. It doesn't invalidate the traditional approach, but nor do I think it deserves condescension. You're right of course, it would never work for EA or World of Warfare: Modern Lich-King. Part of the reason "pay-what-you-want" works is that they are indie developers and I don't think many people would like the idea of screwing over a person by paying $0.01 for a great game like World of Goo, at least I'd hope not. Would people have the same crisis of conscience if they were screwing over a massive corporate entity like EA? Sad, but that's the way the world works. And of course, EA needs to know that it can pay all it's hundreds/thousands of employees, it would never take a gamble on human kindness like this because it couldn't afford to.

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