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DRM Windows Games

New Humble Bundle Is Windows Only, DRM Games 553

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-the... dept.
jbernardo writes "After all the indie, multi-platform (including 4 for android) and DRM free releases, the latest Humble Bundle release is a polarizing one. It features non-indie games, it is Windows only, and the games are saddled with DRM. There is already a very vocal discussion on the Humble Bundle Google+ thread, but it seems it is selling well."
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New Humble Bundle Is Windows Only, DRM Games

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  • I'm +Eric Hopper [google.com] over on Google+.

    I'm angry for several reasons. But the biggest reason is that I gave the Humble Bundle brand name a lot of free advertising and word of mouth because I expected them to always be DRM-free and cross-platform. Them choosing not to be feels like a betrayal and a cheat because they're taking all that good will I helped them create to sell something that is at cross-purposes to the reason I helped them create this good will.

    I'm also angry because I spent a bunch of money, always above the average, often significantly so. I spent it not just because I thought the games were worth it. I spent it because I believed in Humble Bundle and what I thought they were trying to accomplish. It was another way for me to invest in the brand.

    If they had done something like this under a different name I wouldn't be angry at all. Create another brand "Pay What You Can" bundles or whatever and market your stuff under that brand if it doesn't fit the Humble Bundle image. Then I wouldn't feel like all the work and money I put into supporting the Humble Bundle brand was a waste.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:40PM (#42137477)

    Why?

    It's still pay what you want. It still lets you send a portion to charity. What exactly is the problem? Is it just that you are ideologically against big publishers and are upset that not everyone agrees with you?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:42PM (#42137489)

    I fail to see a problem here, if you have an issue with this just send everything to charity. Personally the way I view it is this way, the more money they raise for charity the better, it's to help the less fortunate after all. This time around it is for Child's Play and America Red Cross both respectable organizations which I would be proud to donate to.

    So yes if you have a "Screw You" type of mentality towards DRM and refuse to give them money for it, go right ahead. You can still buy said games and just donate everything to charity and deny the company who produced said games money.

  • Re:No Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:45PM (#42137519)

    You could just buy it, change the slider to all charity, and you and the charity win and you show your dislike towards THQ and Humble Bundle.

    Games + Charity + Sticking it to the man = You can sleep at night.

    As for me, I think it's a great deal and I appreciate Humble Bundle and THQ setting this up for charity.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:46PM (#42137531)

    "Humble bundle" is more or less in the same mental category as I would place "brand names".

    It is a specific brand of name your price software offering, estalished on a set of core ideals.

    It was those core ideals that made Humbe Bundle stand out from other name your price offerings.

    This is not an offering true to the humble bundle ideals. It should not be labeled as being a humble bundle offering, unless they strip off the DRM, and FOSS the game afterwards, like the previous closed source games in the past did.

    Unless they do BOTH of those things, this is an unacceptable offering, akin to opening a box of heineken and finding that it had been instead filled with old milwuakee.

    People support the humble bundle brand for a reason. Throwing away that foundation to placate AAA studio developers is a betrayal of the user base, and a slap in the face to prior bundle participant developers.

    No developer should get preferential treatment by the bundle. Ever.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:47PM (#42137547)

    I think THQ being forced to bundle their games and sell them at a ridiculously low price is pretty humbling, FWIW.

  • by Symbolis (1157151) <symbolis@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:47PM (#42137551)

    I think people hear "Humble Bundle" and just assume it's really "Humble Indie Bundle"....which this is not.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:48PM (#42137555)

    Yeah, that'll teach them to do exactly what pirates have been insisting major publishers should do! How dare they give us the option to pay what we want!? They must be punished!!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:54PM (#42137593)

    This company is near bankrupt. We can all hate because we're from a subculture that supports individualism and new startups for games. However, this company is offering us games for basically CHARITY. Also, they're a company that needs these funds to continue on after doing bad in the market. Games like Saints Row and Company of Heroes are great games, DRM or no DRM, If you're really idealistic, you would be opposed to other humble bundles which they use Steam WHICH IS DRM. Grow up guys and support THQ for their work.

  • by v1 (525388) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:00PM (#42137635) Homepage Journal

    Sure it's Steam on Windows only. But considering it has the biggest market share, it's quite ok to do so when you want to raise money for a charity.

    Every time I hear someone justify a business decision with "Since the majority of the money is here, it'll be a great idea to just completely ignore all other sources of revenue!" gives me a horrific twitch.

    What is it? Are they actually teaching this in business school nowadays?

  • Steam (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hsien-Ko (1090623) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:00PM (#42137643)
    It's fine with me. Best DRM ever.

    Your loss, lol. The real problem is if there's ever a UPlay-exclusive Humble Bundle
  • by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:00PM (#42137645)

    It is a specific brand of name your price software offering, estalished on a set of core ideals.

    Maybe that was true for the first few bundles. But they've since branched out into releasing music and books. They sold Crayon Physics Deluxe without source code, and probably other games too.

    People support the humble bundle brand for a reason.

    But not always the same reason. I've supported the Humble Bundles from the beginning, always paying several times the average, and keeping all my keys neatly sorted in KeePass. I've never played half the games, but I support it anyway. Not because I care about DRM (so long as its inobtrusive, I don't) or open source, but because I support the pay-what-you-want-and-give-some-to-charity model.

    This happens. Little communities expand, and become more ideologically diverse. You shouldn't be so angry towards your fellow supporters. We give just as much as you do.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:00PM (#42137651)

    Ok, how about buying a carton of milk, and finding orange juice inside?

    Buy a bottle of champaign and discover it is really white zinfendel?

    The point is that simply because "its a liquid, and you can drink it", that does not make it interchangeable. Ordering a porche and getting a ford festiva delivered is NOT how you treat customers. They are both cars, and they both drive from point a to point b. But saying they are the same is disingeuous to say the least.

    This is not a humble bundle offering any more than a delivered ford festiva is a porche.

    Sticking a porche nameplate on said festiva and selling it as a porche is a very good way to destroy the brand.

    The same is true here. People are angry, because of this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:02PM (#42137665)

    Seriously, if you don't like it, just don't buy it.

    What makes you think he's going to buy it? Oh, how embarassing! For a moment I forgot it's a crime to express yourself in online discussions. We serfs must either speak well of a product or not speak at all, lest our the worst happen. Our benevolent corporate masters might even lose potential profit - the most important profit of all - if we aren't more careful with our sinful tongues.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@hacki s h . o rg> on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:04PM (#42137681)

    Where have I missed all the pirates clamoring for major publishers to find a prominent "indie" brand name to masquerade as, and attempt to sell their DRM wares via that channel?

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:09PM (#42137733)
    What you are telling us is that you are going to vocally denounce a charity project?

    You thought the Humble Bundles were about free software, chief? They are about giving to fucking charity, you ignorant myopic twat.
  • by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:12PM (#42137759)

    Pirates have been clamoring for publishers to adopt a pay-what-you-want model. THQ is trying that out as a temporary offering. It is entirely logical for them to use an existing site that specializes in pay-what-you-want temporary offers. If it works well, they might create their own platform. Expecting them to create their own platform for an experiment is absurd.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:13PM (#42137771)

    "Pay what you want, DRM-free, cross-platform and helps charity."
    That's been a tagline of all the bundles so far, IIRC. It's not just some implicit assumption on his part. You'll note how they had to contort it for the THQ bundle.

    It's no surprise that people are angry when the Humble Bundle guys diverge this much from the image they have built up for their product. This is brand dilution; people came in expecting the usual and were disappointed.

  • by Tough Love (215404) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:16PM (#42137795)

    So let me see, dropped the EFF donation and added DRM. What is the message?

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:24PM (#42137847)

    The response from the Humble Bundle co-founder John Graham is this [arstechnica.com]:
    They're experimenting. They're trying to see if they can make the HIB system work for bigger games. But this is in no way a guaranteed change in how it will work in the future - they fully plan to continue the DRM-free, cross-platform indie game bundles, possibly even another one this year.

    My own addendum:
    If the experiment is a success, they'll likely be able to push harder in the future to force their partners to remove the DRM and/or port to Mac/Linux. But since this was the first one, they had to compromise a bit. And even then they could only get a publisher that's nearly dead and is desperate for PR and sales. Given how much backlash that's brought them from some sectors*, they almost definitely won't do the next one just like this. At least, not under the Humble Bundle name.

    * I say "some sectors" because the gaming world is actually pretty excited about this one. They don't really care about the lack of Mac/Linux support or the DRM. It's rather clear that this bundle was aimed at them, not at anti-DRM crusaders or Mac/Linux fans.

  • by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:29PM (#42137881)

    Considering in only 8.5 hours that it has outsold 14 of the last 19 bundles and still has nearly 13 days to go shows that their decision really isn't hurting them.

  • by deek (22697) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:36PM (#42137925) Homepage Journal

    Well, the Windows group has always been the lowest average in Humble Bundles. The Linux group, and to a lesser extent, the Mac group, have always pushed the bundle average up. So, the results aren't much of a surprise.

    I can't imagine the effort of porting all those games to other platforms. Give 'em a year, and it could probably be done. I'm sure THQ couldn't wait that long, though.

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:40PM (#42137957)

    Because the other three explicitly stated purposes of these things were "indie," "drm-free" and "cross-platform," and they're all missing, that's the problem!

  • by Rennt (582550) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:46PM (#42138003)

    The support of Free, non-DRM software and indie developers is the charity, chief. The other guys are just icing on the cake. Not only have they dropped the indies and dropped the no-drm requirements, but they've they've dropped support of the EFF too!

    If a new group had come along with a "support struggling AAA studios" charity then we might laugh, but they wouldn't be denounced for compromising their ideals.

  • by radish (98371) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:47PM (#42138007) Homepage

    Bullshit. There have been several Humble Bundles which didn't even include games (e.g. Music & eBooks), and most of the games in previous bundles haven't been FOSS. They've also done publisher/developer specific bundles in the past (e.g. Frozenbyte, Introversion).

    I honestly have no clue what your problem with this is, as none of the things you talk about have been true for previous bundles. The only real difference is that in the past many of the items were DRM free, but even that's not been 100%, and many of us (myself included) just used the steam keys anyway so that wasn't really significant.

    This is raising money for charity and/or THQ - I have no problem with that. If you don't like it, don't buy it. End of story.

  • by PsychoSlashDot (207849) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @11:42PM (#42138425)
    To be fair, that doesn't say "we sell nothing but bundles of cross-platform, DRM-free video games...". McDonalds sells Big Macs. They also sell orange juice. Heck, they'll sell you a cup of water for the price of a cup though you won't find it on the menu.
  • Not good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Friday November 30, 2012 @12:03AM (#42138533)

    How exactly does this fit with "Humble Bundle?". DRM, non-indie, and single platform? There is plenty of that main-stream. This is not a good sign.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @12:07AM (#42138551)

    I'm Eric Hopper over on Google+.

    That's nice. The link makes it extra special.

    I'm angry for several reasons. But the biggest reason is that I gave the Humble Bundle brand name a lot of free advertising and word of mouth because I expected them to always be DRM-free and cross-platform.

    You should get a job in marketing, you're obviously very influential. I mentioned you when I got my usual $1.50 cup of coffee and they only charged me $1.50.

    Them choosing not to be feels like a betrayal and a cheat because they're taking all that good will I helped them create to sell something that is at cross-purposes to the reason I helped them create this good will.

    Screw the charities, it's about you, and rightly so.

    I'm also angry because I spent a bunch of money, always above the average, often significantly so. I spent it not just because I thought the games were worth it. I spent it because I believed in Humble Bundle and what I thought they were trying to accomplish. It was another way for me to invest in the brand.

    So, what were they trying to accomplish?

    http://web.archive.org/web/20101106094641/http://www.wolfire.com/humble [archive.org]

    It seems they were trying to distribute games without a set price or publisher and support charities at the same time.

    If they had done something like this under a different name I wouldn't be angry at all. Create another brand "Pay What You Can" bundles or whatever and market your stuff under that brand if it doesn't fit the Humble Bundle image.

    Exactly, so no one would ever know about it. Remember: nothing should ever change, ever.

    Then I wouldn't feel like all the work and money I put into supporting the Humble Bundle brand was a waste.

    Remember, it's always about you and what you've done.

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:00AM (#42138787)

    "Pay what you want, DRM-free, cross-platform and helps charity." That's been a tagline of all the bundles so far, IIRC. It's not just some implicit assumption on his part. You'll note how they had to contort it for the THQ bundle.

    There have been four android-only bundles. That's not any more cross-platform than PC only.

    As far as DRM-free, these aren't indie games. Were they indie games, I feel like this would indeed be a step backward. But this is a big chunk of a big company's catalog. Granted, they're desperate, but naming your price on 5 games all from a publisher, and the DRM is only steam? That feels like progress.

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:16AM (#42138847)

    I gave the Humble Bundle brand name a lot of free advertising and word of mouth because I expected them to always be DRM-free and cross-platform....I helped them create this good will.

    Are you suggesting that your celebrity endorsement of them counts as "a lot of free advertising" and "helping them create this good will?" I think you overestimate your celebrity status. You have 525 people following you on google plus. Not that you would have a right to feel betrayed even if you had 11k people following you, but... well... check your ego. They don't owe you for saying nice things about them to a handful of people.

  • Re:No Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:32AM (#42138913)

    That's exactly what I did... only the minimum amount (to get the extra game) too, especially since the EFF didn't participate this time.

    I think I'm also going to allocate zero to the "Humble Tip" in at least the next few future bundles because of this.

    Don't do it - reward good behavior whenever it's displayed. With businesses, like with dogs, grudge-based punishment only confuses your message.

  • by fredprado (2569351) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:47AM (#42138951)
    RMS was right about everything he said in the last 30 years or so. Many many things he said and people called insanity back them are reality now. Server sided DRM, like Steam, was one of them. He may not be a good example of sociability or even personal hygiene, but his ideas are solid, unlike yours.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @02:57AM (#42139161)

    They owe me something, and they owe the thousands of other people who did the same as I did something.

    Dude, seriously, fuck you and the (not-so-humble) horse you rode in on.

    Maybe it isn't so, but you come off as one of those people who joins organisations for your own glory. The current bundle is proving you wrong by being the most successful Humble Bundle ever.

    Not everyone ascribes to your strict (semi-religious?) ideals. Get over it.

  • by X.25 (255792) on Friday November 30, 2012 @03:26AM (#42139239)

    Sure, let's all completely ignore that this bundle is dwarfing the previous bundles in the first day in terms of money collected.

    Because the only thing that matters in life is money, right?

  • Re:No Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Friday November 30, 2012 @03:34AM (#42139257) Journal

    When did selling games for charity turn into a "Down with the man, FOSSies unite!" kind of thing anyway? The first ones didn't have DRM because News Flash, they were made by dirt poor indies who could afford to buy any DRM. I mean you'd think people would be happy, bigger names mean more sales which means more money to a fricking kid's charity but nope, god fucking forbid that it goes against our fricking religion.

    Now for those of us who don't care about GPL religious debates, i have a question...what if you already have one of the games on Steam? will it fuck with the ones you have, get put in the gift pile, just don't count, what? because me and my boys already have SR 3 with all the DLC (great game BTW, fun as hell) but I'd hate to give more than the average just to have it screw up all my DLC, so if anybody knows what actually happens if you already have one of the games I'd really like to know, as giving money to a charity for kids while giving the boys some good games does sound nice. if the game just don't count? Totally fine with that, just don't want to lose all my DLC.

  • Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by goldcd (587052) on Friday November 30, 2012 @04:23AM (#42139417) Homepage
    I'm just completely bemused by the seeming response.
    THQ did a good thing. Somebody within the company went to bat for this, made it happen, and people respond like this?
    FFS.
  • Re:No Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moronoxyd (1000371) on Friday November 30, 2012 @06:21AM (#42139849)

    So... specific Humble Bundles where advertised as DRM-free, and that's why this one has to be DRM-free as well?

  • by moronoxyd (1000371) on Friday November 30, 2012 @06:29AM (#42139875)

    If they had done something like this under a different name I wouldn't be angry at all.

    You mean something like 'Humle THQ Bundle' instead of 'Humble Indie Bundle'?
    Yeah, if only they had done so...

  • by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Friday November 30, 2012 @07:49AM (#42140243) Homepage

    There have been several Humble Bundles which didn't even include games (e.g. Music & eBooks)

    And in addition, the eBooks one (which I purchased) had some pretty not-in-any-imaginable-way-humble-category-level authors. Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi, to name but two. The genres in which they publish aren't what passes for literary mainstream, but within those genres they both are most definitely major AAA-authors.

    I really don't see the reason for the hate on this THQ bundle. THQ is almost bankrupt. Helping a struggling company to maybe, with luck, not disappear (or, worse, become part of EA), isn't evil by any means.

  • by westlake (615356) on Friday November 30, 2012 @08:03AM (#42140303)

    Because the only thing that matters in life is money, right?

    If you are managing a fundraiser for charities like the Red Cross, then yes.

    If you are trying to help out an established developer in deep financial trouble or a newcomer who needs leg up, then yes.

  • Re:Yep (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Luckyo (1726890) on Friday November 30, 2012 @08:54AM (#42140525)

    THQ is in serious financial trouble. This is a bundle of their old games that have essentially zero sales at this point, with an added bonus of "if you do pay a decent sum, you may get a not-so-old game too".

    This is pretty much free money and free publicity grab for them.

  • Re:No Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Friday November 30, 2012 @09:23AM (#42140655) Homepage Journal

    I think I'm also going to allocate zero to the "Humble Tip" in at least the next few future bundles because of this.

    That is an awful thing for you to do. THQ is basically giving their games away for Child's Play & the Red Cross & you're going to punish the vehicle they happened to use? They didn't mislead you in any way & word of mouth from this bundle will help bring attention to future *indie* bundles which can only be a good thing for those developers.

    Don't be a shitty human being.

  • Re:Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Barefoot Monkey (1657313) on Friday November 30, 2012 @09:31AM (#42140691)

    I don't think anyone's calling out THQ - they made an amazing offer. The complaints are specifically toward Humble specifically for going back on the very things for which fans were most impressed with them. I'm not too happy about that myself, but I'm sure that they didn't take the decision to do this lightly. THQ - an excellent developer and publisher - is having problems right now, and Humble chose to burn a bit of their ample supply of good karma to help them. It means we can get some THQ games cheaply now and hopefully boost THQ enough that they can continue making games in the future.

  • Re:Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asylumx (881307) on Friday November 30, 2012 @10:45AM (#42141241)
    Agreed. Here's a quote from a Humble Bundle rep from an article on Rock, Paper, Shotgun:

    When THQ expressed interest in our pay what you want plus charity model and willingness to let us bundle so many top tier titles, we couldn’t believe it at first,” the rep explained to RPS. “But trying to turn up our noses at this epic chance to make gamers happy and help worthy causes like Child’s Play and the American Red Cross could only have been defined as arrogance. We had to try and we were extremely curious to see what would happen.

    I agree with the "arrogance" observation. Childs Play & the American Red Cross are real, tangible causes, and as others mentioned, you can cause your entire donation to go to them and none of it to THQ or even HumbeBundle, if you like. The nerd rage against this bundle is completely inappropriate.

    From my point of view, as long as they also keep doing the humble indie bundles, I have no problem with them throwing in partnered bundles like this. In fact, I quite enjoy them.

    Source of quote: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/11/30/wait-what-the-humble-thq-bundle/ [rockpapershotgun.com]

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