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The Weekend Gamer - #5

Scott Anderson
United States
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The part where I rant about something . . .

The latest Humble Bundle offering is about to close in the next few hours. This most recent iteration was known as The Humble Bundle for Android (and Windows, Mac and Linux!) - including copies of the games for a mobile platform for the first time.

The first Humble Bundle was launched on May 4, 2010, with the second iteration going up a little over one year ago (December 14, 2010). Since then there have been seven more Humble Bundles. Here's a quick rundown of the Humble Bundles to date:

Humble Indie Bundle #1 - May 4, 2010
Humble Indie Bundle #2 - December 14, 2010
Humble Frozenbyte Bundle - April 12, 2011
Humble Indie Bundle #3 - July 26, 2011
Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle - September 28, 2011
Humble Voxatron Debut - October 31, 2011
Humble Introversion Bundle - November 22, 2011
Humble Indie Bundle #4 - December 13, 2011
Humble Bundle for Android (and Windows, Mac and Linux!) - January 31, 2012

As you can clearly see, the frequency of Humble Bundles has been increasing. In fact - after 4 bundles in the first 14 months, we are now on a streak of 5 straight months with a new Humble Bundle.

And it's not just the guys from Wolfire Games (Jeffrey Rosen and John Graham - a.k.a. the creators of Humble Bundle) that are using this method to promote the cause of indie gaming. Check out Indie Royale, LittleBigBunch, The Indie Bundle, and Indie Games Pack for other examples/opportunities (...and I am surely missing some others).

The cause of promoting indie games is noble and charitable in and of itself, and many of these bundles take charity to a whole new level. The Humble Bundles allow you the opportunity to decide precisely how your money is directed. You can go with the default setting -- which gives 55% to the game developers, 30% to charity (i.e. Child’s Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and the remaining 15% as a “Humble Tip” (to the guys running the whole thing) -- OR you can decide exactly how much you want to give to each party. Additionally, the latest Humble Bundles have offered extra games and soundtracks to everyone that pays more than the current average purchase (usually in the $5-6 range).

I think it’s fair to say that one of the primary factors of the Humble Bundles’ success is the selectivity of the games offered. As a consumer, there has always been an assurance that, even knowing little to nothing about the games included, I could give my money and support without worrying about the quality I would receive in return.

So maybe you’ll understand a little when I say I’m beginning to be concerned with the number and frequency of these bundles... I would hate to see the the Humble Bundle (and the other indie bundle programs) coming out too often and becoming watered-down in quality. Then again - is that concern of mine valid? Are these indie bundles in danger of losing their importance and mystique?

I think I'm coming to the conclusion that I shouldn't be concerned about dilution ( least not yet). There are just so damn many great indie games out there that don't get enough exposure. Still, I am anxious to observe the future of the indie bundle phenomenon and this is an issue that will be on my mind as we see more and more bundles... And I can guarantee that as long as I have the chance to name my own price for a selection of great indie titles, my wallet will remain light!

Snippets and Tidbits . . .

Tweet(s) of the Week:

The following chain reaction occurred last week - resulting from an article on RockPaperShotgun about Tim Schafer wanting to make Psychonauts 2, and Notch (creator of Minecraft) offering (via Twitter) to help fund it...

Tim Schafer is willing to make Psychonauts 2. All he needs are a few million dollars...

Notch wrote:
@rockpapershot How many millions exactly?

Notch wrote:
@TimOfLegend Let's make Psychonauts 2 happen.

It's always unsettling to wake up to five text messages that say, "You'd better check your Twitter."

Oh wait. Hm. This is interesting.

Notch wrote:
Me and @TimOfLegend are talking to each other via email, and he's cool with me saying whatever I want about it. He's, like, super awesome.

Notch wrote:
Nothing has been decided either way, but he asked me if I'm going to GDC. I assume he's going to rob my apartment when I'm gone.

Notch wrote:
Anyway, please don't get your hopes too high yet. Everything is extremely vague!

Hey, @notch, here are the other sequels we need you to fund. By Monday, please.

Notch wrote:
@rockpapershot You have no idea how many emails I'm getting now.

If you're wondering about @notch’s generous offer to help Psychonauts 2 happen, all I can say is that we are having a lovely chat about it!

These things take time to figure out--if they can be figured out--so please don’t expect any Psychonauts 2 announcements any time soon.

(Or “PsychoNotch” as he’s insisting we call it. The guy is a hard negotiator, let me tell you. And that ego!)

Notch wrote:
@TimOfLegend You know I can read the stuff in parenthesis too, right?

...and would you believe that this exchange didn't remain the top news story regarding Tim Schafer's Double Fine Studios for long...?!

Video(s) of the Week:

What I played last week: Minecraft, Minecraft, Skyrim... and more Minecraft (I’m working on an aircraft carrier!)
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