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Humble Abandons Its Last Founding Principle

Long ago, a new games platform launched, the Humble Bundle. Founded by Wolfire Games, this new service sold bundles of indie games on a pay what you want scale with proceeds split between developers and charity. Purchasers of the bundles could choose to give all the sale price to the charities, or split the cost between the charities and developers, or anything in between. this novel sales approach lead to a huge success of the Humble Bundle and helped raise millions for charity.

The main draw of the bundles was the three founding principles:

  1. All bundles support charities with the ability for purchasers to send 100% of the price they pay to the charity.
  2. The games should be cross platform, supporting Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs.
  3. The games should be DRM free.

In the grand scheme of things, the service lasted longer than anyone expected. But it wasn’t long before they started abandoning these founding principles. The first to go was the cross platform requirement. At first all games supported the three listed platforms, but as time went on, more and more games were in the bundles without Linux or Mac support.

Then came the bundles that included DRM. Steam only bundles game out. Then EA’s Origin, and more. Today, it is very rare to see a bundle that doesn’t include some form of DRM or proprietary platform.

Yesterday, Humble announced that they abandoned their final founding principle.

In mid-July, we’ll be rolling out a new iteration of sliders that creates even more opportunities to support important causes. While splits on each bundle will vary, on average there will be a minimum amount for Humble Bundle between 15 – 30%. Sliders will clearly indicate any minimums to customers and the flexibility to adjust donations will be available in every purchase of a bundle. This change comes after ten years of having the option to lower Humble’s percentage to zero.

That’s right. Starting this month, Humble will require that all purchases include a cut for themselves. Buyers will no longer be able to give everything to charity. Instead, Humble will be setting a mandatory default cut for themselves.

While Humble didn’t start with a cut for themselves, they added themselves as an option not long after founding. But this is far from an optional cut. This is a complete abandonment of all its founding principles. Since Humble was bought by IGN a few years back, everyone was expecting something along these lines. But still, it is sad to see it finally happen.

It has been years since I have bought a bundle from them. It has been years since they had one i actually cared about. But this decision has me simply giving up entirely on them. I will not and cannot support Humble Bundle going forward.

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