I love Humble Bundle sales. I have bought the last four of the app ones. Android 5 was the best yet, and I’m currently enjoying Beat Hazard Ultra, Dynamite Jack, NightSky, and Super Hexagon from it. I usually pay a little more than the average to get the extras, although this time I had them all already, so I just gave them away.
However, I’m pretty worried about them moving towards a weekly sale. This week’s game is Bastion which usually retails at $14.99. You can choose to pay about $3 to get the digital soundtrack, some art, sheet music, and ringtones, or you can pay $1 to get the Steam unlock code. Pretty much everyone’s being cheap and not paying more than $3 looking at their average chart.
People seem to forget that while this is a great deal for them, that their main goal is to raise money for charity. And every time I look at the rankings on their sales, it’s usually publishers who give the most money, and maybe one or two normal people. They’re raising a lot of money for charity, but I think these sales will hit developers the hardest.
And not just the ones participating either. I think when you can buy a really, really, really good game (these are the best of the best according to most people in the tech crowd) every week for $1-3 dollars, you aren’t going to spend that same money on games from the Play Store, Mac App Store, and Steam. You’re just going to get used to paying four for games with that $20 you usually use to buy one or two.
I also think that Humble Bundles are going to become less interesting, because by the time the next one comes up, most of us would have gotten those games in these weekly sales. If repeats become a thing, there will be some weeks where sales are very low, which won’t look very good for them.