Humble Bundle Admits It Expanded Too Quickly, Makes Employees Redundant

Humble Bundle has a particular place in my heart for its place in the proliferation of indie games over the last five years. The company has expanded significantly from its initial bundle outings, but it turns out that expansion was too much, too soon.

In an email to Polygon, the charity-centric digital distribution service confirmed that 12 employees, from its communications, business development, engineering and creative departments, have been made redundant. "Despite strong revenue, and our community surpassing $65 million raised for charity to date, our past hiring was too ambitious and we had to make a hard call last week," John Graham, co-founder of Humble Bundle, said.

The move comes after Humble Bundle launched a subscription service akin to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold, where users can pay a monthly fee of US$12 to receive free games every week.

After raising more than US$1.27 million in 2010 for its first bundle — which included World of Goo, Lugaru HD, Samorost 2, Penumbra: Overture, Gish and Aquaria — the popularity of Humble Bundles have fallen over the years. This is despite the involvement of several major publishers over the last two years, in the form of the Humble Origin Bundle (with the Wing Commander games, Dead Space 2, Command & Conquer: Generals + Zero Hour and more), a Square Enix Bundle (with the Tomb Raider reboot, the Kane & Lynch games, the Thief reboot, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Hitman: Absolution, Startopia, Sleeping Dogs and others), and a Star Wars bundle (with some of the game's most appraised RPGs and shooters, including Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2, Battlefront 2, the Jedi Knight series and Republic Commando).

The current weekly offering is a selection of titles from Nordic Games that includes the original Jagged Alliance, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, Red Faction Guerrilla, the Black Mirror series and MX vs. ATV Unleashed. Humble Bundle has also sold just over 137,000 packages for its latest offering, number 15, which includes Sir, You Are Being Hunted, Q.U.B.E: Director's Cut, Gone Home, Planetary Annihilation, Xenonauts and Gang Beasts.


Comments

    Maybe if they didn't lockout majority of the games or sell fucking coupons. Seriously! A they selling coupons now.

      how dare they try and raise extra money for charity!

        It's not for charity. Buyers have the option to give to charity or not.

          The main purpose of the website is to give the money to charity.

            No it's not. It's main purpose is to sell games. Even the default split of the $25 payment is $16.25 to devs, $5 to charity, $3.75 to Humble.

              how dare they offer devs money for their creative (and owned) work, how dare they take a cut to pay for running a busniess take gives something to charity.

              Furthermore you complain about the company screwing over the charities when in fact it is the customers who make that choice in the end.

                Furthermore you complain about the company screwing over the charities when in fact it is the customers who make that choice in the end.

                What are you talking about. Where do I complain about them not giving to charities? I just said their purpose as a business isn't to give to charity. It's to sell games. When I buy from them I don't even give any money to charity. I give it all the devs.

                Last edited 13/10/15 2:45 pm

                  wow that just makes what you wrote even worse, using humble bundle and not giving any to charity? Why dont you just buy from someone else then? I cant even begin to understand that. Then again, with your forum name, its not the only thing I dont get,

                What are you talking about. Where do I complain about them not giving to charities? I just said their purpose as a business isn't to give to charity. It's to sell games. When I buy from them I don't even give any money to charity. I give it all the devs.

            And yet they are incorporated as a for-profit company and have accepted venture capital financing.

            Raising money for charity is obviously part of their business model (and something that differentiates them from other online stores), but some people must expect them to make some money.

    This is despite the involvement of several major publishers
    Or because of?

    users can pay a monthly fee of US$12 to receive free games every week.

    They aren't free if you're paying a subscription

      I don't know why you would think major publishers getting involved would be the cause of the decline -- the bundles involving the major publishers have been some of the most successful.

      It's more likely that outside of those bundles, the games on offer simply haven't caught people's interest.

    Most of the bundles aren't worth buying. The games are often small/poor quality or are very niche. Either that or I already own the only games that I'd want from a particular bundle.

    I've only bought a handful of the bundles despite looking at all of them.

    IMO they need to re-jig their bundle setups a bit and offer one or two better titles in each of them rather than a group of lackluster games. The market is flooded, no-one has time for games that don't stand out.

      You can never have too many copies of Bastion!

      Pretty much this. Or being forced to use fucking Origin. DRM-Free or go away.

      not only that, but there are so many other bundle sites that have really been picking up their game - Humble has been a bit up and down with some of their stuff except for the last few, but in the meanwhile BundleStars have really been ramping up the quality of their deals!

      Hopefully their push with the subscription stuff will involve several good titles not previously bundled each month, and not just one lead title with a bunch of filler fluff (which is where IndieGala is starting to flag again, and Groupees falls short outside of their music bundles)

        Bundle Stars looks good, never heard of them before. Thanks for letting me know it exists.

    Most of the bundles are for games that pretty much everyone has already got from another sale. There's no reason to keep buying the same games. Occasionally they throw in some good products but it's still a saturated market.

    I think they are being way to cagey about what the subscription offering entails. I... give them money... and they... will give me... games? Which games? Will they even be worth $12? Will they interest me at all? Will I already have them in my library? It is extremely weird to pay money in advance for a service that only gives the vaguest of promises.

    Having said that, I'm tempted to jump in for the first one, if only because I suspect that they will make it ridiculously good just to entice sceptics like I (and you cannot opt in for the month once the games have been revealed).

    they've become just another steam key reseller offering piles of junk instead of the selection of quality DRM-free indies they launched with. Compelling bundles are quite rare these days and most of the humble store is steam keys only.

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