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.