The Humble Bundle has offered numerous different bundles of independent games, available for a limited time at a pay-what-you-want price model. All of the offered games are DRM-free and, often, are cross-platform as well. (i.e., available for PC, Mac, and Linux; Android when offered.) Most of the games are available through Steam, with one-use 'keys' offered to donators.
The Humble Bundle allows buyers to choose the pay amount and divide it among the game developers, listed charities, and the Humble Bundle itself.
The concept of the Humble Bundle was inspired by the regular indie game sales featured on the digital distributor, Steam, as well as a successful 2009 "pay-what-you-want" anniversary sale of World of Goo. While it the isn't the only indie bundle-style sale on the Internet, the Humble Bundle is regarded as the first, the most publicized and, arguably, the most successful; since its creation, the bundles have raised over $11 million for charity alone.Webpage design for the first Humble Indie Bundle
Donators to The Humble Bundle receive a group of games selected by the HB; these games are often submitted by the developers themselves. It is not uncommon for some games to appear on multiple bundles. Titles featured in the Humble Bundles are, often, indie games. These games range from already successful titles, both critically and financially to more obscure and/or recent releases. Despite the prominent focus on indie, more recent bundles have included titles from larger studios and publishers, the largest so far being THQ.
Starting with Humble Indie Bundle #3, bonuses can be unlocked by beating the average purchase price of all previous supporters; this is known as "Beat the Average." This has been used to give purchasers a chance to get previous bundles, additional games, soundtracks, and/or other content. After a short period, additional games are added to the bundle, though require beating the aforementioned average.
Each bundle defaults to splitting the payment evenly among the games as well as two chief charities, currently The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Child's Play, and an option to tip the Humble Bundle itself. If desired, the purchaser can adjust sliders to give more or less of the payment to each specific game or charity. Sometimes, special charities are added, based on the theme of the bundle.
After purchase, the games are made available through the Humble Bundle's website. Donators can set up accounts, which keep track of their purchases and allow for direct download. The Humble Bundle also allows the games to be downloaded using a BitTorrent client; this option is sometimes suggested by the website for bigger games. (e.g. Psychonauts)
Most of the bundled games are also available for download through Steam, using a provided "Steam key." However, as of Humble Indie Bundle #4, a $1.00 donation minimum is required to unlock the Steam passcodes.
The main series of bundles, The Humble Indie Bundle, is numbered, a theme reserved for bundles that have at least five games from various developers; seven of these have been released so far. Five bundles have been focused on releasing games available for Android. (Windows, Mac, and Linux options are still included in these bundles.)Artwork for Humble Indie Bundle V, by Supergiant Games.
Two bundles have been developer specific, releasing games from Frozenbyte and Introversion. One was specially specific to embattled commercial publisher, THQ, marking the only time the Humble Bundle had focused on a major commercial company. The other bundles have been focused around and titled after one specific game in the bundle, with two of them being debuts of the game in question.
Sometimes, developers used the Humble Bundle for special developer events. Mojang has twice hosted their annual "Mojam" through the bundle, allowing donators to receive prototypes for new games, and view the development process on a livestream over a three day period. Double Fine Productions similarly used the premise for its 2012 Amnesia Fortnight and urged Humble Bundle donators to vote for which pitched games would go on to become prototypes for new games, unlocking said prototypes and assets for donating.
Additional bundles have been released through Humble Bundle, though were not indie game related; instead, these sales focused on indie music and ebooks.
In 2013, the Humble Bundle began offering The Humble Weekly Sale. These week-long deals offer smaller bundles or individual game; they also offer soundtracks, additional games, and other merchandise to those who beat the average and/or pay a specific amount. The name-your-price model remains and donators are still allowed to divide their price between the developer, charities, and Humble Bundle.
- Highest Gross Amount: $5.1M (Humble Indie Bundle V)
- Highest Number of Bundles Sold: 885,370 (Humble THQ Bundle)
- All-time Highest Donation: $16,005.27 (Humble Brony Bundle, for Humble Indie Bundle 4)
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) [Current]
- Child's Play [Current]
- American Red Cross
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)
- World Land Trust
- Block By Block
Humble Indie Bundle
On sale from May 4 through May 11, 2010, it included:
- World of Goo
- Penumbra: Overture
- Samorost 2 (added halfway through the sale)
- Total Payments: $1.27M
- # Bundles Sold: 138,813
- Highest Donation: $3,333.33 (Anonymous donator)
Humble Indie Bundle #2
On sale starting December 14, 2010, it included:
- Cortex Command
- Revenge of the Titans
Midway through the sale, all supporters gained access to all games from the previous Humble Indie Bundle.
- Total Payments: $1.83M
- # Bundles Sold: 232,855
- Highest Donation: $6,132.96 (Nexus Scorpion - Humble Bundle donator)
Humble Frozenbyte Bundle
On sale from April 12 through April 26, 2011, it included:
- Shadowgrounds: Survivor
- Splot (pre-order with preview)
- Jack Claw (unfinished prototype)
Splot is still in development and no download is provided, but a preview is available until the game is officially released.
Jack Claw, a prototype game that was being developed by Frozenbyte, Inc before being cancelled prior to completion, is also included in the bundle.
- Total Payments: $910K
- # Bundles Sold: 183,219
- Highest Donation: $2,222.22 (Anonymous donator)
Humble Indie Bundle #3
On sale starting July 26, 2011, it included:
- Crayon Physics Deluxe
- And Yet It Moves
- Minecraft (limited time license added July 28, 2011)
- Steel Storm: Burning Retribution (added August 1, 2011)
- Humble Indie Bundle #2 (added August 3, 2011; granted to those who previously bought Humble Indie Bundle #3 or anyone who beat the average)
- Atom Zombie Smasher (added August 5, 2011)
- Total Payments: $2.17M
- # Bundles Sold: 372,399
- Highest Donation: $4,096 (MtGox - Bitcoin exchange service)
Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle
On sale starting September 28, 2011, it included:
- Frozen Synapse
- Humble Frozenbyte Bundle (beat the average)
- TRAUMA (added September 30, 2011)
- SpaceChem (added October 5, 2011)
- Total Payments: $1.12.M
- # Bundles Sold: 231,810
- Highest Donation: $4,200 (CrashPlan - Online data backup service)
Humble Voxatron Debut
On sale starting October 31, 2011, it included:
- Voxatron (currently alpha status, with access to all future updates)
- The Binding of Isaac (added November 1, 2011)
- Blocks that Matter (added November 1, 2011)
- Gish (added November 9, 2011)
- Jasper's Journeys (added November 9, 2011)
- Chocolate Castle (added November 9, 2011)
- Zen Puzzle Garden (added November 9, 2011)
- Total Payments: $903k
- # Bundles Sold: 172,270
- Highest Donation: $2,000.00 (Markus "Notch" Persson - Founder of Mojang AB; creator of Minecraft)
Humble Introversion Bundle
On sale starting November 22, 2011, and included:
- Aquaria (beat the average)
- Crayon Physics Deluxe (beat the average)
- Subversion City Generator (a tech demo showing the use of procedural generation for city environments)
- Voxel Tech Demo (a tech demo showing the use of voxels for destructible buildings)
- Dungeons of Dredmor (added November 29, 2011 for those who beat the average)
- Total Payments: $779k
- # Bundles Sold: 190,261
- Highest Donation: $1,250 (Humble Brony Bundle - Charity group made up 'bronies': fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
Humble Indie Bundle #4
On sale starting December 13, 2011, and included:
- Gratuitous Space Battles (beat the average)
- Cave Story+ (beat the average)
- Bit.Trip Runner
- Super Meat Boy
- Nightsky HD
This bundle replaced EFF with the American Red Cross as one of two charities supported by the bundle and was the first to include soundtracks from the bundled games. Also, abuses by donators led to the Humble Bundle requiring a minimum donation of $1.00 before granting Steam keys for Bundle games: during the period, abusers were paying the bare minimum to unlock Steam keys for multiple accounts in order to better their chances at winning a raffle being held by Valve; the system is still in place.
Additionally, Minecraft creator and Mojang founder Markus "Notch" Persson engaged in a friendly wager with The Humble Brony Bundle, a charity group made up of fans of the cartoon, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, to see who could donate the most. However, Notch was defeated by the Brony Bundle, who donated a current record amount of $16k; per the wager, Notch was required to watch an episode of the cartoon.
- Total Payments: $2.37M
- # Bundles Sold: 435,251
- Highest Donation: $16,005.27 (Humble Brony Bundle)
Humble Bundle for Android
On sale starting January 31, 2012, and included:
- World of Goo (beat the average)
- Toki Tori (added February 9, 2012)
As suggested by this bundle’s name, these games can be installed on Android. They also work for Mac, Linux, and Windows.
- Total Payments: $930k
- # Bundles Sold: 150,595
- Highest Donation: $1,700 (Humble Brony Bundle)
Humble Bundle Mojam
On sale starting February 17, 2012. This bundle was different in that all the proceeds went charity and the games didn’t even exist yet. Mojang makes the game based on two themes and two genres chosen by polls, live streamed over 60 hours. There are four charities involved this time, with the American Red Cross and charity: water added to the usual EFF and Child's Play.
Three games were produced:
- Catacomb Snatch
- Fists of Resistance
- The Broadside Express
- Total Payments: $458k
- # Bundles Sold: 81,583
- Highest Donation: $2,222.22 (Humble Brony Bundle)
Humble Bundle for Android #2
On sale starting March 19, 2012, and included:
- Swords & Soldiers (beat the average)
- Zen Bound 2
- Snuggle Truck (Added March 26, 2012)
- Total Payments: $682k
- # Bundles Sold: 106,597
- Highest Donation: $314.12 (Humble Brony Bundle)
Humble Botanicula Debut
On sale starting April 19, 2012. This time the only charity was World Land Trust, which goes along with the theme of Botanicula. The bundle included:
- Samorost 2
- Windosill (Beat the average)
- Kooky (Beat the Average)
The independent film, Kooky, which had some involvement from developer Botanicula developer Amanita Design is also included for those who beat the average; with the exception of Windosill, all the bundled games are products of the said developer. Steam keys were available for anyone paying more than $5, a considerable rise from the previous minimum of $1.
- Total Payments: $823k
- # Bundles Sold: 92,556
- Highest Donation: $1,000 (Humble Brony Bundle)
Humble Indie Bundle V
On sale starting May 31, 2012, and included:
- Amnesia: The Dark Descent
- Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
- Bastion (beat the average)
Added later on June 7, 2012, granted to those who bought the bundle earlier or paid more than the average donation:
- Lone Survivor
- Super Meat Boy
The full soundtrack for each of the initial games was also included in both FLAC and MP3 formats. Games added later do not come with a soundtrack.
The fifth bundle is currently the most successful bundle to date, raising over $5.1 million dollars. Most of the donated money was a result of a humorous donation war between, once again, Markus Peerson and The Humble Brony Bundle. Psychonauts, the critically-acclaimed platformer that suffered from poor sales at its release, reportedly "sold more copies" through the bundle than it did during its initial retail run.
- Total Payments: $5.1M
- # Bundles Sold: 599,004
- Highest Donation: $13,167.84 (Humble Brony Bundle)
Humble Bundle for Android #3
On sale starting August 15, 2012. It included:
- BIT.TRIP BEAT
- Spirits (Beat the average)
All games are available on Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Midway through the sale, the first Humble Bundle for Android was added for all previous supporters and new supporters who beat the average.
- Total Payments: $829k
- # Bundles Sold: 122,335
- Highest Donation: $420.00 (Zephyrean - Humble Bundle donator)
Humble Indie Bundle #6
On sale starting September 18, 2012. It included:
- Space Pirates and Zombies
- Dustforce (beat the average)
Added later on September 25, 2012, granted to those who bought the bundle earlier or paid more than the average donation:
- BIT.TRIP RUNNER
- Gratuitous Space Battles
The full soundtrack for each of the initial games, excluding Vessel, are also included in both FLAC and MP3 formats.
- Total Payments: $2.05M
- # Bundles Sold: 316,282
- Highest Donation: $1,250 (Markus "Notch" Persson)
Humble Bundle for Android #4
On sale starting November 8, 2012. It included:
- Waking Mars
- Crayon Physics Deluxe
- Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (Android beta)
- Machinarium (beat the average)
Added later on November 15, 2012, granted to those who bought the bundle earlier or paid more than the average donation:
- Avadon: The Black Fortress
- Swords & Soldiers HD
- Zen Bound 2
All games included the soundtrack in both FLAC & mp3 formats.
- Total Payments: $1.1M
- # Bundles Sold: 167,148
- Highest Donation: $1,000 (WrapBootstrap - Twitter theme/design store)
The Double Fine Amnesia Fortnight
Starting on November 19, 2012, the sale asked donators to vote for which game out of 23 pitches would become prototypes for new Double Fine games, created during their yearly Amnesia Fortnight.
After voting, the sale included the selected prototypes of:
- Hack n' Slash
- Spacebase DF-9
- The White Birch
- Black Lake
In addition to the voted prototypes, the sale included:
- Brazen (2011 prototype) [Beat the average]
- Happy Song (2007 prototype; became Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster)
- Costume Quest (2009 prototype)
- Daily videos from 2 Player Productions
Donators also received the soundtracks for all the selected prototypes.
The event and sale marked the first time in the company's history where their yearly Amnesia Fortnight, before a secret development and selection process, was opened to the public. The development of the prototypes were documented by 2 Player Productions and made available for donators.
- Total Payments: $2.5k
- # Bundles Sold: 35,269
- Highest Donation: $750 (@minigore - Mountain Sheep; developers of Minigore)
Humble THQ Bundle
On sale starting November 29, 2012. It included:
- Red Faction: Armageddon
- Company of Heroes
- Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
- Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor
- Metro 2033
- Saints Row: The Third (beat the average)
Added later on December 6, 2012, granted to those who bought the bundle earlier or paid more than the average donation:
- "Path to War" DLC for Red Faction: Armageddon
- Titan Quest
Similarly added on December 10, 2012:
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Game of the Year Edition
As the title suggests, all the games included in the bundle are those published by THQ, who were suffering from financial woes at the time; unfortunately, the publisher went bankrupt a short time later. The games in the bundle were only available for Windows. It included soundtracks for all games except for Metro 2033. All available soundtracks were in mp3 format; only the soundtracks for Company of Heroes were also available in FLAC.
The Humble THQ Bundle has sold the most bundles to date, over 885k, though made barely less than Humble Indie Bundle V by a margin of $10k.
- Total Payments: $5.098M
- # Bundles Sold: 885,370
- Highest Donation: $10,000 (Jason Rubin - President of THQ; creator of Crash Bandicoot; co-founder of Naughty Dog)
Humble Indie Bundle 7
On sale starting December 19. 2012. it Included:
- Dungeon Defenders (Beat the average)
- Legend of Grimrock (Beat the average)
- The Binding of Isaac
- Shank 2
- Indie Game: The Movie (Beat the average)
Added later on December 27, 2012, granted to those who bought the bundle earlier, or paid more than the average donation.
- The Basement Collection
- Offspring Fling!
- Cave Story+
As usual, paying more than the current average gave donators the games' individual soundtracks, in MP3 and FLAC format, and the bundle also included the DLCs for Dungeon Defenders and The Binding of Issac.
Donators who payed more than the average also receive a digital copy of Indie Game: The Movie, a documentary about the creation of Braid, Super Meat Boy, and FEZ.
- Total Payments: $2.7M
- # Bundles Sold: 395,936
- Highest Donation: $1,256 (WrapBootstrap)
Humble Bundle Mojam 2
On sale starting February 20, 2013, the games were created over a three day period by six teams and included:
- Nuclear Pizza War
- Endless Nuclear Kittens
- Battle Frogs
- Nuke the Dinosaurs
- "molstam's little project"
Oxeye Game Studio
Over the period, the teams were tasked to create a game based on voted, sometimes silly, theme. Builds, soundtracks, and other assets were available to those who donated. Games varied between Windows, Mac, and Linux; the creating process was livestreamed through the Humble Bundle website. Upon hitting the $500k mark, Notch shaved off his trademark beard.
- Total Payments: $517k
- # Bundles Sold: 86,553
- Highest Donation: $100,000 (Anonymous donor)
Humble Bundle with Android #5
On sale starting March 5, 2013, it included:
- Dungeon Defenders (Beat the average)
- Super Hexagon (Beat the average)
- Beat Hazard Ultra
- Dynamite Jack
- Solar 2
- NightSky HD
Added later on March 12, 2013, granted to those who bought the bundle earlier, or paid more than the average donation:
- Crayon Physics Deluxe
- Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
As always, buyers received the soundtracks for the individual games, in both MP3 and FLAC formats. All games are also compatible with PC, Mac, and Linux. Dungeon Defenders included all the game's DLC.
The bundle was the most successful Android bundle to date, selling over $1.5 million. Additionally, during the period, players were challenged to beat the Super Hexagon high score of Humble Bundle co-founder John Graham.
- Total Payments: n/a
- # Bundles Sold: n/a
- Highest Donation: n/a
The Humble Mobile Bundle
Starting on March 26, 2013, this bundle features games available exclusively for Android; the bundle includes:
- Metal Slug 3 (Beat the average)
- The Room (Beat the average)
- Plants vs. Zombies
- Contre Jour
- Anomaly Korea
Added later on April 2, 2013, granted to those who bought the bundle earlier or paid more than the average donation:
- Funky Smugglers
- Raiden Legacy
- Another World
- Total Payments: $683k
- # Bundles Sold: 120,606
- Highest Donation: $250 (Brett Seyler - Founder of Kerosine Games)
The Humble Double Fine Bundle
Starting on May 7, 2013, the bundle contains games developed by Double Fine Productions, it included:
- Brutal Legend (Beat the Average)
- Costume Quest
Paying a specific amount also granted buyers special products, including:
- Broken Age "Backer Access" + Documentary ($35 or more)
- Humble Double Fine Bundle t-shit ($70 or more)
Later, on May 14, the bundle added all of the prototype games from the Double Fine Amnesia Fortnight, as well as the additional bonus prototypes and content that came with it. This was made available to those who bought the Double Fine Bundle previously or beat the average.
Humble Indie Bundle 8
Starting on May 28, 2013, the bundle includes:
- Hotline Miami (Beat the Average)
- Proteus (Beat the Average)
- Little Inferno
- Thomas Was Alone
- Dear Esther
In addition to the games' soundtracks, donators also receive an exclusive costume for Awesomenauts
- Humble Bundle website
- Prior Humble Bundle Statistics