January 10th, 2012 | By Chris Priestman
After we did a bit of snooping upon learning that many indie game developers were using a ‘Humble Store‘ widget, we did a little more sniffing around and it turns out that the Humble Bundle guys are working on something more than just a mere widget, as we suspected.
Our original post about our investigations into the Humble Store was strictly within rumor territory as we followed what seemed to be a newly implemented service for indie games provided by the Humble Bundle guys. We found it an easy-to-use widget that allowed the customer to purchase the game quick and without hassle, with a direct download link at the end of it which was DRM-free and available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
We soon learned that the widget was barely a secret considering that many developers had already implemented in on to their official sites as a way for interested gamers to purchase the game directly from the source of its creation. Wolfire Games, Terry Cavanagh, Stephen Lavelle, Jonathan Blow, Lexaloffle and Frozenbyte were amongst those who are now using the Humble Store widget on their official websites.
Something still seemed very odd though. How was it that all of these developers were using the widget but no-one had heard a peep from any of them or the Humble Bundle guys about it? Seriously, not a single word from them, people who had used it or gaming news websites anywhere.
Naturally we followed our curiosity and started asking the developers what was going on here, as well as contacting Jeff Rosen, co-founder of the Humble Bundle, of course. It seems that even the developers are as clueless as we are though, or at least good at keeping a secret.
“I don’t know a whole lot about it! They just asked me if I wanted to use this new system they’d made for Overgrowth,” said Terry Cavanagh of VVVVVV fame. “No idea what they’ve got up their sleeve regarding a Humble Store other than the name on the widget…”
While we did seem to be out of luck when it came to any new details on the Humble Store, we are pleased to report that the developers are very satisfied with the service the new widget is supplying them with.
“We’re happy with the Humble Store widget – it has worked great for Trine 2,” Joel Kinnunen, Vice President of Frozenbyte told us. “The ease of payment and the proven download system make it an excellent system for developers and gamers, and we’re glad to be among the first to use it.”
While that is all good news, you will be pleased to know that we did manage to scrape together something a little more exciting to tell you. We heard back from Jeff Rosen after we asked him what was going on with this secretive Humble Store, after all we had found a beta page which seemed to prove that something was in the works. It is. Jeff got back to us after we presented our evidence and a few follow up questions and said quite simply,
“The Humble Store is something we are working on”.
One of the developers we asked about the widget, who will remain anonymous, also confirmed that there is more to the Humble Store than just the widget, stating “it’s still in some sort of a developing phase so who knows what the future holds”.
We asked Jeff if there was any more information he could give us about the Humble Store but he replied as we knew he would, being the secretive chap that he is:
“We don’t really have anything to announce at the moment. It is a super easy way to buy games. You can see it in action on a few sites like braidgame.com and wolfire.com/overgrowth. When we open it up to more developers, we will let people know. Any ETA at the moment would be pretty inaccurate.”
So at the time being we do not know exactly what the Humble Bundle guys are working on but we can confirm that there is more to the Humble Store than just those widgets you see on select developer’s sites. If we were to take a guess, taking into account the service it provides, the Humble Store is going to be a proper store front that will operate much like Indievania, sellling indie games with all the revenue going to the developer. The major difference would be that the games will have to be DRM-free and available on Windows, Mac and Linux; just as the Humble Bundle insists.
If that is the case, then the Humble Store will provide what could be the most lucrative and easy-to-use indie game distribution service on the net when it launches. Expect more news and announcements coming from Jeff Rosen and crew later this year.