January 6th, 2012 | By Chris Priestman
Jeff Rosen teased that there were some new features coming to the Humble Bundle in 2012 and we think we may have discovered what they may be.
In Issue 20 of The Indie Game Magazine (on sale next week!) we have a feature that ponders the future of indie game bundles so naturally the author questioned Jeff Rosen, one of the co-founders of the Humble Bundle, what he thought on this matter. He said and I quote “I can’t wait to show you what we have in store for 2012.” That may have just been a bit more revealing than we initially realised as we think we have discovered what Jeff was teasing; a “Humble Store”.
It all started when we heard that there were unique URL’s for every single game that had been in a Humble Bundle – simply type in “http://www.humblebundle.com/store/product/” followed by the name of the game and you would find a unique “Humble Store” page for every game – Braid, Trine, Shadowgrounds and so on. We were, to say the least, very intrigued by what seemed to a completely brand new service being provided by the Humble guys. You could buy the games, instantly for yourself or as a gift across Windows, Mac and Linux – you just had to provide an email address and the money and that was it.
The price for each game varies from $5 to $20 from what we have seen so these prices are not the low ones you associate with the Bundle. There was an exception though as we found a game listed on there that has not been in a bundle, which only convinces us more that a “Humble Store” is on the way. As you can see below, Wolfire’s very own Overgrowth is listed in this store at it’s current alpha price of $29.95.
Now if that’s not enough evidence for you, you’ll be pleased to know that we followed the white rabbit and dug a little deeper. Consequently, we purchased Gish through the store to see what would happen. Everything went smoothly, we paid the $5 through PayPal for Gish and was then sent to a payment confirmation page that gave us a link to our unique key. On this page was a logo that we suspect may be the official Humble Store logo, there’s at least a chance – a lovely little bindle.
We followed the link to our unique URL and found ourselves in a Beta page for the Humble Store, in which we had all the various download options you would expect and even a checkbox if you want to be emailed when the next Humble Bundle is up. The only options to download the game was either through a direct link or BitTorrent – so this is a stand alone store hosted by the Humble guys only and has nothing to do with Steam. If anything it will be competing with the likes of Steam and Desura for sales of indie games. The automated email we received from the purchase also came from the “Humble Store”, as opposed to the usual “Humble Bundle” just to put the cherry on top.
If that doesn’t confirm that a Humble Store is on the way then I don’t know what will. Of course our minds are now racing: will they only sell the games in the bundles? Will they extend it to any developer who wants to sell their game through their store? Can developers put alpha builds on there at a price, or as we call it – alphafunding?
We have contacted the Humble Bundle guys to settle the dust on this one and will update if and when we hear back from them. Until then this is strictly rumor.
One thing is for certain, if the Humble Store is real and we have a lot of evidence to believe it is, it is certainly going to boost indie game sales in 2012. Adding to that, all of the games will be multi-platform and DRM-free! The Humble guys could provide one of the most lucrative digital distribution stores for indie games yet! Watch this space.