This Week In Indie: The Humble Store Is Launched
Finally the guys over at Humble Bundle have launched a digital storefront for their website with The Humble Store. Many people want different things from The Humble Store, but what does the store promise at this moment in time and what is it actually doing. Well, this is what the store itself is supposed to be about:
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Currently, the store has nine games available that are discounted for the launch sale. These games are: Don’t Starve, Prison Architect, Rogue Legacy, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Natural Selection II, The Swapper, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Orcs Must Die! 2 and Gunpoint. As the days progress, more games will added to The Humble Store as part of the Debut Sale. After the sale has ended, all the games will still be available, but at a fixed price determined by The Humble Store and developers.
Many questions have been raised by the proposed parameters for the percentages of payment with: 75% profit going straight to developers, 10% going to selected charities and 15% going straight to Humble themselves. For comparison, if a developer uses the Humble widget on their website directly they get 95% of the profit, which goes straight to them. In this equation, only 5% of the profit goes to Humble. The frequency of payments to developers with The Humble Store has not been clarified, but with the Humble widget you are payed by Humble each month.
The 15% of profit taken by Humble for having your game on their new store front will lead many new customers to the actual developers’ websites where the widgets lie in wake and developers can truly benefit. Most of the games on the The Humble Store are already quite well-known so this is a beneficial compromise. The contention among these percentages lies with the 10% of proceeds that goes towards selected charities. One of these charities is Child’s Play which is directly connected to Penny Arcade who many indie developers have taken a stand against, due to remarks made by the founders and merchandise sold on their website.
The other factor is the question of whether developers should have to opt-in to charities when selling their games on The Humble Store. Revenue from storefronts such as The Humble Store are the main source of income for many indie developers. Indie developers need to cover their living costs, and sometimes charity can get in the way of that. 10% may not seem like much, but it can make a huge difference for developers in sticky financial situations.
All in all, The Humble Store is a promising new digital storefront for indie games to prosper on. However, there are a few factors that need to be clarified before all indie developers will on board with the storefront.