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The second Humble Indie Bundle, a batch of games that players can purchase for whatever amount they want to pay, has raked in a not-quite-so-humble $1.82 million after being on sale for a little more than a week — and its host might be looking at a nice $90,000 tip for its efforts.
The bundle was on sale for 11 days and was run by Y Combinator-backed Humble Bundle, which launched specifically to organize operations after last year’s Humble Indie Bundle (put on by a group of indie game developers) ended up being a runaway success. The company apparently plans to put on frequent similar sales going forward. The sales let gamers pick up to five games that are free of copyright protection software, and lets them pay whatever they want for them — anywhere from 1 cent to $6,000. After deciding what to pay, gamers can decide what percentage of the fund goes to charity, to the developers and whether to give Humble Bundle a tip for its troubles.
Despite being able to pay just a cent, gamers paid an average of $7.83 for the games. Some companies paid enough to get themselves into the top-five contributor space so that they could advertise in the space. Streaming game provider OnLive, for example, paid $5,000 for its Humble Indie Bundle and left its name as “Play.onlive.com Just Play.”
The standard distribution for each sale gave Humble Bundle around a 5 percent tip. So if most of the buyers went with the default distribution, Humble Bundle could earn a little more than $90,000 for just over a week’s worth of work hosting and promoting the games. Not a bad Christmas present in exchange for promoting independent games and helping out a few charities.
The sale was such a success this year that Humble Bundle included the five games from the last Humble Indie Bundle. Most of them are darlings of the independent game industry, like side-scrolling puzzle game Braid and survival horror game Penumbra. They are games that didn’t do poorly with critics by any means, but lacked the promotional firepower that major publishers wield. Braid, for example, scored a 93 out of 100 across 57 critics on review aggregation site Metacritic.