From Games You Purchased Went To Charity Learn More on Numbers

Since its launch in 2010, Humble Bundle has been one of those unambiguous forces for good. The model is a simple, but powerful one: pull a few games together after they're past the launch rush, allow customers to pay what they want, and donate a portion of that cash to charities. It's resulted in the sale 23.7 million bundles, raising more than $46 million for charity. No matter how you look at it, that's just incredible, but it gets even better. I spoke with some of the folks that help make Humble Bundle and its sister site the Humble Store a reality, and they had a few more encouraging stats.


Many developers, especially indies, struggle to port games to different platforms. It's tough work, but it helps increase boost your potential audience. Humble Bundle has always held that for its main series of Humble Bundles, they will never have DRM and will always be available for Mac, PC, and Linux. And since some developers don't have the ability to do the ports themselves, Humble Bundle kicks in some of their own labor. To date they've helped bring 98 games over to other platforms.

Because the games in the Bundle are sold under a "pay-what-you-want" model, you might be forgiven for thinking that that developers don't end up too well with this set-up. After all, most bundles have 5+ games with an average price ranging from $5 to $10, but as Monaco developer Andy Schatz and several others have said in various blog posts, Humble Bundle revenue is usually great. Just over 65% of customers pay more than the average, and these games are typically sold long after sales have peaked (much like those famous Steam sales). So while the amount made per game often comes out to less than a dollar, the sheer volume can mean hundreds of thousands in additional income, and they gain a wider audience that might never have played their game otherwise. It's an economic and a cultural win.

You're reading Numbers, a blog on Kotaku that examines games and culture through the lens of math and statistics. To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @dcstarkey.



There is actually a fairly compelling argument that the Humble Bundle has been a major negative factor in the indie industry. I used to be fairly pro the humble guys, but now that I've looked at the issue more closely and the ramifications of what has happened because of the humble bundle (and steam sales) it is nearly impossible to make a living as an independent developer any more. I also dislike that fact that they piggie-back almost completely off of steam and origin (other than exposure and taking a piece of the action, what to they really do? Steam hosts the servers - steams out the content - updates the launcher, etc...). they claim they do a lot of porting work, but I'd like to hear more about how much they actually do.