Humble Bundle

Somewhat inspired by this post over at Life is a Mind Bending Puzzle I decided to go ahead and check out the Humble Bundle for myself. These are real screenshots:

At this point, I feel a little guilty. So:


Some notes:

  • As mpb mentioned, the entire interface is incredibly slick. These guys should be in the Internet Checkout Design business, because damn near everyone else is stuck in the goddamn Medieval Age when it comes to making it difficult to give them money.
  • Also as mentioned, I felt incredibly guilty for entering $0.01 even though I was legitimately interested in testing out if they would allow it. The picture was amusing, but I was more affected by the throwaway “It appears you have no heart! Please prove you really are human” captcha line. Clever, Humble Bumble, clever indeed.
  • The very fact that you had to enter at least $0.01 with your credit card information is intriguing to me, psychologically. These Humble Bundles would probably not work as well if they were legitimately free, as in not having to enter any information at all. Once you have mentally committed to purchasing something and entering in you credit card info, the actually dollar amount is a fairly trivial concern. This is the reason I believe not many MMO companies have bothered trying out $13/month or $8/month or “non-standard” monthly fee amounts – even though supply/demand economic theory dictates that going from $15/month –> $12/month should bring in X amount of new subscribers, you aren’t likely to capture a lot of new players in practice. Plus, if you charge less than $15/month, then you project the fact that your game isn’t worth a “normal” subscription amount to customers.
  • The above makes me curious as what would happen to a FP2 game if it suddenly required a one-time $0.01 payment of their customers to continue playing. That obviously contradicts the “FP2” part, but it would also prove that perhaps the appeal of F2P isn’t the price-point, but rather the lack of a need to enter credit card information.

Posted on October 2, 2011, in Commentary and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Wow, I knew those guys were slick but I never realised just how slick. That is the best piece of “gentle nagging” I have ever seen. Thank you for posting Azuriel.

    The only danger I see with this is that if their cartoons and nags become too clever people will deliberately start bidding low just to view them. I am kind of sorry I didn’t put a low bid in myself now.


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  2. Fun experiment, thanks for sharing!

    “perhaps the appeal of F2P isn’t the price-point, but rather the lack of a need to enter credit card information”

    That’s possibly part of it, but I suspect that doesn’t motivate a majority of players. Still, it would be interesting to see what happened with such an experiment.


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