When the Humble Bundle came out last year I was very excited to check out some great indie games on the cheap. Then another bundle came out and I was still excited, I even paid a little more. Then another and another and another. Now I’m beginning to feel like this is getting a bit out of control.
One of the reasons these indie bundles work well is because it feels like we’re getting a handful of games we wouldn’t otherwise play for a great price. Most indie games hold my interest for about 30 to 40 minutes before I move on. But that’s also because I play them between my larger purchases, my Call of Duties and my Skyrims. So its safe to say that it takes me a good couple of weeks to get through an entire bundle.
When another company decides to try out the same model I think, cool, more indie game exposure, I sure hope I get some time to play these things. When a third company does it I start to think its too much. I literally haven’t even touched the last bundle I bought!
Sure, its only a couple of dollars at a time, that works for me financially even if I don’t play the games, but isn’t that the point? To get me to play them? If you are struggling to get noticed as an indie developer and your game is thrown on top of a bundle of 5 other games for a dollar I begin to wonder if that’s any different from the developer not joining the bundle at all.
Its non-exposure. I have a good stack of nearly 20 games from recent indie bundles, chances are that I’ll only get to about 3 or 4 of them, likely only the ones I thought looked cool. All those others? I basically know just as much about them as I did before I bought the bundle.
So while I applaud both the indie gaming community and the people who have built a foundation for them to sell for super cheap, I must warn that you are already taking a hit for selling this way and you may not be getting the exposure you were once hoping for. For consumers there are still a lot of great deals, but ultimately you are also over-saturating, people will get bored eventually as the quality per bundle goes down. Hold these things back a few notches before whole ship sinks.