Surprisingly or unsurprisingly, depending on how you've felt if you were the first few who bought the old bundles, you could be slightly nerved by the Humble Monthly Bundle, as it is called. What's the catch? Simple. Pay $12 per month on a subscription fee and they will give games right to your doorstep. While 5% goes to charity, the company itself decides on the other 95%, whether to share it with developers, other charities or to keep the lion's share of profit. It might not seem that bad on paper when you think about it, but it is ultimately drawing a line between the consumer and the gamer aspect of purchasing games, and "blindly" doing so.
The first game up the platter is Legend of Grimrock 2, which is a great game in it's own right. However, as Humble Bundle states, you can get the game if you subscribe now while waiting for November's release, which will no longer be "hidden" on November 6th.
Right out of the gate, you can sort of establish your own opinion on this. Is this a good step forward or ultimately a step backward? Is this a risk? Yes, I think so. But at the same time I think they've planned this bundle for quite some time. The bundle states that the games in the future includes recent hits to hidden gems to timeless classic, which could be all over the shop if you think about it. Ultimately, Humble Bundle won't be releasing "one game" per se but rather an amalgamation of sorts, from hits to classics or a jumble of everything else such as indie gems. While I do like the idea of bringing indie gems to the spotlight with this bundle, for $12? And it's hidden until you subscribe? That's just a pinata smash except there are 4 more pinatas to smash.
Undertale is an amazing, if not already timeless, indie game that is probably cheaper than $12. Bundled in with something less could mean a good thing for some. Ultimately, it really is the consumers who have to think twice about this deal.
'Bait-and-Switch', 'Blind Subscription'!
Most people don't care about the subscription fees if the games are good enough. Hell, Square Enix has done charity and promoted Hitman: Aboslution and Deus Ex: Human Revolutions for just $1. In the past month GreenManGaming had a deal that if you voted for the Golden Joystick awards, you could get Bioshock: Infinite for just $1. These are games you are compelled to get because for a dime, you get insane hours of gameplay. It's rightfully so people are concerned and cautious with this bundle, especially so when Humble Bundle could do a blatant 'bait-and-switch' in some ways. They could have two great amazing titles appear in the first two months and hold on to give indie gems the main cover while glossing over complaints. It's not hard to blame the criticisms considering we're talking about $12 for the price of much less if this is the case.
While I do believe this could be misconstrued and good games may come out of the pocket, we do need to remember that as the page states: "A highly curated bundle of our favorite games at one fixed price". Does Humble Bundle already have games that they want to put out some time in the future? Maybe next month it'll be Castlevania with some indie games thrown in there. The point is, you never know. They could even throw in Dying Light but add in Bad Rats for a short-change. Even then, that is worth much more than $12 and I don't think Humble Bundle is willing to do so even with additional purchases.
And that is it, it is ultimately a 'blind subscription' that Humble Bundle is ripping off $12 from people. While it may seem like I'm condescending here but you do realise that if you kept the $12 for 6 months, totaling to $72 and spending it on a Steam winter or summer sale you'd be much more content with your choices considering the bundles are 'hidden' until you subscribe which already leaves a black mark if there currently isn't.
Worth it, or no?
Whatever you see in whichever way possible, this is a cash grab in a multitude of ways. It's like a season pass for a game that gives you $1 content for the price of much more, horse armor and so on and so forth. As far as consumer goes, this isn't really the gate you want to pass through. If Humble Bundle spreads the games into the monthly bundles while keeping the 'normal' bundles fresh, they could be less compelling for buyers to even look at because they know the bigger presents are in the bigger box. Then ultimately what is the point of the normal bundles anymore if you're going to get games you could get them cheap at a Steam sale? The quality level will deteriorate and nose-dive.
This is basically a games version of Loot Crate, except with games it could mean anything. Nobody's going to throw $12 at a game they want, but they will be willing to in the BTA categories of the current bundles because it is a good deal. Say $6 with the game you want with a supplement of other games? That is great. Now, it's not knowing but proceeding with air of caution because you have no idea what's coming next.
While I disapprove of the idea, I do think it is a hefty gambling risk. More importantly, Humble Bundle doesn't recognise and understand the gamers' mindset when they do bundles like these. And it can be a pretty rough patch if they want to tread along this path.
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Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.