The Humble Origin Bundle has generated nearly $7.2 million from the sale of nearly 1.5 million bundles. It is officially the best-selling Humble Bundle to date, beating out THQ's and Deep Silver's bundles and all those that have come before it. The average price of the bundle is up two cents (from Friday's average price) to $4.82, as of this writing. The bundle has 9 days left to go.
GOG.com has launched a new portal intended to entice indie developers to join its DRM-free PC games digital storefront. The new portal, found here, encourages indie developers to apply with GOG to have their games available for sale on the site. The site offers details on royalty splits and how developers who need a small investment can get some help from GOG.
On this week's show we talk about extreme developer harassment, GameStop's Xenoblade pricing, EA's Humble Origin Bundle, the latest poll from GamePolitics, and a whole lot more. Download Episode 65 now: SuperPAC Episode 65 (1 hour, 15 minutes) 69.3 MB.
Love it or hate it, the Humble Origin Bundle is on track to be the most successful Humble Bundle offering to-date if it keeps trending the way it has been in the last couple of days. As of this writing, the bundle has generated over $5.3 million from the sale of over 1.1 million bundles, with an average price of $4.80. The bundle still has a little over 11 more days to go before it is over too.
As of this writing, the Humble Origin Bundle has generated over $3.6 million from the sale of a little more than 764,000 bundles. The Origin-themed, Not-DRM-Free bundle features a total of eight games including Dead Space, Dead Space 3, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Crysis 2 Maximum Edition (includes 4 Limited Edition unlocks, and the Retaliation and Decimation packs), Mirror's Edge, and Medal of Honor. Paying more than the average price will get you The Sims 3 + Starter Pack and Battlefield 3. The current average price sits at $4.74.
There is no doubt in my mind that this latest bundle from the fine folks at Humble Bundle is going to get a mixed reaction from the game community. On the one hand it is offering up to eight high-profile games on the cheap; on the other hand all of these games are from Electronic Arts and use its Origin digital distribution platform - and at least three of the games require the bundle buyer to install Origin on their system in order to play.
Former Valve executive Jason Holtman has joined Microsoft, according to GamesIndustry International. Holtman was in charge of Steam for eight years, helping to turn it into the digital distribution platform juggernaut that it is today. Holtman was the point man for developers looking to get their games on the platform, and is credited with convincing big third-party publishers like Activision and Electronic Arts to hawk their PC wares there.
According to Gaming Blend, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZVB) is reportedly looking to challenge Valve's stance on digital trade-ins in court before the end of the year. The VZVB is pursuing legal action regarding Steam's inability for its customers to resell the software they buy. The group had promised in February that it planned to sue Valve.
In an interesting and lengthy interview on Games.on.net Trevor Longino, Head of Marketing and PR at GOG.com shares his personal opinions on piracy, file-sharing and game sharing amongst friends. The interview also offers a lot of casual talk about gaming in general, but the most interesting part of the interview has to do with whom Good Old Games considerers its competition.
Sony has quietly changed the digital rights management policy for its Video Unlimited feature on PlayStation devices. With the change in its DRM policy, consumers can now re-download purchased content from the company's Video Unlimited service. In a statement on the official website for the service, Sony detailed what this means to subscribers:
Linden Labs - best known for creating the sandbox virtual playground Second Life, has purchased digital distribution platform Desura for an undisclosed amount of money. Linden Labs did not say exactly why they purchased the platform, but one would guess that it was an easy way for the company to get into the business of digitally distributing games.
Update: Microsoft tells Kotaku that UK dashboard beta testers will receive refunds for any money lost related to the exchange of MS Points into real cash. Microsoft calls the pricing changes an "error."
NPD Group announced that it plans to start covering digital sales better than it has in the past. According to a GII report, the research firm already has the cooperation of nine game publishers.
According to sales data collected by NPD Group, sales of new videogame products fell 25 percent in May, with game sales of consoles hitting their lowest levels in more than a decade. While NPD and other analysts are chalking this decline up to anticipation for new consoles like the Xbox One and PS4, they fail to mention the dramatic shift to digital sales not covered by the NPD.
IndieGameStand is offering the cute voxel-based RPG, Vox for $10 or whatever you want to pay. Developer AlwaysGeeky Games describes Vox as a "highly customizable game where you can create, destroy, edit and build anything you desire. The whole world, every item and object within it, and even the characters and inhabitants of Vox are created using a custom 'Voxel Engine.'" The game is currently in the alpha stage but all future updates will be free and frequent, according to the developer.
Being that we strongly support any company that goes out of its way not to use DRM schemes to give them the false sense that they are somehow protecting their products from unauthorized use (and not impeding the pleasurable use of their products by legitimate consumers), we are happy to report that Good Old Games is offering a "No DRM Summer Sale."
Valve Software revealed today via its Team Fortress 2 blog that Team Fortress 2 community members have had a total of $10 million paid out, and the 60+ individuals who participated in Robotic Boogaloo made a quarter of a million between them. The $10 million was distributed to over 400 contributors and partners, and almost $250,000 out of that money will be handed out to Robotic Boogaloo participants.
Entertainment Software Association (ESA) President Michael Gallagher said last night that retail research firm NPD is doing a grave disservice to the video games industry by not adequately covering digital sales in its monthly reporting.
"The digital side of the industry is not being adequately reported, understood or covered. I think we've seen the consequences of that over the last two years," said Gallagher.
An excellent feature over at Forbes chronicles the DRM-free revolution which has been moved forward in part by popular game portal Good Old Games. While the exhaustive history of the company's push towards software that abandons DRM in favor of a better customer experience is interesting, there's also a great conversation with GOG.com managing director Guillaume Rambourg.
In the article he's pretty blunt about what they think of using DRM over at GOG:
If the laws being proposed by politicians in the UK this week were in place when SimCity and Diablo III launched, consumers would be able to get a refund. The BBC is reporting on plans to pass new laws that will make it easier for UK consumers to get a refund or a replacement product from companies when a digitally distributed video game, mobile app, or piece of entertainment content doesn't work they way it should at launch.
Minecraft developer Mojang announced that Minecraft - Pocket Edition for Android and iOS devices, has sold more than 10 million copies to-date. The portable version of Mojang's popular sandbox building game joins other versions of the game - PC and XBLA which have sold millions upon millions of copies to-date. It just goes to show that people never get tired of a game that is decent and is constantly updated by its creators.
"We are very thankful to all the support that we have gotten and people playing and talking about our game," said Mojang's Daniel Kaplan.
It looks like Netflix is about to take a chainsaw to its catalog of content, according to information collected by content cataloguing site InstantWatcher. With several licensees set to expire, Netflix will begin removing content from MGM, Universal, Warner Bros., and more. Instant Watcher puts the amount of content to be removed this month at around 1,794. Some of that content include 15 seasons of South Park, older horror movies and some early James Bond films.
During GDC last week in San Francisco research firms NPD, iResearch and Digi-Capital held a talk on digital games sales and revealed some interesting numbers on the space. According to data revealed during the event, digital game and downloadable content sales are growing at a rate of 33 percent year over year in the United States and Europe, while spending in China is expected to grow 10 percent annually for the next three years. Asia is going to be the most dominate region in the world when it comes to online and mobile games by 2016, according to the speakers.
Remember those ridiculous age restrictions on Wii U eShop content in Europe because Nintendo of Europe is based out of Germany and subject to German laws about content? Yeah, well those silly restrictions have been removed much to the delight of our Wii U owning brothers and sisters in various regions throughout Europe including the UK, according to Daily Joypad.
Valve Software today revealed a new feature for Steam users called "Early Access" which allows consumers to roll the dice and buy a game still in development and play it early. Valve calls this an opportunity to "go behind the scenes" and experience the development cycle of games first-hand. They'll also be able to interact with game developers and provide the feedback that could potentially make the game better.
In a recent blog post Super Meat Boy developer Tommy Refenes argues that using DRM to keep games from being pirated and general apathy ultimately hurts developers. He also notes that applying loss prevention techniques to digital products doesn't work in the space.
After a less-than-stellar launch of downloadable content for Omerta: City of Gangsters, Good Old Games has decided that it wants feedback from the community on whether it should continue to offer DLC and other content. As the company steps into offering newer games the reality is that a lot of these games use new models for content including multiplayer, offering early access to games, season passes for purchasing DLC content in bulk, and episodic content.