The Humble Bundle Business Model – How Does Humble Bundle Make Money?

The Humble Bundle Enterprise Mannequin – How Does Humble Bundle Make Cash?

Government Abstract:

Humble Bundle is an internet platform that sells digital merchandise, predominately video games, in bundles in addition to by its retailer.

Study: How does humble bundle generate profits

Humble Bundle makes cash through donations, subscription charges, commissions from its Humble Retailer, in addition to charges from its publishing enterprise.

Based in 2010, Humble Bundle has grow to be a serious success within the gaming business. It has raised over $196 million in charity donations to this date.

How Humble Bundle Works

Humble Bundle is an internet platform that may assist you to discover and purchase digital merchandise corresponding to video games, software program, books.

There are millions of objects accessible for buy – most of them closely discounted (for as much as 90 p.c).

Clients can both buy single merchandise (corresponding to Crimson Lifeless Redemption II) or, as you will have guessed, in bundles.

The bundles embrace a pre-selected assortment of varied digital merchandise. Bundles are oftentimes accessible for a restricted time interval.

Each bundle comes with its personal set of tiers which might be unlocked by paying a particular worth:

  • With Pay What You Need, clients determine what they wish to pay for the bundle (minimal buy worth is $1); this unlocks the least quantity of content material
  • Beat The Common permits clients to buy the ‘first-tier’ content material (i.e. greatest objects throughout the bundle) by paying greater than the common buyer does for the bundle
  • When unlocking the third and highest tier, clients will get entry to further, premium content material

Clients can then determine how they distribute their cost. In the course of the checkout course of, they select what share goes to the developer of the product (as an illustration EA Sports activities), charities, or Humble Bundle itself.

Humble Bundle works along with dozens of charities, together with WWF, Make A Want, GamesAid, Worldreader, and plenty of extra.

The highest contributors will moreover be displayed on Humble Bundle’s public leaderboard. However, clients have the flexibility to remain nameless.

Moreover, Humble Bundle affords a month-to-month subscription program that grants clients entry to a set variety of video games, reductions, and plenty of different advantages.

To this point, Humble Bundle has reached a complete of 12 million clients whereas being answerable for over $196 million in charity donations.

Humble Bundle Firm Historical past

Humble Bundle, headquartered in San Francisco, California, was based in 2010 by John Graham and Jeffrey Rosen.

Previous to Humble Bundle, each Graham and Rosen had already labored on a enterprise collectively. They co-founded Wolfire Video games, an impartial gaming studio, again in 2008.

Being indie builders themselves, they garnered first-hand expertise about how robust it may be to get your video games distributed as an unknown studio. A lot of their associates, who had been builders themselves, had skilled comparable points.

In consequence, they determined to launch Humble Bundle, which might act as a quasi-marketing-channel to help impartial builders with the particular twist of donating to charity.

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The preliminary spark for Humble Bundle was somewhat random as Rosen recalled in a 2010 interview with Ars Technica:

“We not too long ago teamed up with the Pure Choice 2 guys to do a bundle promotion, which was influenced by Steam’s indie bundles, and that was an enormous success. So I used to be form of brainstorming about what we might do to prime that, and this concept took place. Everybody within the promotion is 100% impartial, and we’re all buddies, so it solely took a couple of emails to prepare the entire thing.”

Many different information retailers jumped on the possibility to jot down and discuss Humble Bundle, which created a good quantity of hype previous to the launch.

Lastly, in Might 2010, the primary Humble Bundle was launched, which included 5 pre-selected indie video games referred to as World of Goo, Gish, Lugaru, Aquaria, and Penumbra Overture. That first launch grew to become an instantaneous success, resulting in over 100,000 folks donating a complete of greater than $1 million.

The early traction moreover allowed the founders, who had been nonetheless engaged on launching a sport at Wolfire Video games, to affix prestigious startup accelerator Y Combinator. Ultimately, Graham and Rosen determined to include Humble Bundle as a separate entity and deal with it full-time.

Months later, in December 2010, the second bundle was launched. It, once more, grew to become an awesome success, permitting the workforce to boost $3 million throughout the first two bundles. In help of their mission, SV Angel, Y Combinator, and Sequoia Capital invested a mixed $4.5 million within the startup’s seed spherical (introduced in April 2011).

By mid-2011, the founders had been capable of lower the time it took to launch a bundle from three to 4 months to as soon as per thirty days. Each donations and income elevated considerably consequently.

In July 2012, the corporate started to pivot into different classes wherein it might promote bundles. It first launched an indie music bundle (impressed by Radiohead’s 2007 pay-what-you-want launch of In Rainbows) and literature (eBooks).

By 2013, Humble Bundle was large enough to not solely entice indie builders however main sport studios. In August 2013, it launched the Humble Origin Bundle in cooperation with Digital Arts.

That very same yr, in November, it expanded its providing by launching its very personal storefront. The Humble Retailer allowed clients to buy video games and different digital merchandise for a hard and fast worth (much like Steam’s retailer).

In October 2015, it launched a membership program that gives clients with a handpicked number of new video games (and different merchandise) each month. Over 70,000 folks signed up throughout the first few days of launch.

A yr later, Humble Bundle branched out into changing into a writer. Underneath the tag identify Humble Originals, the platform launched video games that it developed itself. It later pivoted into working along with different builders and deal with something from funding the undertaking to advertising and marketing it.

Simply weeks after Humble Bundle crossed the $100 million donations mark (September 2017), it introduced that it might be acquired by media big IGN for an undisclosed quantity.

Many within the gaming group grew frightened that the sale would imply that the corporate would lose its humble (no pun meant) origins. Fortunately, that did seem to not be the case. Humble Bundle continued to function as an impartial group that targeted on maximizing charity donations in addition to selling unknown sport builders.

However, the agency’s continued progress was going down with out the day-to-day involvement of Graham and Rosen (who acted because the agency’s CEO and COO, respectively). In March 2019, each introduced that they might step down. Alan Patmore, a seasoned gaming govt, grew to become Humble’s new CEO.

Whatever the agency’s steady success, it has additionally confronted some backlash. In April 2021, Humble Bundle introduced that might cap charity donations at 15 p.c. In consequence, a lot of its loyal clients issued indignant statements and tweets towards the corporate, which prompted the corporate to dial again on the initiative.

How Does Humble Bundle Make Cash?

Humble Bundle makes cash through donations, subscription charges, commissions from its Humble Retailer, in addition to charges from its publishing enterprise.

Let’s take a better have a look at every of those within the part beneath.


The majority of the income that Humble Bundle generates comes from the donations that clients make in the course of the checkout course of.

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As beforehand acknowledged, clients can determine how a lot they wish to pay for any given bundle. Inside that buy, they will moreover choose the cut up between what goes to charities, the sport builders, in addition to Humble Bundle itself.

To entice customers to spend extra, Humble Bundle lists down what the common buyer has spent on the bundle.

Moreover, it publicizes the most important donors (in the event that they wish to) through its Prime Contributor record. Some firms have even used it to purchase their manner into what is basically a paid promotion by spending sufficient to seem on the record.


In October 2015, Humble Bundle launched a subscription providing referred to as Humble Month-to-month. For a flat month-to-month charge, clients would get entry to a set of video games.

By April 2019, nearly 4 years after its launch, Humble Month-to-month had amassed over 400,000 subscribers.

Later that yr, in December, Humble Bundle rebranded the subscription program to what it’s referred to as at this time: Humble Selection.

With Humble Selection, customers nonetheless pay a flat charge of $12 each month. The providing grants them entry to quite a lot of advantages, together with retailer reductions (as much as 20 p.c), entry to Trove (Humble’s assortment of its personal video games and different classics), in addition to a number of 12 video games.

However, Humble Bundle nonetheless donates 5 p.c of each subscription to a featured charity (which adjustments on a month-to-month foundation).

Humble Retailer

The Humble Retailer is an internet storefront that permits clients to buy single video games and different digital merchandise.

Most of the accessible video games are closely discounted (generally as much as 80 p.c). Nevertheless, there are additionally newly launched titles accessible for buy.

75 p.c of the income generated by the shop goes to the developer itself. The remainder is distributed to Humble Bundle (15 p.c) in addition to the charity (10 p.c).

Humble Video games

Builders can work along with Humble Bundle (through its Humble Video games unit) to have their video games printed and promoted by the platform.

Humble Bundle offers builders with upfront financing, a devoted producer and advertising and marketing workforce, in addition to entry to greater than 12 million clients.

Moreover, builders are capable of retain 100% of their possession and mental property whereas having full inventive management.

Every of those partnerships are executed on a contractual foundation, so deal buildings should not publicly disclosed. It may be assumed that Humble Bundle receives a share fraction of all incoming gross sales.

Moreover, if Humble Bundle is ready to purchase a stake in that enterprise or sport, it may be assumed that future royalty funds (and different types of revenue) are additionally distributed to the corporate.

Humble Bundle Funding, Income & Valuation

In line with Crunchbase, Humble Bundle has raised a complete of $4.5 million in only one spherical of enterprise capital funding.

Buyers who participated in that funding spherical, which was raised again in April 2011, embrace SV Angel, Y Combinator, in addition to Sequoia Capital.

Each previous to and after the acquisition, neither the agency’s valuation nor income have been disclosed to the general public.

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