Some Humble Visualisations

December 22nd, 2011 by Crusader

Cheeseness sent in the following:

Ever wanted to know how many Linux users have purchased the Humble Indie Bundle? Ever wanted to see how the average payments for MacOS have varied across every promotion? Perhaps you’re interested in the amount of money contributed by Windows for just the “Indie” branded bundles?

Wish granted!

With approval from the Humble Bundle guys, I am proud to present the results of a couple of days’ worth of work: The Humble Visualisations, a set of self-updating charts, graphs and calculated statistics that explore and compare the performance of Humble Bundles past and present.

Feedback is welcome, discussion encouraged :D

11 Responses to “Some Humble Visualisations”

  1. Nemoder Says:

    Seems total Linux sales have gone down quite a bit, has the novelty worn off or does the choice of games just not have the same appeal?

  2. Cheeseness Says:

    I’ve been wondering the same thing. Obviously the “indie” bundles attract different numbers of people to the “branded” ones, so I was expecting to see a lot more Linux purchasers for the current bundle.

    Here are some possibilities:
    * “Bundle Fatigue” – Let’s face it, there are a lot of bundles now, and not only from the Humble Bundle guys. Justifying giving $100 twice a year is very different to justifying $100 once a month or two.
    * The American Red Cross replacing the EFF – whether or not people know the EFF is all about, I suspect the “fighting for freedoms” thing resonates with a lot of Linux users.
    * Desura keys – based on the chatter, it seems like a lot of Linux users are putting all their eggs in the Desura basket, and I’ve even read comments on the Wolfire blog from people who’re refusing to buy the bundle until there are Desura keys available.
    * Port Launch Problems – There are/were a few teething problems with a number of the Linux clients (understandable since it was the first time they’d seen the light of day). This may have prevented some Linux users from recommending the bundle to others.

  3. thrashdude Says:

    I don’t see the number of Linux purchases going down.

    Purchases by bundle date –
    22,019 (HIB #1)
    26,270 (HIB #2)
    19,632 (Frozenbyte)
    34,072 (HIB #3)
    19,343 (Frozen Synapse)
    15,192 (Voxatron)
    17,500 (Introversion)
    23,046 (HIB #4)
    There’s only 2 standouts. HIB #3 with an over whelming response. The Voxatron Debut with a less spectatular result compared to the others.

    The actual HIB’s 1,2,4 had nearly the same sales.
    The other Indie collections had similar purchases as well.

    The graphs on the page also depict average purchase price follows the same pattern. HIB’s gather more sales compared to the other collections.

    IMO it has most to do with the quality/selection of the games. I know for our family/friends we’ve completely passed on a couple of bundles.

  4. Cheeseness Says:

    thrashdude, towards the bottom of the page are graphs comparing the “indie” bundles. They show a fairly distinct trend of drops in averages for all platforms.

    I haven’t put together graphs that show only the “branded” bundles, but if you strip away the “indie” ones, you can see that things have dropped away since the Frozenbyte and Frozen Synapse bundles.

    It’s possible that the lack of source releases for the Frozen Synapse Bundle had an impact on the Linux sales for the Voxatron Debut (and the Introversion’s source release may have boosted its sales – sadly I wasn’t paying close enough attention to notice when its sales spikes were).

    The HIB#4’s Linux sales have definitely been slower than previous “indie” bundles – it’s only been over the past few days that it’s pulled ahead of the Frozen Synapse Bundle in terms of sales (whereas from what I recall of the earlier bundles, Linux sales petered out after the first few days), and I think that’s what people are talking about when they’re saying that Linux sales have gone down rather than the current numbers.

    You’re right though. I think that the games themselves are starting to become a more prominent factor (for the first four or five promotions, I think there were a lot of Linux users who made purchases out of principle – myself being one of them).

  5. Alkini Says:

    Thanks, Cheese; fun stuff.

  6. King_DuckZ Says:

    Nice work, I’ve been asking myself the same question.
    Well, this definitely closes the controversy “are linux people willing to pay for software”, or even the one “linux users hate games, they just do sql”.
    While I agree the novelty of the bundles is wearing off, there is also the game selection which is a bit… poor. Indies are nice and you get masterpieces such as braid, but sometimes I just feel like playing Grid, Alice or any other AAA game.
    As for me, I’ll do my best to make the next Divinity game see the light on linux. But for the good of our community, and this applies to humble bundle and any other game: *NO PIRACY*.

    I’d like to spit into the face of every cheap idiot pirating games on linux. Games cannot be open source nor free of charge for obvious reasons, and the bundles and linux games are generally very cheap. So stop being total morons, either buy the freaking game if you have the means or sit back and play open mortal until you give, but NO PIRACY. This moment can be considered as an exploration of the market by the industry. Myself I use the HB data to convince my boss that making a linux port of our games is not a waste of time, so let’s show the industry that there is a market. Here’s the article that made me feel bad:
    And just look for trine torrent linux on google and you’ll see how far stupidity can go.

  7. runequester Says:

    I haven’t seen a bundle yet that wasn’t worth at least a few bucks. I’d rather support them weakly if Im broke, than not support them at all.

    Desura keys are definately a plus, especially since they almost all include steam keys. Given the royal indie bundles are basically pointless for linux users, the humble bundles are very very cool, and it’s hard to beat donating to a few charities at the same time.

  8. runequester Says:

    I submitted too quick. Its worth noting that for the bundle with the absolutely largest disparity between windows and mac/linux users, you still saw linux and mac each account for some 20% of the windows sales.
    Given market shares of supposedly 1 and 10% respectively, that’s pretty big.

  9. Cheeseness Says:

    Alkini, glad you enjoyed it ;)

    runequest, I think that’s just the nature of the pay-what-you-want model. It unlocks markets based on population rather than interest in the games/specifically supporting the promotions. I know a surprising number of people who’ve bought one or two bundles because they were a ‘bargain’ and never bothered playing the games.

    King_DuckZ, IMO, Trine has production values that rival most “AAA” games that I’ve seen. I’ll agree that most of the “branded” bundle games have seemed comparatively weak, but every “indie” bundle has had at least two outstanding titles (sometimes more) that have made them better buys than most of the “AAA” titles I’ve purchased in the past two years.

    If you guys are considering MacOS support for your games, then the Humble Bundle data seems to suggest that the Linux market is of equal or greater size/value. Hemisphere Games and Wolfire have some good blog posts that talk about the worthwhile-ness of porting to Linux as well if that’s helpful.

    I personally don’t consider piracy to be a significant issue. I like to think that anybody (especially Linux users) who would have bought the game is aware and mature enough understand that it’s better to support the developers who make the stuff they like than to withhold their purchase. Anybody who wouldn’t have paid anyway couldn’t be counted as a sale, and so are only having the impact of spreading awareness of a product to places it couldn’t have gone otherwise. That said, I think I only know of one person running Linux who pirates games, and from what I understand, they only pirate stuff that they need Wine to run.

    Also, games *can* be open source or free of charge. There are some very awesome Free/Open Source Games (take Neverball for example :B ), and there are a number of good “free to play” closed source games out there as well (such as Team Fortress 2 or Nitronic Rush – sadly, both of those are Windows games though). Great games don’t *have* to cost money.

  10. King_DuckZ Says:

    Sorry but I must disagree. Neverball and even Glest and Naev are pretty good and fun, but they have no special technique to keep secret. Quake series have been lucky mostly thanks to their engine, for example. Games industry is highly competitive and imo open source doesn’t relate well with it. Not while you’re new game’s technology is still hot.
    Sometimes you even get episodes of shameless forgery, as with Lugaru HD.
    Finally, publishers often hold rights over code, names and content, and they hardly care that the community can improve what they’re publishing. They hardly care that players have fun imo, as long as they can make some money in the most traditional and straightforward way.
    The other examples you mentioned belong to the so called “free-to-play”, where you buy content, powerups or other ingame goods for real money, so it doesn’t really fall into my definition of “free”. Of course the FTP model applies to Linux as well.

  11. Cheeseness Says:

    Actually, we often do our best to keep solutions to levels secret in Neverball and we’ve recently had some issues with cheaters on our online leaderboard who were/are running modified versions of the game, so we do have the some of same kinds of problems to deal with/worry about.

    Honestly, relying on exclusivity of technology has (IMO) been killing the gaming industry for a long time. I don’t see this as being a positive aspect of proprietary games. Same goes for publishers not caring about communities or even the games themselves. I’m not 100% sure where the discussion has veered to, but I probably wouldn’t be buying games from people with those kinds of attitudes even if they did support Linux (perhaps that’s one of the reasons many of these sorts of publishers consider Linux a bit too risky :D ).

    I mentioned Team Fortress, where cosmetic items are the only thing that “F2P” players do not have access to (so the whole buying content thing is at the very least debatable). So far as I am aware, Nitronic Rush doesn’t have any monetisation at all. There are other “free to play” games out there that don’t have or need commercial aspects – I just didn’t have any that I could cite experience with/think of off the top of my head ;)

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