Pay-What-You-Want Game Sale Closes Totaling $1.8 Million

The Humble Indie Bundle 2, a sequel to the overwhelmingly successful Humble Indie Bundle pay-what-you-want model for selling games closed earlier this week. The sale by independent video-game developer Wolfire earned a total of $1,824,476.16, easily surpassing the previous total of $1.27 Million.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Since the sale has earned more than $1.75 million, Wolfire has said the promise made of releasing the source code of Revenge of the Titans will be kept.

While Wolfire is no doubt happy with the success of the sale and fans of the sale are cheering about the success of the alternative business model for video games, there was some controversy along the way. Some have questioned whether or not such a model is sustainable – particularly for mainstream game development companies.

Another criticism is whether or not such models erode the overall gaming industry. An example of this criticism is if someone is use to paying 60 dollars, sees the sale and realizes they can pay 5 dollars instead, would that erode prices and, thus, reduce the quality of video game development because people are expecting the price tag to be lower now that competition is reducing the expected cost of a video game?

Personally, when I examine the criticisms towards the success of the Humble Indie Bundle, I actually think of sports. Is it typical that a football player wears pink and yellow over-sized polka dot pants and goofy goggles while playing their games? No. If it helps that player win the Super Bowl, who are people to complain about it? It’s what business in a competitive market does, find something that works and benefits the company and take full advantage of it. Already, there are surveys coming out recently saying that 65% of internet users pay for content.

Really, taking all of this in to account, a success is a success. If the pay-what-you-want model ultimately fails in the long run, then the market will probably either revert to the old system of paying for games or someone else will come up with something better and gamers will migrate to that method instead. In the mean time, what would it hurt to watch how these types of sales turn out and take notes?

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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