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posted by martyb on Tuesday July 06 2021, @10:41AM   Printer-friendly
from the humble-bundle's-bumbles dept.

Humble Bundle stops purchasers from giving full payment to charity:

Since the first Humble Indie Bundle launched to much acclaim in 2010, users have been able to allocate up to 100 percent of a bundle's pay-what-you-want purchase price to Humble's partner charities. That option will be going away in mid-July as the company institutes a new 15 to 30 percent minimum cut that will go to the storefront itself.

If that new policy sounds familiar, it's probably because of a test Humble Bundle in April that hid the charity sliders from some customers as a form of early user testing. In light of negative feedback, Humble Bundle apologized for not being "more proactive in communicating the test." But at the time, the company also said it was planning to limit total charity donations to 15 percent of the user-set purchase price in the near future.

By May, though, Humble Bundle backtracked and said it was leaving the charity sliders intact and turning them back on for all customers "while we take more time to review feedback and consider sliders and the importance of customization for purchases on bundle pages in the long term."

Today, that review seems to be over, and Humble Bundle has once again decided to set limits on the proportion of payments users can allocate to charity (though at a higher level than it publicly mulled back in April). In a blog post Thursday, the Humble Bundle team attributed the 15 to 30 percent minimum store cut (which will vary from bundle to bundle) to the fact that "the PC storefront landscape has changed significantly since we first launched bundles in 2010, and we have to continue to evolve with it to stay on mission."

[...] Humble Bundle was acquired by gaming and media conglomerate IGN in 2017.

It's a slippery slope


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Snospar on Tuesday July 06 2021, @10:47AM (8 children)

    by Snospar (5366) on Tuesday July 06 2021, @10:47AM (#1153277)

    As a long time supporter of Humble Bundle and their support of many worthwhile charities I find this move completely at odds with their stated message over the years. I thought their mission was to help these charities by raising awareness and getting people to donate who possibly wouldn't. It appears their mission has now changed and charity is no longer the key just the usual corporate greed. Perhaps I should be surprised they lasted as long as they did. I for one shall be voting with my wallet and will find another way to support charities rather than the Humble CEO and their team.

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    • (Score: 5, Touché) by EJ on Tuesday July 06 2021, @11:04AM (5 children)

      by EJ (2452) on Tuesday July 06 2021, @11:04AM (#1153282)

      They have to make money SOMEHOW. Do you think they're some sort of charity?

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @01:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @01:23PM (#1153306)

        Do you think they're some sort of charity?

        You mean charities don't make money?

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by FatPhil on Tuesday July 06 2021, @01:47PM (3 children)

        Historically, they were making money by people opting to let them keep some of the cost for themselves. Enough money for Ziff Davis (parent of IGN) to want to buy them up.

        Do you think their money-making capabilities have diminished, and, if so, why?
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by EJ on Tuesday July 06 2021, @02:44PM (1 child)

          by EJ (2452) on Tuesday July 06 2021, @02:44PM (#1153332)
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by FatPhil on Tuesday July 06 2021, @04:22PM

            I did suspect there was some joke component in your post, but they aren't the same entity that they were when they were founded. Now they're just part of Ziff Davis. However, you have not missed any joke in my post, it was dry and boring, sorry.
            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07 2021, @02:40AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07 2021, @02:40AM (#1153544)
          Charity begins at home? Who knows? Bandwidth and server space are cheaper than ever. And most of what they're selling now is just keys for games on Steam and other platforms anyway.

          They're pretty much obsolete.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @11:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @11:29AM (#1153291)

      I think most of the games they offered were DRM free, so you could just pirate it and send money directly to the charities of your choice. That leaves the game developers high and dry though. You could buy those games when they go on deep sales on other store fronts, or buy one game and pirate other games from the publisher.

      It's not unreasonable for Humble Bundle to set a minimum cut for themselves. They have to serve downloads to you forever, after all. But 15% is more than the cut that Epic Games wants. 5% would be more reasonable, going from 0% previously.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by richtopia on Tuesday July 06 2021, @02:20PM

      by richtopia (3160) on Tuesday July 06 2021, @02:20PM (#1153324) Homepage Journal

      I will continue to shop at Humble Bundle and watch there alerts. I definitely have made some purchases in the past that I normally wouldn't because I could provide all of the money to charity; even if I don't enjoy any of the content at least those dollars went somewhere benefiting people in need.

      I understand the site operators have to keep the lights on. 15 to 30 percent seems kinda high, but I don't run a storefront so I'm not qualified to judge. I would prefer a fixed admin cost, such as the first dollar of every purchase goes to Humble Bundle and the rest can go where you desire.

      I still plan on using their store when the price is matched to other retailers: 10% of the purchase can go back into your Humble Wallet or charity, and it defaults to charity where I leave it. I also like supporting third party storefronts; the Humble Bundle team isn't flawless but they keep competition in the market place and still send more to charity than other stores.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @10:57AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @10:57AM (#1153280)

    I stopped buying when they switched to 'local currency prices'. I have a credit card with American dollars. Why is it so hard to just ask when payment is made: Currency type

    One time I purchased in American dollars, they converted it to my country's currency, and then it was converted again to US to charge my credit card with two currency conversion charges. Something needs to change with credit card transactions.

    Meanwhile, HB was awesome when it started. Now it's just another store front for steam keys. I don't even have a steam account.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @11:17AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @11:17AM (#1153288)

      hate steam all you want, but half life is worth it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @01:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @01:24PM (#1153307)

        I'll keep my full life, thanks

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @02:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @02:26PM (#1153327)

        Was worth it. Over 20 years ago when 3DFX cards were all the rage.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MostCynical on Tuesday July 06 2021, @01:25PM (1 child)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday July 06 2021, @01:25PM (#1153308) Journal

    when Humble Bundle started, I found alot of good authors when I bought some of the bundles - authors I likely would never otherwise have read.
    I often bought other of their books, and was pleased some of my money went to charity, some to the publisher (and hopefully the authors) and some to humble bundle.

    Lately, the emails come into my inbox, and I am rarely interested enough to even open the site.

    No they want to force me to give more money to a fully for-profit company..

    Not going to happen.

    --
    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @02:30PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @02:30PM (#1153328)

      What do you think about their three tier security system? One on login, email to Verify browser, and another captcha to buy.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @05:52PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @05:52PM (#1153368)

    Can somebody help explain to me why all this moral indignation and outrage?

    I get that in a utopian paradise run by angels, everything would be free and "from all what they can give, to all what they need." However, pragmatically, this world is not such a utopia. If somebody (or 500 somebodies) came up to you asked for a $5 bill, what would you do?

    So what I see here is a company trying to collect enough money to keep their lights on and pay their employees. 15% doesn't seem like an unreasonable amount of overhead. 30% sounds a bit high, but again, not unreasonable (unlike, say, 50%+). If people REALLY wanted to give to charity, they could just... give to the charity. That guarantees 100% of their donation goes there. Of course, the donator wouldn't get any games, books, or anything else in return, but that's not the point of giving to charity... is it?

    I could describe how the situation appears to me, but I'm afraid that it would come across as a strawman and be offensive. So I'll just leave it at that, except to once again reiterate my request that somebody explain to me why I should be upset that Humble Bundle is requiring at least 15-30% be given to them as overhead for running the thing?

    • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @07:05PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @07:05PM (#1153391)

      Because so often these days good things are bought out by financed interests and turned into profit machines, usually destroying the unqiue value that made them popular. Overhead costs are fine and good, but unless they care to open their books and demonstrate their funding issues then I'll just file it away as bullshit excuse from an MBA to get away with taking more of the pie for themselves.

      If they were serious about being a pro-chairty business then they would not take percentages at all. They would take 100% of profits until they meet their yearly funding goals and then 100% would go to charity. Sustainability and efficiency are unknown concepts to Capitalists and only greed is good.

      Does that explain it? Or do you want to continue complaining about a business needing to pay its employees?

      "I could describe how the situation appears to me, but I'm afraid that it would come across as a strawman and be offensive."

      You already did that, so now we have you preemptively heading off criticism with the typical martyr complex. I'd ask what is wrong with you, but it seems clear you're just another victim of Capitalist propaganda that wants you to accept weak generalized concepts like "keeping the lights on" to excuse the increasingly greedy and immoral actions of the corporate world. Your outrage over other people's outrage is the real tell, especially when you have nothing even close to evidence to back up your position.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @07:24PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @07:24PM (#1153401)

        Thank you for the personal attacks. It is a great way to bring an inquiring person over to your side and make them sympathetic to your point of view.

        I guess my question is if those complaining about 100% of the money not going to charity would be able to withstand the same scrutiny directed at them. ("If they were serious about being pro-charity, then they would not expect anything in return for their donations.")

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @08:00PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @08:00PM (#1153415)

          i think the commentard above gave you your answer. they are communist useful idiots. this whole charity thing is stupid to me anyways. like you said, if anyone wants to give to charity they can just go do that. no need to mix a video game purchase with a charity donation. if humble bundle wanted to deal with these retards to give some exposure to these charities and get some good PR well ok, but this is what happens.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @08:27PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @08:27PM (#1153428)

            "commentard"
            "communist useful idiots"
            "charity thing is stupid"
            "retards"

            But of course you won't get modded flamebait cause we "communists" don't care about means words nearly as much as you "fascists". Hank Hill knows how to describe you though, "that boy ain't right."

            Without using the internet can you even define communist, capitalist, and socialist? How about bourgeoisie marxist? I'm sure you know exactly what they are /s

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @08:23PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @08:23PM (#1153425)

          Aww sensitive today are we? You must love Google's "don't be evil" motto.

          "Waah waaah stop being mean, why would I ever agree with you when you are being so MEAN?"

          Like anyone cares, the chance of a free market moron like yourself changing world views is vanishingly small. Wasted effort trying, and insults are what you deserve for such basic garbage defending MBA style management that ruins every good thing. My bet is you are just hoping for a buyout yourself and don't want to feel even the tiniest twinge of guilt about it. Buck feta amirite??

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday July 06 2021, @09:02PM (1 child)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 06 2021, @09:02PM (#1153448) Homepage Journal

    Show me a company that gives significantly to charity. When Apple takes their 30% cut, do they give 10 or 30% of that cut to charity? When was the last time Microsoft offered to send 1% of your purchase price to the charity of your choice? Paypal does something like that. Every time I use PayPal to make a payment, I see a little button, "Would you like to donate a dollar to blah blah?"

    From my point of view, Humble Bundle is doing good. My opinion of them isn't going to change because they say they need to keep some of that money. Their reputation would be seriously damaged if they kept money that they claimed went to charity - but they are being upfront and honest. "We need to keep some of that money!" Everything is cool.

    OK, so maybe they don't do as much good as they did a decade ago. Some of you aren't half as good as you were ten years ago either. (For that matter, some of you weren't much good when you were ten years younger, either!)

    --
    Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @09:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06 2021, @09:54PM (#1153467)

      Show me a company that gives significantly to charity.

      smile.amazon.com

      "Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases."

      Admittedly 0.5% is only half of the 1% which was listed, and is arguably not "significantly." It is something, though.

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