Indie bundles is a new concept that was popularised in 2010 by Wolfire Games and enables the purchaser to buy games or a bundle of games offered at a price they feel is fair, rather than one set by the publisher.
How Do Indie Bundles Work?
Before deciding on whether Indie Bundles work or not, you need to completely understand what it is and what the concept is all about. Indie Bundles are game bundles which are typically sold or distributed online. Typically the purchaser determines the price. Each game is independently developed with the first bundle being organized by Wolfire Games. The games may come from a single developer, or from multiple organisations. Commonly ‘extras’ are thrown in – for example soundtracks, or movies.
The bundles are typically available for a limited period, this is often a two week set period, during the time the purchaser can go and see what games are offered, decide how much they want to pay and download the games. The purchaser also decides how much of the income should be distributed through the developers and the charities.
The concepts were started by the belief that sales would be generated by word of mouth on the internet. The purchasers enjoy the ability to purchase up to five games in a bundle over a two week period and in some basis the minimum purchase price set will be only one US Dollar.
Word of mouth was proven with the first game being sold this way; they sold 57,000 copies and generated over 117,000 US Dollars. Proving that the concept and idea of Indie bundles can and does work – if done right.
The second bundle sold in 2010 sold over US $500,000 in the first day. It made a total of US$1.8 million after only ten days of being available.
The word spread quickly and the bundle sold in July 2011 broke the US $500,000 within seventeen hours of being made available online with 107,000 copies sold. By the end of the two week period this bundle had made in excess of US $2.1 million.
The bundle sold earlier this year sold over 244,000 copies within the first fifteen hours, making over US $1.7 million. This bundle made over US $4 million within the first week and by the time to bundle ended they had sold over 600,000 copies and made just over US $5.1 million. Not bad for something people could have pirated!
Are Indie Bundles Worth It?
From both the purchasers and developers point of view, these bundles are definitely worth it. Each game in independently developed offering high quality gaming. The purchaser is in control determining how much they are willing to pay; this can be decided on only one or two of the games offered or for the entire bundle on offer. If jumped into incautiously by a studio, bundles can undermine the perceived value of a product, in the same way EA recently accused Steam Sales (which are awesome) of doing.
A majority of the bundles have additional games and bonuses which are unlocked by reaching sales targets. This act often incentivises buyers to ‘beat-the-average’ (thereby pushing the average up for future purchasers) in order to receive the oft-desirable extras.
Interestingly there is only one price set and that is the minimum, this is often around one US Dollar (the minimum set by PayPal or Google checkout for transactions), from there the purchaser can determine the overall price and download it quickly and efficiently, making this one of the easiest and most worthwhile ways to purchase online games for computers running Windows, Mac or some versions of Linux.
Thanks to Ladbrokes for this look at the bundle phenomena – they hope you’re enjoying the Steam sales!