Humble Bundle recently began a new subscription program known as Humble Monthly. The first of these bundles was released today, and it contains seven highly rated games.
Humble Monthly is similar to the Humble Bundle's bundle deals, but with a few changes. The base idea is the same -- to sell users a group of games together as a package instead of individually, so that games can be sold cheaper and in greater quantities. Part of the money from every game sold is also donated to charity, and game developers frequently agree to supply games for these bundles at a lower cost as part of the effort.
So far, this business model has proven quite successful for Humble Bundle, as it continues to grow and expand. It has also been beneficial to charities, with a claimed $3,651,000 donated to various organizations. Because these bundles tend to sell games for less than competing sites are capable of, it has also become rather popular with gamers.
The main way that Humble Monthly differs is that users do not know what games they are purchasing beforehand. One game is shown as an order bonus, while the rest of the bundle is kept secret until its release, which occurs during the first week of each month. The bundle also always carries the same price of $12.
The major issue with this type of bundle is that users have no way of knowing what they are paying for until the bundle is released. This could work out well if the user enjoys trying new games and isn't looking for anything in particular, but it could also yield several games that the user already owns or has no interest in playing. After the bundle is released each month, users who didn't purchase the bundle beforehand can no longer order it.
For the first month, Humble Bundle offered Legend Of Grimrock II, a game that typically retails for $23.99 and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam, as an order bonus. Today at 2pm EST, an additional six games were released, all of which have received very positive or overwhelming reviews on Steam: Saints Row IV, Besiege, Valkyria Chronicles, Lethal League, Sanctuary RPG, and TowerFall: Ascension.
Of these, the most notable game is Saints Row IV, an open-world fast action AAA title released in 2013. As the game is a little older now, it has fallen to $14.99. Most of the other games were released either in 2014 or 2015, but they come from smaller game studios or independent developers and are priced lower.
Oddly enough, Humble Bundle has already listed the "Order Bonus" game for the next bundle that will be released in December, which is a game included in the bundle released today: TowerFall: Ascension. Although the game has been well received and is highly rated, the idea behind the subscription module is for users to sign up and pay each month to get the games, and users will likely not want to receive a game they already own as an order bonus for next month.
Overall, the games released in the first Humble Monthly bundle look like a good first step towards a game-based subscription program, but Humble Bundle will need to work hard to keep users interested in purchasing a bundle of games without knowing what they are getting.
Michael Justin Allen Sexton (or MJ) is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. As a tech enthusiast, MJ enjoys studying and writing about all areas of tech, but specializes in the study of chipsets and microprocessors. In his personal life, MJ spends most of his time gaming, practicing martial arts, studying history, and tinkering with electronics.