Cheese talks to himself (about the Humble THQ Bundle)

People have been asking me for my opinion of the Humble THQ Bundle. I guess I should probably go on record as saying I'm disappointed at the absence of what had previously been core tenets of Humble Bundle promotions (most notably the cross-platform and DRM-free aspects).

I have fewer concerns with the Double Fine Amnesia Fortnight promotion being "Windows only", as that's a glimpse into their normal prototyping workflow rather than finished games (which would perhaps be more in line with Wolfire and Oxeye Game Studio's work for Mojang's Humble Bundle Mojam - though Linux versions of Fists of Resistance and Broadside Express would be very welcome :D ). The Amnesia Fortnight promotion was also discernably a different product presented on a different page with a different style of promotional video and a different naming scheme to prior Humble Bundle promotions (all of which must have helped mitigate cross-platform concerns), whilst the THQ bundle was in all those ways presented as though it were a "normal" Humble Bundle promotion rather than something new.

In some respects, I can't help but feel that some of the ideals talked about here have been at least slightly compromised. Whilst the opportunity to work with THQ (or even directly with developers whose games THQ publish) was one that deserved attention, it feels a bit like THQ needed Humble more than Humble needed THQ, and it is disappointing that some of that leverage wasn't exercised to at least bring token presence of the ideologies that have graced all preceding bundles.

What disheartened me the most (beyond my personal investment in many of the traditional Humble Bundle aspects which are not present), was that Humble Bundle's tendancy to bring many different types of people with different interests and priorities together to support developers, charities and noteworthy games had somehow twisted upon itself and become a conduit for toxic behaviour, with many who are less interested in these aspects of Humble Bundle promotions being dismissive of and derisive towards those who were vocal in their dislike for this bundle, and discussion quickly degenerating beyond the boundaries of civility.

Bloody vegetarians. Always complaining.

I have seen many defenders of the THQ bundle say that those who have chosen to not offer their support or have offered criticism are selfishly placing cross platform-support or DRM-free stances above supporting worthwhile charities. I would like to remind anybody who has been taken aback by this bundle that they can still donate to the American Red Cross and Child's Play. I would also like to remind anybody who thinks that Humble Bundles somehow are the only legitimate way to contribute to such initiatives, or feels that behind that sort of completely baseless, guilt oriented argument is a safe place to hide from real debate, that they should make sure to remove their heads from their posteriors and get a breath of fresh air from time to time.

I've also seen many existing Humble Bundle fans planning to boycott future bundles, to purchase bundles for the minimum price in an attempt to increase costs and raise averages, even threats (perhaps insincere, but that's not the point) of violence, and I am massively ashamed to be a part of a community with such people (perhaps even more shamed than I am by the nincompoops who think that things they don't matter to them personally are also things that nobody has a right to be passionate about - those of us who care about principles should know better).

All that said, I think I can still feel comfortable being a supporter and proponent of Humble Bundle's work. If they're experimenting with new stuff, I'd rather give feedback than condemn them, and hopefully have some outcomes that are favourable for everybody. I touch on what some of these outcomes may be in my recent article exploring cross platform support in Humble Bundle titles

A note from the author

A note from Cheese

Thanks for reading!

This is an opinion piece. Nothing more. It was written to address a question I'd been asked many times rather than out of a desire to publish something meaningful. Take that as you please.

I've avoided linking to assorted negative discussions. I feel that I've already done enough of that over here.

If you've got any thoughts you want to share or discuss with me, you can email me at