The Humble Bundle price sliders are a neat feature that lets gamers decide where their money goes when buying a bundle from the site. Now, a group of gamers is claiming that the system is broken.
Humble Bundle is a digital gaming retailer that got its start with "Indie Bundles" featuring a collection of interesting games at an excellent discount. The prices were certainly good, but that wasn't the only appeal — Humble Bundle is also big on donating to charity. Unfortunately, it seems like something has gone a bit awry in recent weeks and some customers are claiming that the bundle pricing system has been changed with no notice whatsoever — but only for some of them.
What Are Humble Bundle Price Sliders?
The Humble Bundle price sliders are a simple concept: they let you decide how to divide your contribution between the game publishers, a charity, and Humble Bundle itself.
Let's say that you planned on paying $15.00 to buy a particular Humble Bundle. A group of sliders at the bottom of the bundle page will let you slide bars to adjust the share between the three entities benefitting from this sale. You can even set a particular group to 0, opting to give 100% of the bundle's money to charity, the publisher, or Humble Bundle itself (and at the expense of the other parties).
It's a pretty straightforward and fair system that gives consumers a fair amount of power in deciding how their money is spent. Unfortunately, some gamers have claimed that Humble Bundle has tampered with this system — and there's evidence to back it up.
Customers Upset Over Bundle Split Restrictions
Several threads on Reddit (First, Second, Third, Fourth) detail the problem with Humble Bundle price sliders. A lot of confusion has emerged from this situation, but a group of people working together have managed to get a good idea of what's going on. The only problem, however, is that nobody knows why this is happening.
The issue is related to a bit of code in the page source that's plainly visible. A variable called "hide_sliders" can be set to either "true" or "false." If it's set to "true," the sliders disappear entirely from your page.
I found that this code does indeed exist in the page source. One of my colleagues apparently had their price sliders hidden, but mine were unaffected. I can personally see the sliders while logged in on Chrome, but I can't see them on the Firebox browser while not logged in. My colleagues' was hidden on both Firefox and Chrome. This included when they were logged in, and are an active humble monthly subscriber.
At the minimum, it appears that the Humble Bundle price sliders might disappear if you're not logged in. However, an even stranger claim has emerged — several people are saying that they can't see the sliders even when they're logged in and others are saying that it's restricted in a particular fashion.
"I slide charity up until the Humble tip becomes $1. I can no longer use the sliders. Loyal customer - $150/month from me for the past six or so years. Until the sliders come back, I'm not buying any more humble bundles." – /u/HemetValleyMall1982 on Reddit
A comment in one of the Reddit discussions breaks down the progress of the crowdsourced investigation so far. They reckon that anyone who might have given Humble Bundle $0 for a bundle in the past — that is to say, they opted to split the entirety of their bundle price between the game publishers and/or the charity — are completely unable to see the sliders and adjust the price. However, they have also apparently found at least one person who has given Humble Bundle $0 in the past and that person can still see the sliders, contrary to the experience of other people in a similar situation.
A second group of people claim to have some sort of restriction on their sliders and can't go below a certain threshold for Humble Bundle; the crowdsourced investigation says that this category can apply to anyone who has ever moved the sliders in the past. I know for a fact that I often use the sliders to adjust the pricing split and I am also quite certain that I give Humble Bundle a relatively low share, but I am personally still able to give Humble Bundle $0 if I chose to do so. The third and final group has never touched the sliders and apparently has no such restrictions.
The issue here is that this all seems wildly inconsistent. Despite a sample size of 110 people, the customers looking into this problem haven't quite figured out why it's seemingly happening at random, albeit with certain trends in mind. For example, some players have reported that Humble Bundle's share defaults to around 30%, but my default settings give Humble Bundle around 15%.
As you might expect, some customers have sent out support tickets trying to figure out what's going on. As far as I can tell, no one has received a definitive response just yet. Here's one such example from the linked Reddit discussions:
Thanks so much for ticketing in! I will reach out to our team internally and let them know of the issue with the sliders and payment allocation currently not displaying on bundles. While I await further information from our team, I will be placing your ticket on hold. Rest assured, I will let you know as soon as I have more information!
Several other customers have similar stories about reporting the issue with Humble Bundle price sliders to the company: they file a ticket, they get a response promising to look into it, and that's where the communication ends.
Was this intentional or was this some kind of coding error? We can't say for certain either way; the sample size of people noticing the problem is far too small and Humble Bundle has yet to respond to any customer tickets as far as we can tell. However, at this sample size it is also clear that something is occurring, whether intentionally or not. We've reached out to Humble Bundle and will update this article when we receive a reply.
Disclosure: Humble Bundle works with TechRaptor for affiliate partnership.
Have you experienced missing or restricted Humble Bundle price sliders? What percentage cut do you think would be fair for Humble Bundle to get from a sale? Let us know in the comments below!