Humble Bundle price sliders are going away for good. Humble Bundle will instead be replacing the ability to fine-tune the split of a bundle's price with your choice of two fixed options.
Last week, a number of customers complained about an apparent change to Humble Bundle price sliders — a number of people stated that they were unable to see them at all. We now know that that this was the result of testing at Humble Bundle, ultimately with the goal of removing sliders entirely.
"About a month ago, we turned on a test that hid sliders for certain customers," read a blog post from Humble Bundle. "This test was part of our bigger plans to make updates to the bundle pages, but without any context, we see how it raised questions and led to confusion for the community. We apologize for that and appreciate everyone who wrote in to ask us about it. The lesson for us was that we should have been more proactive in communicating the test."
"In late May, we’ll begin testing a new bundle page that replaces sliders while also updating the design and adding features that better highlight content," the blog post continued.
How Removing Humble Bundle Price Sliders is Bad for Charities
The announcement that Humble Bundle price sliders are going away is already an unpopular move based on the replies on Twitter, if only because it removes the longstanding option for customers to decide where their money goes. Worse of all, this is likely to have a serious negative impact on charity donations.
Currently, Humble Bundle price sliders allow you to select where exactly your money will go; here's how the sliders look at the default setting for me in the "Spring Into VR Bundle:"
While many customers surely just buy a bundle without any tinkering, others took advantage of the option to adjust these prices with the sliders (or by manually entering a number in the text field) to give more money to charity or the publishers. Essentially, there was no limit whatsoever on who got how much money; you could even give 100% of the bundle price to charity, with publishers and Humble Bundle ultimately getting $0.
The Humble Bundle price sliders will soon be replaced with a static system that only has two options: "Default Donation" and "Extra to Charity" as seen in the image below from today's blog post.
It might not seem all that bad at first, but this option seriously limits the amount of money that people can donate to charities through their purchase of a Humble Bundle. The above example was shown as the result of selecting a $25 price, and that lets us calculate the percentages:
- Default Donation Option ($25)
- $21.25 to Publisher (85%)
- $1.25 to Charity (5%)
- $2.50 to Humble (10%)
- Extra to Charity Option ($25)
- $20 to Publisher (80%)
- $3.75 to Charity (15%)
- $1.25 to Humble (5%)
This new system means that the game publishers will get 80–85% of the money, Humble Bundle will get 5–10% of the money, and charities will get 5–15% of the money. Based on the example we're shown, it looks like these are static options that cannot be fine-tuned in the same way as Humble Bundle price sliders, effectively capping the charity donation to 15% and not a penny more.
"It's pretty crappy to use a featured charity as a selling point and then have the vast majority of sales give them a nickel on the dollar." – /u/aerothorn on Reddit
It should be noted that you'll still be able to pay what you want for a bundle, selecting from a number of pre-set options or inputting an exact price. The only thing that's going to be changing in the future is exactly how your money is divided between publishers, Humble Bundle, and the charity of your choice. This isn't the first time that the Humble Bundle price sliders have been tinkered with, mind; previously, you were able to donate exact amounts to each individual game. That option went away a while ago, and now the option to precisely adjust your price is going away entirely.
Understandably, the response to the Humble Bundle price sliders change has been almost entirely negative on social media.
"When I buy a bundle I make the entire amount go to charity, so from what I see this change is only being made because either humble or developer partners are mad about people giving so much to charity and less to them," read a tweet from HelloItsPulse. "Classy."
"Honestly, the part of this that frustrates me the most is reducing the charity donation to 5% by default," /u/aerothorn said on /r/HumbleBundles. It's pretty crappy to use a featured charity as a selling point and then have the vast majority of sales give them a nickel on the dollar. The blog post also doesn't explain WHY they are making any of these changes, which is bizarre given that the post talks about how they screwed up by not communicating enough."
"TLDR: 'Humble' Bundle, founded on supporting charity, now forbids you from giving more than 15% to charity, and it is set to 5% by default unless you go out of your way to increase it to the measly 15%[,]" stated a scathing comment from /u/kijib on Reddit's /r/Games subreddit. "If you still have goodwill towards them, don't view HIB as a charity fundraiser anymore, they are just another indie bundle site coasting on their charity cred from days long gone[.] This is one step above Walmart asking you if you would like to round up your $1 for charity[.]"
Humble Bundle price sliders will be disappearing over the next several weeks as the company moves to make this change — and as several people have highlighted, Humble Bundle has failed to explain why this change is happening. That said, the removal of sliders might not be permanent depending on the response of customers.
"While we get ready to roll out this update in late May, you’ll notice that sliders aren’t available on bundle pages. This helps us understand customer behavior as we start to roll out the new design."
It's not exactly spelled out, but "helps us understand customer behavior" can be interpreted to mean that Humble Bundle will be gathering data on how its sales are affected by the removal of sliders. If this decision hits its wallet badly enough, it could very well reverse the change going forward.
Disclosure: Humble Bundle works with TechRaptor for affiliate partnership.
What do you think of the removal of Humble Bundle price sliders? Do you think there's a better way to approach this problem? Let us know in the comments below!