Humble Bundle launches Originals label

February 9, 2016 // 1:53 p.m.

Tags: #elephant-in-the-room #gaming #humble-bundle #humble-monthly #humble-originals #independent #indie #publisher

Games publishing service Humble Bundle is branching out once again, this time looking to fund the development of small original titles which will be provided early to its Humble Monthly subscribers.

Originally launched to help independent games developers get exposure by bundling together multiple titles into a single cross-platform pay-what-you-want collection, Humble Bundle has in recent years been veering away from the approach that made it popular. Its focus on cross-platform support was first to go when it began offering bundles of games available only via Windows; its provision of installers free from digital rights management (DRM) technology was next, likely at the behest of some of its larger publishing partners. Soon the company began offering non-games content, including electronic books, under a similar pay-what-you-want premise.

More recently, Humble Bundle has begun supplementing its income stream with regular weekly offers as well as an always-available list of titles available for purchase in the Humble Store. The company also launched a monthly subscription service, but its ambition apparently outstripped its growth: in October last year, the company laid off a fifth of its staff.

Now, Humble Bundle's latest venture is to directly fund the development of smaller, independent titles under the Humble Originals banner - borrowing a trick from the playbook of video streaming services like Amazon Instant Video and Netflix. In an interview with Destructoid, the company explained that Humble Original titles - the first of which, Elephant in the Room, is available in this month's Humble Monthly subscription package - will be made available to subscribers initially before being made more widely available, likely on the Humble Store.

In the same interview, Humble Bundle co-founder John Graham told the site that after some heavy initial churn the Humble Monthly subscriber base had reached 70,000 strong.
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