Jeffrey Rosen and John Graham, co-founders of popular digital distribution services, have announced they are stepping down as chief executive and chief operating officer respectively - though will be staying on as advisors at least through to the end of the year.
Launched in November 2010, Humble Bundle initially focused on the distribution of games from independent developers - like those of co-founder Jeff Rosen's Wolfire Games. Combining the idea of bundling multiple titles into a single themed purchase with a pay-what-you-want model in which the base game package is available for any sum with additional titles being added as your payment increases, Humble Bundle enjoyed rapid growth - and giving a percentage of the revenue to charity, alongside a transparent and user-adjustable revenue split between Humble Bundle and the games' developers certainly didn't hurt.
Following its initial growth, Humble Bundle began to diversify: Deals with big publishers saw the indie focus minimised, and the Humble Store added a more traditional fixed-price storefront to the site, and even consoles got in on the act. By 2015 growth had slowed, and the company was forced to lay off a fifth of its staff. That didn't stop the diversification, however: 2016 saw the release of Humble Originals, turning the company into a publisher itself, while bundles started to receive physical reward options. In October 2017 the company was acquired by gaming media giant IGN, leading to concerns of a potential conflict of interest between a company which publishes and sells games and its new parent company which reviews them.
Now co-founders Jeffrey Rosen and John Graham are stepping down from their executive roles at the company. 'It's been ten years, and after doing this for a while I'm in a place where I think it's time for me to take a break,' Graham told GamesIndustry.biz, which broke the news. 'The business is doing amazingly well; 2018 was our best year, and 2019 is off to our best start ever.'
The two are to stay on at the company in advisory roles - 'all the way until the end of the year,' Rosen told the site, 'and hopefully a long way past that' - while the new chief executive has been named as former Double Fine vice-president Alan Patmore. It's a choice which may raise eyebrows among the company's fan base: Patmore is known for his work on free-to-play and social-gaming titles, rather than full-fat buy-to-own PC gaming.
February 26 2021 | 22:15