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A big portion of Humble’s revenue will soon migrate to Windows-only gaming, which the bundle-centric games shop introduced with extensive Mac and Linux compatibility in 2010.
If you paid extra, you were able to claim more new games each month via Humble Choice, a monthly membership service that provided a variety of pricing levels. For the first time, Humble Choice will only offer a single $12/month tier, which includes access to two collections of games: Humble’s current “Trove” collection of old games, and a brand-new “Humble Games Collection” of more recent titles.
To access and download Humble Trove and Humble Titles Collection games coming forward, you’ll need to download a new launcher programme. This is an unpleasant side effect of the subscription approach move. Worse yet, this programme is only for Windows. A sudden countdown has been sent to current subscribers (as spotted by NeoWin). If you’re a current member, you have until January 31 to download DRM-free copies of any Mac or Linux games using the current website interface. Subscription-specific downloads will be removed from the site beginning February 1; the Mac and Linux versions in particular will be removed completely.
Even though there are already 79 Trove games in the Trove library, Humble states that the Trove collection will have “50+ titles” beginning on February 1. Trove titles that are already available for Mac and Linux will be available on the Humble Launcher, which is likely a polite way of stating that some of the existing games won’t be available—perhaps 20 or so.
There will continue to be no DRM on Trove’s collection of titles. If you read the Humble Launcher FAQs, you’ll learn that subscribers don’t need to use the Humble Launcher to access DRM-free copies of their Trove files. The new Humble Games Collection doesn’t come with the same guarantee.
Since Humble’s current revenue model mostly relies on Steam keys that Humble either includes in Humble Choice, sells individually, or bundles together in pay-what-you-want collections, no additional modifications have been made. More games are included in higher-priced bundles, so long as your total payment surpasses a particular threshold. Humble’s site download options for prior bundles’ DRM-free downloads, including Mac and Linux versions, may still be found under Ars Technica employees’ existing Humble accounts. Bundles have been more limited in recent years, save for non-game purchases like PDF downloads of books and comics, which still make up the bulk of bundle sales.
In any case, the move to a separate launcher and its outspoken posture as the only method to access certain subscription choices imply that Humble is at the very least preparing itself to pull more PC games out of the current Steam-linked ecosystem, if not aiming to do so overtly.. [Updated at 2:55 p.m. EDT:] There’s some good news for those who have already purchased Humble Choice: “a selection of hand-picked titles redeemable through a key for certain platforms” will continue. It’s possible that future Humble Choice titles won’t be available as redemption codes for other popular shops because of this phrasing, which allows Humble some leeway. Until yet, the firm has not said how probable it is that Humble Choice coupons for retailers like Steam would be replaced with Humble Launcher exclusives.]’
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