Humble subscription service is dumping Mac, Linux access in 18 days

Mac, Linux nostalgia will soon be something for Humble Choice subscribers.
Enlarge / Mac, Linux nostalgia will soon be something for Humble Choice subscribers.

Humble, the bundle-focused games retailer that launched with expansive Mac and Linux support in 2010, will soon be shifting a major component of its business to Windows-only games.

The retailer’s monthly subscription service, Humble Choice, previously offered various price tiers; the more you pay, the more new games you can claim in a given month. Starting February 1st, Humble Choice will include fewer options as it will only offer a single $12/mo tier, complete with a few new game giveaways per month and ongoing access to two game collections – the existing “Trove” collection of classic Humble games, and a new “Humble Games Collection” of more modern titles.

Pitcher Deadline: February 1, 2022

But this change in subscription strategy comes with an unfortunate new requirement: an entirely new launcher app, which must be used to access and download Humble Choice, Humble Trove, and Humble Games Collection games in the future. Worse yet, this app will be Windows only. Current subscribers have received an abrupt countdown warning (as detected by NeoWin). Those subscribers have until January 31 to use the existing website interface to download DRM-free copies of the Mac or Linux versions of any game. As of February 1, subscription-specific downloads will be removed from the site, and the Mac and Linux versions in particular will be gone entirely.

Interestingly, the current Trove library consists of 79 games, but Humble says that the Trove collection will include “more than 50 games” as of February 1. This week’s warning to Humble’s Mac and Linux subscribers notes that “many” of the current Trove games will appear. on Humble Launcher, which is probably a good way of saying that some of the existing games won’t, maybe around 20, based on the aforementioned numbers.

Despite these changes, Trove’s selection of games will remain DRM-free. The Humble Launcher FAQ suggests that subscribers can download Trove files and continue to access them without DRM, no Humble Launcher or ongoing subscription required. The same promise has no has been made for the most modern collection of games found in the new Humble Games Collection.

Humble hasn’t announced any further changes to its existing business model, which largely revolves around Steam keys that Humble bundles into Humble Choice, sells a la carte, or bundles into paid-what-you-want collections. In the latter case, the more you pay for a given package, the more games are included, as long as your payment amount exceeds a certain limit. A random check of existing Humble accounts held by Ars Technica staff still includes web download options for DRM-free downloads of older packages, including Mac and Linux versions. However, these options have become more scarce in packs in recent years, with the significant exception of non-game sales such as PDF book and comic downloads.

But the shift to a dedicated launcher, and its strong positioning as the only way to access certain subscription options, suggests that Humble is at least positioning itself to push more PC games out of the existing Steam-tied ecosystem, if it doesn’t plan to do so. total.

“I’m not in a position to tell a big community of people who want to support us to fuck off.”

The start of the Humble store in 2010 was coupled with standalone packages, along with hype about its support for non-Windows versions of games. Humble co-founder Jeffrey Rosen made a point of breaking down the statistics of original Humble Bundle purchases to the operating system level, and made waves by noting how much more money Linux and Mac buyers were willing to spend on the specific costs of operating systems. charity of the first packages. than Windows buyers. This was also an era where Humble participants pledged to make their games open source, should certain money thresholds be reached.

Rosen, who remains on Humble’s advisory board, spoke about supporting MacOS and Linux as an independent game developer when he blogged about the production in 2008, telling fans:

If you’re not rooting for Linux and Mac OS X from a fanatic or philosophical point of view, at least do it for the money. If you don’t support non-Windows platforms, you’re leaving a lot of cash on the table. I don’t know about you, but I’m not in a position to just tell the shit out of a large community of people who want to support us.

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