Media giant IGN has just bought digital seller Humble Bundle. Known for selling packs of indie games at pay-what-you-want prices offers, Humble Bundle has been in the business of selling games online (and other monthly selections that include software, comic books, and table-top gaming) for seven years now with a portion of their sales going to several charities while the rest is split among the game developers. Founded by Jeff Rosen and John Graham, the concept was initially run by Wolfire Games in 2010 until it was spun out to manage the promotion, payments, and distribution of the bundles.
More recently, significant changes have been made to the operational structure of the company to improve their revenues. In 2015 it launched the Humble Monthly Bundle, a subscription-based service which costs $12 a month and gives users new games to download similar to the concept used by PlayStation for their PlayStation Plus offers.
Now Humble Bundle has been acquired by IGN. In a report by Gamasutra, Humble Bundle “will continue to operate independently in the wake of the acquisition” with “some degree of support from IGN [...] in terms of accelerating growth and raising more money for charity.” Meanwhile, a separate blog post on the company's website further explains why they chose to partner up with IGN, saying:
"We chose IGN because they really understand our vision, share our passion for games, and believe in our mission to promote awesome digital content while helping charity. I can’t think of a better partner than IGN to help Humble Bundle continue our quest.
But as far as we’ve come, we know we are just getting started. Even bigger things lie ahead, and we think IGN is the perfect partner to help us get there."
IGN, which is owned parent company J2 Global - for their part, has also addressed people's concerns about the buy-out, especially given the possibility of biased coverage to in favor of Humble Bundle due to this new deal. In a statement sent to Polygon via a representative for Humble Bundle, Mitch Galbraith, executive vice president and general manager at the digital media firm says:
“Editorial integrity is something we take very seriously at IGN, and I am confident that we will strike the right balance when it comes to our coverage of Humble Bundle and the games they sell. Our readers and customers have always come first — and that won’t change.”
How this new partnership pans out remains to be seen but both parties involved seem to be adamant that there will be no changes with how they conduct business despite their new affiliation with each other. In fact, Humble Bundle will be keeping their own staff and office space as they continue to operate as a separate subsidiary with folks at IGN only lending a helping hand from time to time.