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That is because the Bundle would get that sort of publicity. And, finally, one more thought about PC/Mac development.Since it is so easy to pirate games on personal computers, people will only buy your game in they are virtuous and don't hate you.These games need to carefully choose an actual price that brings in adequate earnings. You need to charge a small amount anyway to work as an impulse buy.So suppose you're writing a cheap, impulse buy, casual game and you had the chance to make it donation-ware. And, if you ask for donations, some people will give you more money.I have been repeatedly asked what I thought of that, so that's a good place to start. Basically, it was a bundle of five successful and high quality Indie games. And, even better, you could designate a percentage of your donation (from 0% to All) to go to charity! It got huge amounts of attention, everyone involved made buckets of money, and a lot of statements were made about what the Humble Indie Bundle meant for the future of games distribution.In particular, since they all made so much money just asking for donations, shouldn't every developer consider this? It got several deserving developers a lot of money, it got deserving charities a lot of money, it got a lot of people some really good games, and it was just generally fantastic overall.I am planning to charge my small but dedicated fanbase for my next game. Someone will experiment more with this in the future, but it can't be me. So feel free to pillory me in the comments for how much I suck and am a coward, but I'm sure some of you will understand.If my donation size was similar to what they got, to make the same amount of money, asking for donations would have to increase my sales by 250%. To get that, I would have to get a huge amount of publicity and gather a lot of sales from people who would otherwise have pirated it. It's An Exciting Time The last few years have made all developers rethink everything they know about development, distribution, and pricing.
The average donation for the Humble Indie Bundle was .18, and you got SIX games out of that. However, Spiderweb Software is how I make my living and buy food for my kids.
I don't think Microsoft is going to add a Donate button to the Indie Games channel soon, but they should.
It's a great option for developers, and it would make more money for Microsoft too.
However, if this became a common business tactic, the publicity wouldn't be there, because donation-ware wouldn't be new and exciting anymore. At nine bucks per copy, I would be out of business inside of a year. It's an amazing world, full of exciting new options.
But I said earlier that I would jump at being in another Humble Bundle in a second. Why just considering whether I should ask for donations instead of charge a fixed price totally blows my mind.