In the reading “When customers help set prices”, they mention that HumbleBundle.com allows you to pay-as-you-wish to get the games in the bundle. That is actually only partially true. For example, here is the latest bundle:
This bundle consists of 7 games in 3 separate tiers.
Tier 3: This is the lowest tier and you can pay what you want for these 3 games :
Tier 2: Consists of 3 games of which you can receive if you pay ABOVE what the average person paid (at the time writing this is $6.11)
Mad Games Tycoon: 2,590 Reviews / Release Date 9/13/16 / Not Rated (but positive reviews)
Plague Inc Evolved: 14,969 Reviews / Release Date 2/18/16 / Not Rated (but positive reviews)
Train Simulator 2017: 7,647 Reviews / Release Date 7/12/09 / Not Rated (but mixed reviews)
Tier 1: You can receive this if you pay $10 or more
Cities Skylines Deluxe Edition: 36,484 Reviews / Release Date 3/25/15 /85% Rating
While the highest-rated one (Out of the park 18) is actually in Tier 3, the amount of reviews shows that it has limited amount of interest. That is most likely why the developer allowed it to be sold for “pay-as-you-wish”, in hopes that consumers play the game and like it so much, when a new version is released, they might buy the 19th iteration of the game. The Tier 2 games are based off the average price sold for the entire bundle. So if a consumer pays $1 for the Tier 3 games and $10 for the Top Tier, then average consumer will have to pay $5.51 ($5.50 is the average but you have to pay more than that). The Top Tier game generated more reviews than all the other ones combined, therefore HumbleBundle placed it in the top tier with a set price (although you could pay more).
This pricing strategy is not “pay-as-you-wish” rather it is a complicated pricing/timing strategy that includes:
- Bundling older games together
- Setting the tiered pricing strategy based on perceived value
- Giving it a limited shelf-life, to give it a sense of urgency
- Allowing consumers to feel good about “donating” money to charities (although I believe HumbleBundle receives the write-off)
Does it all work? Personally, I have to say it does. I have always bought the top tiered game. The ones in white are bought outright or the top tier game on HumbleBundle. The ones that are grayed out, are the Tier 2 and Tier 3 games that I never even downloaded or played.