Humble Bundle says sorry, brings back charity sliders

(Image credit: Humble Bundle)

In April, Humble Bundle announced that it was planning to eliminate the sliders on its bundle pages that enabled customers to divide their payments between charity, developers, and Humble. Instead, customers would be given the option of directing fixed portions of their payments to charity: a default of 5%, or a maximum of 15%.

The reaction to the change was strongly negative, not just because of the new limit on charitable donations but because it was quietly rolled out to some users in March as an unannounced "test." In an update posted today Humble apologized for its handling of the situation and promised to be "more transparent about the path forward."

"Today, we’ll be turning sliders back on for all customers on our bundle pages while we take more time to review feedback and consider sliders and the importance of customization for purchases on bundle pages in the long term," it said. "In the coming weeks, we’ll roll out the updated design which will include sliders that work exactly as they did previously. Once the new design is live, we will continue to iterate on it, incorporating feedback from the community into its ongoing evolution."

It sounds like changes are still in the offing, as Humble said that it plans to continue "exploring different approaches to the sliders and how splits work, along with new ways to incorporate charity into other parts of the user experience." But it pledged to share plans and collect feedback in advance of any changes, to ensure they "live up to our mission and values."

It will be very interesting to see what happens next. The Humble Bundle design is certainly dated, and it's a very different (and much larger) sort of operation now than it was when it kicked off more than ten years ago. But the perception is that it caught got trying to sneak something past its users—and at a potentially big loss to charity, no less—and that's not going to make it easy to implement functionally similar changes in the future, no matter how necessary or good faith they may be.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.