Humble Bundle lays off a fifth of its staff

October 13, 2015 | 11:42

Tags: #drm #financial #humble-indie-bundle #indie-dev #indie-game #john-graham

Companies: #humble-bundle #indie

Humble Bundle, the company responsible for popularising the pay-what-you-want selling of curated games bundles, has laid off a fifth of its staff following what it claims was 'way too ambitious' a hiring plan.

Humble Bundle started as a project from indie developer Wolfire Games, but by its second release was a separate entity. Initially focusing on games by fellow indie devs and available cross-platform and free from restrictive digital rights management (DRM) technology - a focus the company has since lost, offering multiple bundles from large publishers featuring DRM and lacking full cross-platform compatibility - the company made a name for itself both by donating a user-selectable portion of proceeds to charity and by allowing buyers to set their own prices.

Now, the company offers bundles covering games from large publishers, music, books, runs a more traditional digital distribution service with pre-set pricing, and has recently launched a subscription service. Its growth has not, however, hit the company's internal projections, and that has resulted in the loss of a fifth of its staff - 12 people - as reported by Polygon and confirmed by Humble Bundle co-founder John Graham this week.

In his confirmation email, Graham blamed 'way too ambitious' hiring in the past for the need to cut headcount even as it regularly sells hundreds of thousands of bundles and has donated more than $65 million to charity since its inception. Details of which jobs were being cut were not provided, nor did Graham make any suggestions for how the company may change its increasingly unfocused offerings in future to boost revenue.
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