Last Friday, Humble Bundle announced it would now be a part of IGN. Most gamers already know IGN, and have an opinion one way or another. IGN is like the McDonald’s of digital gaming publications. They are number one in their category and intend to maintain that. Humble Bundle on the other hand has long been a bastion for the smallest of titles to get a second or third chance at making it. They have provided gaming charities with an enormous sum; according to CEO Jeffrey Rosen, over $100 Million dollars have been donated.
The two companies do make for interesting bed fellows. IGN is a massive digital publication. They make their mark by writing and producing content reviewing and discussing games. Humble Bundle on the other hand is more of a games publisher. Primarily it has acted as a point of sales for games, but as recent as this year they announced a line-up of games they plan to publish across multiple platforms. The optics of it are that IGN have now themselves become a games publisher.
For the most part it seems that Humble Bundle will continue to operate as it has so far with little to no change. IGN will certainly not see anything in immediate effect with the relative size of Humble. The question however is when Humble Bundle does release a game under its publishing branch, how will IGN handle the review?
If it wasn’t for the publishing aspect of the Humble Bundle, the deal wouldn’t be making nearly as much noise. Most games that go on sale via the storefront or actual bundle, appear many months after release and even years in the case of most larger games. IGN deals mostly in the pre-release and full release of titles. At worst, an IGN controlled Humble Bundle would focus on games that IGN gave better review scores. Now that there is a true to form publishing house under their roof, IGN needs to be careful when one of the games that has received money and makes money for IGN releases.
I have confidence that IGN isn’t going to damage themselves with this deal. They knew full well the consequences of acquiring a digital storefront and publisher. We will have to see how the rest of the world reacts to the news, and how much Humble Bundle will be affected by the move.
[Humble Bundle Blog]