Bundles Of Love: Indie Royale Site Launches

By Adam Smith on October 26th, 2011 at 7:19 pm.

Like a battle royale but in skinny jeans

The indie scene is full of what a corporate sort might call Price-Costing Thought-Thinks. There’s an increasing trend wherein developers are offering early versions for sale to fund development, as well as offering ‘pay what you want’ initiatives and joining collections like The Humble Indie Bundle.

Now, the indie aficionados behind Indiegames.com and the fine fellows at digital distribution service Desura have launched Indie Royale, a new site with a new type of indie bundle. Containing four games, with new ones every fortnight, the bundles have an original take on pricing and, if the first one is anything to go by, they’ve got some excellent games lined up.

Rather than explain the pricing myself, I’ll leave it to the boffins.

“[From a starting point of $1.99 for the first bundle], Indie Royale uses a unique new pricing mechanism. The total cost for the four-game bundle (which are worth over if $40 purchased separately) gradually increases as more bundles are bought, with early adopters guaranteed the best deals, and prices remaining competitive throughout.”

So, the early bird does indeed catch the worm, if the worm is a bundle of games and ‘catching’ it involves paying a pittance. And that’s why I’m bringing you this news as soon as humanly possible. Because you all deserve cheap games.

BUT WHAT IF YOU WANTED TO PAY MORE?

…those who choose to pay more than the current cost to support the indie developers and the people behind the bundle will appear on the front page of Indie Royale as part of a special section, with their name and URL called out specifically. In the process, they will drop the price of the game bundle for everyone else – anywhere from several cents to multiple dollars! This pricing methodology will likely spawn unpredictable but entertaining results, and the creators of Indie Royale are looking forward to seeing the pricing trends that result.

I’m fascinated to see the trends that will result, which is why I’ll be putting on my inquisitor’s robes (a tweed jacket) and discussing matters with one of the chaps behind Indie Royale in the near future.

Pricing is all well and good though, but what really matters is the games. The first bundle contains sci-fi adventure Gemini Rue, which I know has a sizable following among our readers. Mainly because I get shouted at all the time for not talking about it more. The rather excellent Sanctum is in there as well, along with A.R.E.S.: Exctinction Agenda and puzzle/racing game Nimbus, which I’d forgotten that I played and quite enjoyed until I just wrote its name.

My thoughts? This is an excellent way to pick up cheap games and also a great opportunity for lesser known titles to bundle themselves with big hitters, hopefully picking up plenty of new fans in the process. And it’ll provide me with plenty of information on peoples’ spending habits without forcing me to dig through their garbage or snuggle up to a Murdoch.

One final quote and then I’m outta here for the evening.

“Indie Royale is designed to be content and platform agnostic, with PC direct downloads, Steam and Desura keys for the titles available if the game supports them, and an easy to use gifting and download redemption system built into the site.”

Good? Yes. Good.

__________________

« | »

, , , , , , .

92 Comments »

  1. Zeewolf says:

    I always seem to own all the games featured in these indie bundles. Obviously I’m doing something wrong.. :-(

    Hmm, I was sitting there looking at the stats, and it changed from 17 bundles sold to 16 bundles sold. Not going too well right now, in other words.

    The pack is worth it for Nimbus alone, BTW. Gemini Rue is also very good.

    Edit: 22 now! I could stare at this all night!

    Edit 2: 38. And the price went up from $1.99 to $2.00 and back down again while I was watching. Fascinating.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      Well, it had only just started, and has five more days to go!

    • wisnoskij says:

      Apparently they had some trouble with giving out steam keys that were not working at first but at least for me a few minutes ago it was working perfectly.

    • unimural says:

      EDIT: Apparently I can’t comprehend what I read, nor write.

      I don’t know if it was the adblocker, or me hallucinating, but apparently the javascript counter for the star levels was kind of bugged for me. The limit seemed to be at 7€, where as it quite obviously (at the time of writing) is ~half of that.

  2. Vinraith says:

    Interesting model, I hope it works for them. I own the games in the first pack that I’m interested in owning, but I’ll definitely check back with them in two weeks to see what’s on offer.

  3. Xocrates says:

    I find the decision that paying more causes the price to go down to be slightly odd. Personally it bothers me that my desire to support Indies can result in other people taking advantage of it and get a cheaper ride.

    • Archonsod says:

      Doesn’t bother me, but then I’m a socialist :P

      Makes sense in a way. The only reason to pay more is to support the indies, paying more lowers the price for everyone else, so they end up getting more sales.

    • Kdansky says:

      I would have paid more if that increased the price for everyone else. You might think I’m a jack-ass, but actually, I want the people who make the games to profit more (while ideally not paying much myself). So I spent the more than the minimum, but not enough to reduce the price (and none of these games really tickle my fancy that much anyway).

      You could say I am so incredibly egoistic that I want them to make more games while not paying much for that.

    • TWeaK says:

      You have to spend quite a bit to knock the price down properly. Current price is £1.87, to reduce it by 1p you have to pay £7, 3p is £16, 16p is £63 and to reduce the price by 63p you have to pay a whopping £188.

      Currently the largest payment is £27

    • carn1x says:

      They state that DLC for Sanctum will be released for hitting sales milestones, so the cheaper the more chance YOU will get more for your money.

      Even if I’m not sure whether I care about Sanctum DLC, the concept is fantastic, and my experience of “indie bundles” in general is that the organizers are generous and often throw even more games at you that you knew about when you paid.

      I bought an Iron Star to show my gratitude for the bundle and the milestone scheme.

    • Josh W says:

      But this is brilliant! You’re only pushing down the minimum price, and your raising the current average price!

      People can see your generosity, know you’ve simultaniously given them more freedom and the developers more money, and they might respond in kind, passing on a lower price to other people and more money to the developers.

      If loads of people jump on the freedom you’ve given and use it to pay a lower minimum price, well then they’ll just push it back up again. The effects of your generosity will only last so long.

      But if on the other hand other people respond in kind, then the price will go down, but most people will be paying more, so the developers will still get money!

      I think this is a really lovely idea.

  4. HexagonalBolts says:

    Bought it. I always feel bad for things with the option to pay more, as a dirty poor student I really can’t afford to. Hopefully I’ll be able to pay more for these sorts of deals when I get a job and thus balance the indie-karma-equilibrium…

    A beautifully cheap £1.25ish when I bought it.

    • Jarenth says:

      I used to tell myself that when I was a student: “I’ll pay more when I make actual money”. Now I have an actual job, and I just paid five times the minimum amount (still only €10, though) for this bundle, just because I can.

      It felt so good.

  5. Luk 333 says:

    Bundles, bundles, bundles! I just noticed an hour ago that Gemini Rue found its way to Steam, I added it to my wishlist it and now this. I’ll be even happier as soon as the steam key for it is made available.

  6. OJSlaughter says:

    Seems like a great idea: kinda annoyed because my Sanctum Code doesn’t work (claims it is already redeemed)

    Now to Customer support!!!!

  7. Carra says:

    I’ll buy it because I wanted to have Gemini Rue for a while now.

    Already have Sanctum and ARES. Sanctum is well worth playing.

  8. Teddy Leach says:

    First My Crows gives me a copy of his (excellent) book, and now this. I really hope this goes well.

  9. Paul says:

    Fantastic, I wanted Gemini Rue and now its mine. Gave 4 euros, I always give around 5 bucks for these bundles.
    Indies rock.

  10. Binary77 says:

    Cheers – i was on that like a Hawk on a Field Mouse! £1.26!!!

  11. Fox89 says:

    I’m using this as an opportunity to get more stuff for my Desura account. Seeing as most things are available on Steam as well, I usually just get everything on Steam. But I decided not to this time to encourage me to use Desura more, especially now they’ve improved their store system.

    I love stuff like this. Creative indie business practices make me happy!

    • Archonsod says:

      I activated them on both. Though I like how Desura added the whole bundle while Steam requires you add them one at a time.

    • Optimaximal says:

      I like the idea of adding them one at a time on Steam, because it means I can gift out the ones I already own.

  12. alundra says:

    after of all the rumors going around about how things are handled backstage of the humble indie, I approve of this.

    • FFabian says:

      What rumors? Tell me more…

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I also like rumors!

      The more outlandish and unfounded the better, so feel free to embellish.

    • Arvind says:

      Don’t leave us hanging in suspense! We need more data!

    • Belsameth says:

      He might be meaning the issues Steel Storm had
      [quote]

      We decided to enter HIB2 with Steel Storm Episode 1 as a free bonus (we asked for no compensation whatsoever) and got rejected by HIB3 guys. Then I personally asked them to check out Steel Storm: Burning Retribution and gauge if it’s up to their standards and if it can make it into HIB3. I heard nothing back. It was their last minute decision to include Steel Storm: Burning Retribution into HIB3. I don’t know exactly why, but they made that decision. We were offered a tiny-tiny fraction of what HIB3 made, a very small (compare to the profits of HIB3) fixed amount of money. We were tracking their sales and HIB3 sales were going down. When Steel Storm was released as a bonus, their sales jumped up significantly. Despite that, we did not get any bonus, and by any bonus I mean even a dollar or anything of that nature, something symbolic. Basically, we were told that the publicity we will be getting will pay on it’s own. We were told our sales will sky rocket just because we were in the HIB3. None of that happened. Sales dropped sharply after HIB3. We did get a lot of users who redeemed their copy of Steel Storm on Steam and Desura. So we are hoping to get our current user base, which we gained with HIB3, interested in our upcoming games. So only time will tell if HIB3 was awesome deal or not. Maybe, maybe not. If it works out as a long term investment, it will be awesome indeed. If not, I will never ever participate in such capacity (as a bonus item for a small fixed payout) in the future HIB bundles. We all do have bills to pay and families to feed, don’t we?
      [/quote]

      Source: http://www.gamingonlinux.info/index.php?threads/kot-in-action-interview.590/

    • Kdansky says:

      That’s quite ugly, I played through Steel Storm (which was one of the few games of that bundle I didn’t own already) and feel they deserved some of that money. It lacked polish, and the narrative was horrible, but it was still kinda fun.

      I’ll buy their next game.

    • alundra says:

      Yep Belsameth, exactly that, around the time of the bundle that included steel storm there was already talk about them rejecting works, which I can understand if the indie game is truly low quality, but then again, wasn’t it for charity?? Then reading how they included steel storm at the last minute but didn’t give the authors their fair share was really dishearting, and this last bundle, just a single game, I mean, it’s like the original idea behind the humble indie sales has disappeared.

      I will still support it when they come with a fine offering, if at all to support the EFF and the children foundation.

      On topic with this bit of news from RPS, I like supporting indies and love the idea of them having a place like indie royale.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Now that you mention it, the Creator of “Eschalon” has bitched quite a bit about being rejected by the Humble bundle guys on his forum. He even had put together a special edition with extra content and stuff that he offered to give to them, but for some reason the Humble Bundle doesn’t like RPGs. Of course, Eschalon also kind of sucks, but it has its defenders and it’s definitely as good as and even better than some of the games the Humble Bundle has offered in the past (plus, it’s sold on steam, so it meets Valve’s standards, at least).

      Anyhow, maybe the Indie Royale people will be willing to give RPGs some love. I see their next bundle is of “hard” games, and Eschalon definitely meets that criteria.

  13. Synchrony says:

    also just picked this up, hope it does well for the indies as it will be nice to have a new bundle every few weeks. just got to get all my friends to pick it up now for some coop on sanctum

  14. Phinor says:

    Has Paypal changed something in the past 24 hours? It now wants me to add funds to my account instead of charging directly my credit card. Well I don’t want to do that so let’s not do that then.

    • Fox89 says:

      I noticed that. It specified ‘small purchases’ so I assumed maybe there was a minimum price to charge directly? I’ll have to experiment by buying more stuff!

    • Phinor says:

      It says for purchases less than 15€. So I guess Paypal now decided that anything less than 15€ needs to paid with money on your Paypal account rather than charging your card directly. This is definitely a new change and towards the worse. Basically for all small purchases you have to start balancing your account and always take care that you have enough money on your Paypal account rather than on your credit card/bank account. On top of that, it says that every purchase (over 15€?) uses the money on your account first so after every 15€+ purchase you have to manually add more money to your Paypal account for small purchases because.. that big purchases used your small purchases money first.

      I mean the change can’t be this stupid but as it looks right now, it is.

      edit: There seems to be a setting related to this in your Paypal profile -> my settings -> my checkout settings. Yet to try whether it works though.

    • Delusibeta says:

      This is why when I use PayPal, I pay as a Guest.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      in the paypal window they send you too, there’s a prompt in the middle of buying that looks like the normal continue button, but it’s actually an opt-in for a service. there’s a skip/continue link next to the meaty-looking button.

  15. Juan Carlo says:

    I love this and all, but I wonder if any one is worried that this could actually de-value indie titles.

    I could see people, for example, stop buying indies for full price just because they will be having these bundles every 2 weeks–so why not wait and see if it’s in one?

    • Avish says:

      Most games are getting a nice discount, shortly after release and people are still paying full price on day 1 (and before that).

    • cptgone says:

      bundles like this one bring in lots of customers that wouldn’t have bought [some of] the bundled games otherwise.

      back when games could only be bought in brick and mortar stores, i didn’t buy games until i was bored/finished with the ones i had. nowadays, i’m sitting on an immense pile of games, many of which i’ll never find time to properly explore.

  16. Belsameth says:

    Meh. Got a duplicate code as well. Two, even.
    Checking their twitter it seems like they have issues with the key provisioning.
    Sloppy.

  17. SquareWheel says:

    Well, my Nimbus Steam key was already used, and the direct downloads don’t work… But hopefully they’ll work it out in the future.

  18. Auspex says:

    Really pleased with this, I can’t remember ever buying an indie bundle where I didn’t own /any/ of the games. Especially pleasing when I nearly bought Gemini Rue on Steam only moments before this post.

    • Bioptic says:

      I bought Gemini Rue on Steam almost exactly 30 mins before this launched!

      Slightly miffed that they’d lead with this promotion not even a day after its Steam debut, but can’t begrudge them £6. It’s an excellent game from the couple of hours I’ve played, and I’d have felt awful if the devs only got 40p-odd.

  19. Ernesto says:

    Nice!

    Some competition for the Humble Bundles. I hope they don’t tear each other apart in the process.
    (Also, I had no problems whatsoever purchasing, downloading or else. So quit complaining ;p )

  20. Jubaal says:

    I love this idea. I bought it just to support it, I probably won’t even get round to playing any of the games.

    • cloudkiller says:

      I’ve bought every HIB and I don’t think I’ve played one of the games longer than 10 minutes. Just bought this as well without interest in the games. I think I just like seeing my steam library grow.

  21. cptgone says:

    Yay! Thanks to RPS, i’ve been having fun playing Wadjet Eye’s Blackwell Deception… and now, i get to play Gemini Rue aswell :)
    Oh, and Sanctum too :)

    Thank you very much, RPS! And good luck to Indie Royale.

    To those having trouble DL’ing from Indie Royale: at first i got an error “410 Gone”, but a few minutes later all went well.

  22. codename_bloodfist says:

    Not interested. Matter of fact, this seems like the exact opposite of the humble indie bundle. The humble folks ask you to pay as much as you like AND give a portion of the proceeds to charity. These guys are trying to make a buck on an odd variation of the good old “limited offer” strategy, thus prompting you to act quickly before the opportunity disappears or, in this case, the terms of trade worsen for the consumer. Hardly a policy worth supporting, but, then again, that’s just my opinion.

    • ZIGS says:

      God forbid we get a bunch of games for next-to-nothing and give the developers a couple of bucks for their hard work

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      See, that’s where I disagree. If you like their work that much, you might as well buy the games at full price and thus give them substantially more money for their hard work. If you don’t care for their games, there’s a plethora of people who will appreciate the few bucks much more than these devs. I’ll give you a tip: most of them don’t live in first world countries and have higher education.

    • Saldek says:

      Although I also prefer the Humble Bundle method, I do find it hard to feel particularly abused by the Indie Royale scheme.

      The “ludicrously cheap” to “still a sale” price ramp seems pretty harmless, even though it did make me pounce on the offer a bit.

      The lack of a charity option is reminiscent of practically every purchase I have made in my life, so it might be forgivable.

      Now, if they only had some Time to Play™ on offer …

    • Deano2099 says:

      @codename_bloodfist I envy your ability to know instantly if you’ll like a game or not just by looking at it.

      Me, I bought Gemini Rue at full price but picking this up for the other games as they look interesting but not my usual sort of thing. I’ll probably only play them briefly but even so, I think the devs still deserve something in exchange for that. And maybe I’ll discover something awesome.

  23. mmalove says:

    Just chiming in to balance the odds: purchased for 2 bucks, no problem. Really hoping they deliver the steam keys for gemini rue too, so I can consolidate to that platform. Yes, all DRM complaining aside, I’m a steam junkie.

  24. McChubs says:

    I got a duplicate key on Sanctum, emailed them about it. Bloody Aussies.

  25. I_have_no_nose_but_I_must_sneeze says:

    Thanks for the heads-up, Adam, I’ve been meaning to play Gemini Rue for a while. The other games look like they’re worth a try too. By the way, I’m betting VVVVVV will be one of the games in the second bundle. It would certainly fit the “difficult” part of the title.

  26. Optimaximal says:

    All we need is Notch to donate his usual $2000/equivalent and we all get it for pennies! :)

    • Saldek says:

      Oh, no! I didn’t think of that and pressed the damned ‘purchase’ button!! All those Euros Cents I could have saved will give me a sleepless night.

      Perhaps Notch will be saving for his legal battle – we can but hope.

  27. tanith says:

    No Linux versions?
    No thanks. :/

  28. AW says:

    This is yet another reason I’m glad I discovered RPS.

    This web site keeps on giving. My Steam account has increased 10-fold since I first discovered it. I would’ve never had a Desura or GOG account, but now I do.

    RPS introduced me to TF2. Many games I’d have never considered I gave a second look. I was directed to the Humble Bundle by RPS. You sent me to Flash of Steel and Shut Up Show. The Flare Path, Cardboard Children, Sunday Papers and of course the Bargain Bin are required reading.

    From here in New England, I’m grateful to you all over there in Blighty!

  29. Drayk says:

    Amazing Idea. Just bought it for 3 euros. (only 1 more than the normal price sadly, too much games in november) Will install them when issues on steam are solved.

  30. kirkbjerk says:

    Nevermind the site is back up.

  31. Horza says:

    This would be wonderful if the site actually worked. All I see is a 404 message.

    Edit: started working as soon as I hit the comment button

  32. BenMS says:

    Anyone else getting a 404 error on the website? I’m guessing maybe business has picked up in the last little while, and the server is getting too many requests. And I have yet to be able to download a Steam key for any of the games, I keep getting an error message. Ahh well, it’ll probably be sorted out by the time I get home from school… where I should be right now.

  33. Heliocentric says:

    Pass, I don’t think I even want any of the games :(

  34. armaankhan says:

    Hmmm….. Seems they’ve deleted the tweet that promised Gemini Rue Steam codes. That’s very unfortunate.

  35. Stormbane says:

    I have very gladly bought every bundle released so far but have yet to play a single game. I guess the system works! :D

  36. hypercrisis says:

    I would be happier with the site if it worked and actually gave me my keys. Tried earlier, got a bunch of errors, now it tells me they’re all gone.

    Lousy service so far, but I can forgive for day 1 problems.

  37. Hatsworth says:

    Nimbus was criminally overlooked, hope this bundle remedies it somewhat.

  38. Kloreep says:

    Steam key troubles aside, looks like a great site. I bit.

    Aside from Gemini Rue, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of seeking the other three games out individually, but now that they’re already paid for I may give them a try.

  39. sneetch says:

    I’ve got three of those four games already, I’d be inclined to just buy the one other game I’m interested in from Steam but out of curiosity it’s currently €3.25 what’s it in Sterling/US dollars?

    Edit: wierd I posted a new version of this post again and the first one showed up.

  40. sneetch says:

    Lets try this again. The comment system snacked on my previous attempt. Does anyone know how do they calculate the prices in different currencies? It’s €3.23 at the moment, what is it in Sterling or the USD? I presume it’s a real time currency conversion of some sort?

    Either way I think I already own all those except Gemini Rue so I’ll give this one a miss.

  41. BlitzThose says:

    well after trying in vain to buy the bundle, there check out system and my works proxy had a dissagreement so I emailed them and they replied by gving me a free copy of the bundle :D

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>