The decision by Amanita to put out the stunning Botanicula as part of a Humble Bundle on the day of release sounds, at first, like a lovely idea. A brand new game in a pay what you want bundle? Amazing! Except of course for those who pre-ordered it at full price. Personally, I think the $10 it would have cost anyone is a bargain for a game as utterly lovely as this, and people who pre-ordered clearly believed it to be worth that much to them at the time. But I do understand the frustration of learning that others could be getting the game, along with two other Amanita classics, for as little as one cent. That’s galling. I caught up with Amanita’s main man, Jakub Dvorský, to ask him about the reaction, and he informs me that it was their mistake, and to make up for it everybody who pre-ordered the game will be receiving the fantastic soundtrack, an art book, and a copy of Machinarium, for free, tomorrow.
“There was definitely no intention to rob anyone or anything like that,” explains Dvorský, apologetic about the response. Everyone who pre-ordered on GOG.com and GamersGate, he tells us, will receive the full soundtrack, art book and Machinarium tomorrow, “as an apology.”
Hopefully the offer of another game, the art book, and the genuinely great soundtrack (I’ve listened through rather a lot of times) will make up for people’s disappointment. But obviously some will remain frustrated that it wasn’t thought through properly. And it does seem odd that the two sites that took pre-orders, GamersGate and GOG.com, seem to have not known about the Bundle in advance.
Meanwhile, the Bundle has already sold over 21,000 copies in just six hours, with an extraordinarily high average price of $8.67 at the time of writing. It’s getting expensive to unlock Kooky and Windosill! That’s over $184,000 split between the developer, the World Land Trust, and Humble. And the second highest donor so far? Er, apparently GOG.com, with $300. If that’s really them, what an extraordinary way to respond to their getting a touch messed with.