Humble Bundle shows Windows gamers are cheap, Linux users aren't

By on January 17, 2013, 6:30 PM

Based on the statistics available for all of the past Humble Bundles offered, a few sweeping generalizations can be made: Windows gamers are numerous but cheap while Mac users aren't afraid to shell out a little extra. Interestingly though, Linux users who tend to live by a mantra of free and open software are the most generous of all, offering on average almost twice as much as Windows users.

Now, this may not be a new observation, but after a long list of bundles spanning a couple of years, not once has this pattern broken. Windows users, Mac users and Linux users have all stayed within their archetypes for every bundle produced.

For all bundles, on average, Windows users ponied up $6.22. Mac and Linux users dispensed $8.34 and $11.05, respectively. The average Windows gamer offered roughly 11 percent less than the mean bundle sale. Meanwhile, Mac  and Linux users paid 17 and 37 percent above baseline.

The Humble Bundle -- in case you don't already know -- is a name-your-own-price collection of indie (and sometimes not-so-indie) games, but sometimes includes eBooks, music and other digital goods. It's an interesting idea which started in 2010, allowing buyers with empty wallets to snag several games for one cent while yacht-owning business moguls can drop several grand on the exact same items... if they want.

Despite there being essentially no minimum though, the average price paid per bundle for all users is just shy of $7. Apparently, not every gamer is a total free-loader. Sales are split between developers and charities and thus far, the Humble Bundle has raised approximately $10.2 million. Supported charities include the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), Child's Play, American Red Cross, Charity: water, World Land Trust and Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.




User Comments: 20

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St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

My understanding of this is the social demographic of Windows users vs Linux. IMO, Windows covers the entirety of possible users. Linux on the other hand contains older, wiser, calmer folk, who from experience really like to show support for causes they believe in.

A Windows user on the other hand could be a 10yr old kid asking mommy to buy these 8 games for $2.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

really like to show support for causes they believe in.

I think this makes quite a difference - the potential of getting decent gaming support on linux is something many linux users long for. Even many Windows users want a good linux gaming environment... and I think that once it exists (if ever) then the numbers may shift again.

Alvaro Alvaro said:

My understanding of this is the social demographic of Windows users vs Linux. IMO, Windows covers the entirety of possible users. Linux on the other hand contains older, wiser, calmer folk, who from experience really like to show support for causes they believe in.

A Windows user on the other hand could be a 10yr old kid asking mommy to buy these 8 games for $2.

Or someone living in a developing country who can't afford shelling $10+? There are so many possibilities that I don't think we can say Windows gamers are cheap.

1 person liked this | LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

There are so many possibilities that I don't think we can say Windows gamers are cheap.

Oh I think we are... I know I am

2 people like this | Guest said:

Ummm, you don't think this has anything to do with the fact that Windows users have more choices than Mac users, and way more choices than Linux users when it comes to games? In other words, the less choice a user has, the more they're willing to be "thankful" (I.e. spend money) on what they're getting. Not to mention a person who has more choice probably spent money on those other choices too (I.e. buys more games).

Nice try on calling Windows users cheap though. You gotta remember, we have a LOT of games we can buy.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My understanding of this is the social demographic of Windows users vs Linux. IMO, Windows covers the entirety of possible users. Linux on the other hand contains older, wiser, calmer folk, who from experience really like to show support for causes they believe in.

A Windows user on the other hand could be a 10yr old kid asking mommy to buy these 8 games for $2.

This is an excellent point.

Another one that should be brought up is the fact that Windows users have a lot more choices than other platforms. This certainly limits the amount of money they may decide to use. For instance, this bundle might not be that much enticing to the average Windows user (which coupled with the earlier point, could very much be a 10 year-old with access to Mommy's credit card) with like 100+ games (half of those unplayed) on Steam.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I think a few of us are saying the same thing... must be true then!

dotVezz said:

Everyone is making really good points, and I really feel like the article kind of makes an inappropriate generalization. Windows users are typically anyone, anywhere in the world, in any walk of life. I'm sure a lot of Windows users shell out more for this, but there are also going to be a large amount of people who can't justify more than a few cents.

However, the the userbase for Linux has a large number of people who are in IT-related fields, which generally pay decently. And we kind of have a good appreciation for software, I feel like.

Also (joke) a lot of us never met a girl and got married, so we have more cash to spend =P.

Tanstar said:

Ummm, you don't think this has anything to do with the fact that Windows users have more choices than Mac users, and way more choices than Linux users when it comes to games? In other words, the less choice a user has, the more they're willing to be "thankful" (I.e. spend money) on what they're getting. Not to mention a person who has more choice probably spent money on those other choices too (I.e. buys more games).

Nice try on calling Windows users cheap though. You gotta remember, we have a LOT of games we can buy.

This, this, and this. I'm playing Batman: Arkham City, Skyrim, and The Old Republic. Those of us with money to play games on Windows are spending a lot more than the Linux people are paying for their Indy Bundles.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is bullshit, you can't compare the amount of Linux users against Windows users, it simply can't be done.

According to online marketshares (I said online) Linux users stands for 1.19% of online users, 7.05% are OSX users, 0.18% others (Meaning mobile phones and whatnot) and the rest remaining are windows users.

It's like saying that Internet Explorer is the best browser considering its over 50% usage in online computers.

1 person liked this | Mandark Mandark said:

Yeah, they can afford to splurge on games because they never have to pay for any other software.

gamoniac said:

Many good points here. I was an exclusive Linux user for several years, there just were that many games to choose from, so I would have paid more for the few options I have.

On the other hand, competitions are fierce on Windows platform. TechSpot's weekly Friday game deals postings prove that -- I have gotten a few great deals, one of them I haven't even installed. So one can't even say I waited out for a cheap game sale; I bought it cheap because the deal was there. In other words, that was revenue they should not have gotten from me if I were "cheap".

MilwaukeeMike said:

This story is a great example of how easy it is to look at a piece of evidence, draw a conclusion, and then apply it to everyone. Putting a stereotype on a such a large group of people (most of whom don't even play games) is rather naive. You can't say Linux users are more caring... there's no way that applies to every single Linux user.

There are somethings that to do apply to EVERY computer user. Things like avg cost of software, and quantity of software available. Windows users are used to paying less for software and there's a bigger supply to choose from. It has nothing to do with who's a nicer person. Unless there's some evidence that points to why a nice person would choose Linux or a Mac when they purchase a computer.

All I've learned about Linux users today is that SOME of them think rather highly of themselves.

Guest said:

Just a quick thought:

If you look at the top donations they are almost always by bloggers and other devellopers probably either supporting friends of theirs or trying to get in the top 5 as a bit of cheap advertising for their twitter account and/or product.

My guess would be that a lot of these guys use Linux and because there are not so many Linux users contributing they make a big impact on the average.

On the other hand I would guess that the vast majority of gamers just beat the average (on any system), so since there are so many Windows users the bigger donations on that system make a nuch smaller difference.

I have no way of trying to get even close to prooving any of this but I think it makes a bit of sense an I wanted to get away from the Windows-users-bashing for a bit ^^

Camikazi said:

Did you factor in the fact that Windows platform sales are over double the combined Mac and Linux sales? We might pay a lower amount (then again we have way more choices in games) but overall we end up buying more bundles than Mac and Linux combined (last bundle Windows platform ended buying over 75% of the total sales) so we still end up giving the most amount of money.

Guest said:

I think the reason you see opinions like the one in this article is becuase it's a backlash against people claiming that Linux/free software users are cheap. The humble bundle data might not show Windows users to be cheap, but it does show the claim that Linux users are cheap to be a lie. If anything, Linux users are just more likely to follow the advice that is often given but too often ignored... they "vote with their wallets."

Guest said:

So this article reaches a conclusion based on some games bought from the Humble Bundle? Granted I would rather get free than paid but my $60 per game is not cheap, especially when there are 3 or 4 games out at one time and on top of that DLCs. I am cheap but that's because I don't wanna spend money I don't have to spend if I don't have to. Linux users don't exactly have the huge collections of games and software I have access to so if they wanna play and paying is the only way then obviously it would seem they would seem to pay more.

Lets get one thing clear, there is no way a platform like Linux, which is mostly based on free/open source, will be getting free games that Windows and even Mac used have to pay for. That wouldn't make any sense.

Really? To post as a guest I have to watch a video ad? Shame on you techspot. Lats time I post here.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

One of the previous releases, I checked out the top donators. There was a few individual users/groups who were "Linux" and donated massive amounts. Over a thousand dollars. Single donations like that from wealthy individuals or foundations is going to greatly skew the platform donation average particularly when the total Linux purchases are not very numerous!

Apollospig Apollospig said:

The data shows what the data shows. Windows users pay the least while linux users pay the most on average of course. Arguing that they have less game choices and want to show support may well be true, but does not justify windows users actions like some of these comments are implying it does. I'm sure they where plenty of cheap linux users and plenty of high spending windows users.

Guest said:

The data doesn't show that, the data shows an average. Without more detailed information of the breakdown within each pool, you can't draw any conclusions. The Linux pool is small, a few large donations can easily skew any result in such a small sample.

Just for instance, you don't "average" the wealth in a city by dividing all income by population, you end up with a ridiculous number that has no actual meaning if you do that. If you have billionaires living in your city, then everyone is going to look well off whether they are or not.

The author of this article really needs to retake some basic math courses.

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