Steam Forces Humble Bundle to go Back to Giving Out Steam Keys

Steam Forces Humble Bundle to go Back to Giving Out Steam Keys

Humble Indie Bundle 4 collection

Steam has removed OAuth support, meaning the Humble Bundle must go back to manually distributing Steam keys.

If you've been living under a rock for the past five years, the Humble Bundle is essentially a "pay what you like" bundle of (often indie) video games that raise money for charity. Originally, when buying the bundles, players were simply given Steam keys that they had to manually redeem, however, about a year ago the Humble Bundle launched something called "OAuth", that would allow users to directly redeem games to their Steam Account. Now, the Humble Bundle team has announced that Steam is dropping support for OAuth, which means we're back to CD-keys.

So, why is this such a big deal? While most Humble Bundle purchasers are happy to throw a couple of bucks towards a good cause in return for some awesome games, some less-scrupulous folks take developer goodwill as an opportunity to turn a profit. Back before OAuth, it wasn't uncommon for people to purchase up a whole bunch of Humble Bundles at the lowest possible donation, and then, after a week or a month when the games returned to their regular prices, sell them on third-party CD key websites for a profit.

When OAuth came around, it made it impossible for people to buy Bundles en-mass to sell later for profit. With Steam dropping OAuth support, could we be returning to the days of shady CD-key re-sellers taking advantage of a charity?

The Humble Bundle first kicked off back in 2010, when it was known as the Humble Indie Bundle and featured only indie titles. However, in the five years since, we've seen even AAA publishers such as THQ and EA Games join in.

The current Humble Bundle is a colaboration with charity speedrunners Awesome Games Done Quick, and features some PC gaming classics such as Duke Nukem 3D and Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee.

Source: Humble Bundle

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Wow that's shitty, i would never think to do that. i mean if i get doubles of something i've already bought i'll often give em to friends or family but buying them in bulk and re-selling? defrauding a charity? what a bunch of A-holes.

Well as much as I tend to hate the people who do third party sales, this will make things easier for me and my friends. It's a lot easier to copy-pasta the code into steam or facebook chat then the current system is. Still a bit of a disappointment though.

Well huh, I didn't no about scumbags using the old system like that. I was pretty ticked though first time I bought a bundle and had to sign into website Steam client to get at my humble bundle games. I have my Steam client set to auto-login and for the life of me couldn't remember the password, and then had all sorts of problems getting it to reset. So it sucks that people scam it but I'm perfectly happy to get my copy & paste Steam keys.

There's also the part where with how big everyone's Steam library is chances are you have at least a game or two from the bundle already, so with manual keys you can give or trade the games you have to a friend.

Humble Bundle should've made the minimum amount for steam keys $10 as I thought OAuth was an invasion of privacy.

Good. OAuth was annoying. Besides, I don't see anything wrong about people reselling their legally bought games.

Doom972:
Good. OAuth was annoying. Besides, I don't see anything wrong about people reselling their legally bought games.

The problem with it is that developers might become more reticent about donating their games to Humble Bundle. There've been a few articles written about the fates of developers who donated their games to other bundle sites (like indie gala) - most of them about how their games rarely sold on Steam/GMG/GoG/etc in the future, as a deluge of underpriced keys flooded sites like G2A.

As for OAuth being annoying, I can't speak for everyone's experiences, but I can honestly say I've never had a problem with it. Setting it up meant jumping through a few hoops, but after that it hasn't presented a single issue; it drastically simplified redeeming games. Instead of having to open steam, navigate to the redemption tab, paste in a code, hit a few more buttons and then repeat until all codes are redeemed, I just had to scroll down a list of games and click the "Redeem on Steam" buttons. I didn't even know there were people who had problems with it.

Arkley:

Doom972:
Good. OAuth was annoying. Besides, I don't see anything wrong about people reselling their legally bought games.

The problem with it is that developers might become more reticent about donating their games to Humble Bundle. There've been a few articles written about the fates of developers who donated their games to other bundle sites (like indie gala) - most of them about how their games rarely sold on Steam/GMG/GoG/etc in the future, as a deluge of underpriced keys flooded sites like G2A.

I Still don't see any problems. It works as expect: You give away your games practically for free and people take you up on that offer. If you're trying to boost sales for a game, there is no good reason to put it in a bundle. I will say that I will have no objections if bundle sites decide to allow only x purchases per email or anything similar to stop people from buying massive amounts of copies. I doubt it will make a significant change for future profits of game featured in bundles.

As for OAuth being annoying, I can't speak for everyone's experiences, but I can honestly say I've never had a problem with it. Setting it up meant jumping through a few hoops, but after that it hasn't presented a single issue; it drastically simplified redeeming games. Instead of having to open steam, navigate to the redemption tab, paste in a code, hit a few more buttons and then repeat until all codes are redeemed, I just had to scroll down a list of games and click the "Redeem on Steam" buttons. I didn't even know there were people who had problems with it.

It basically adds one additional step of email verification whenever you want to activate a game. It's a small annoyance, but since things worked out fine before its implementation, it just seems unnecessary and therefore more annoying.

Oh thank GabeN! I like to keep all my keys and purchases organized and not being able to get the key and write it down was killing me. The OAuth was stupid annoying system that ruined things. It also made me unable to gift keys i didnt want to use. To celebrate this i will have to throw my wallet at steam again.
image

Arkley:

The problem with it is that developers might become more reticent about donating their games to Humble Bundle. There've been a few articles written about the fates of developers who donated their games to other bundle sites (like indie gala) - most of them about how their games rarely sold on Steam/GMG/GoG/etc in the future, as a deluge of underpriced keys flooded sites like G2A.

As for OAuth being annoying, I can't speak for everyone's experiences, but I can honestly say I've never had a problem with it. Setting it up meant jumping through a few hoops, but after that it hasn't presented a single issue; it drastically simplified redeeming games. Instead of having to open steam, navigate to the redemption tab, paste in a code, hit a few more buttons and then repeat until all codes are redeemed, I just had to scroll down a list of games and click the "Redeem on Steam" buttons. I didn't even know there were people who had problems with it.

The only games on humblebundle showing up for last, i dont know, 3 months, are indies that do it for publicity more than anything. its not like big developers do humblebundle anymore anyway.

it complicated redeeming games more than simplifying. also it made external management a nightmare. and it didnt always work either.

Doom972:

Arkley:

Doom972:
Good. OAuth was annoying. Besides, I don't see anything wrong about people reselling their legally bought games.

The problem with it is that developers might become more reticent about donating their games to Humble Bundle. There've been a few articles written about the fates of developers who donated their games to other bundle sites (like indie gala) - most of them about how their games rarely sold on Steam/GMG/GoG/etc in the future, as a deluge of underpriced keys flooded sites like G2A.

I Still don't see any problems. It works as expect: You give away your games practically for free and people take you up on that offer. If you're trying to boost sales for a game, there is no good reason to put it in a bundle. I will say that I will have no objections if bundle sites decide to allow only x purchases per email or anything similar to stop people from buying massive amounts of copies. I doubt it will make a significant change for future profits of game featured in bundles.

I think if you don't see the problem (from the publisher/developer's perspective) with allowing people to mass purchase and re-sell your games at tiny prices, you're being deliberately dense. The same applies to the assertion that there is "no good reason to bundle a game if you're trying to boost sales".

I don't mean that as an insult, by the way. I'm not calling you stupid. I think you made a mistake earlier and are deliberately feigning inability to see the problems in an attempt to defend yourself. But just in case you actually can't see the problems - which I'll reiterate, I don't think is the case - I will explain why you're wrong.

Let's start with this;

Doom972:
If you're trying to boost sales for a game, there is no good reason to put it in a bundle.

That is patently false. Having your game in Humble Bundle is a huge publicity and awareness boost, and spreads news of your game via word of mouth, from players who may not otherwise have purchased/played it. That's the benefit of being in the Humble Bundle; you make a little bit of money from players who might not have purchased your game by other means, and maybe they tell their friends about it, or chat about it on forums. Heck, you can see that happening regularly here on the Escapist.

That benefit is, however, grossly diminished if not outright obliterated by people buying the keys en masse for pennies and selling them at a drastically lower price than normal. That brings me to the next part;

Doom972:
I Still don't see any problems. It works as expect: You give away your games practically for free and people take you up on that offer.

It isn't a problem for you, or me, or any other consumer, yet. The problem is that of the developer or publisher; that it may well become the case that participating in a Humble Bundle is more detrimental than helpful. At that point it will become a problem for you, me and the consumer, because developers/publishers will be less likely to take part, and Humble Bundles will be worse as a result.

Doom972:
I will say that I will have no objections if bundle sites decide to allow only x purchases per email or anything similar to stop people from buying massive amounts of copies.

People create floods of dummy e-mail accounts for the very purpose of circumventing things like that. It is not a solution.

Strazdas:
Oh thank GabeN! I like to keep all my keys and purchases organized and not being able to get the key and write it down was killing me. It also made me unable to gift keys i didnt want to use.

You could always gift games you didn't want with OAuth, you just click the little gift box icon next to "redeem on steam" and punch in the recipient's e-mail.

Strazdas:
The only games on humblebundle showing up for last, i dont know, 3 months, are indies that do it for publicity more than anything. its not like big developers do humblebundle anymore anyway.

Well, of course. Publicity is the main reason for anyone to do it. The problem is that the publicity is no good if you never sell a properly priced copy of that game ever again because third-party key sites are flooded with $2 copies of your game. Also, plenty of big name publishers have been on HB recently; Sega, 2K and Square Enix, for example. They also had that recent Jumbo Bundle with a bunch of Triple-A games.

Strazdas:

it complicated redeeming games more than simplifying. also it made external management a nightmare. and it didnt always work either.

I'm getting that you and the others feel OAuth complicated redeeming games and I'm not contradicting you, I'm just not understanding how it complicated things for you. Like I said, my experience with OAuth was that I jumped through a couple hoops to set it up a year ago, and ever since then redeeming games has been as simple as clicking a button - literally. Could you explain how it was more complicated for you?

As for external management, I could see why that would be an annoyance for someone who liked to keep a log of their purchased keys. I'm just not sure the erasure of that minor inconvenience is worth the potential fallout from the removal of OAuth.

Edited for additions.

For fuck's sake Valve, get your shit together.

This de-centralised corporation structure is getting pretty tiresome, especially when GabeN caught wind of the BS removal of Hatred some time ago. Now this?

Getting the Key from your Steam Library is a simple Right-Click away so the need to record it argument is not a problem.
On the other side stopping bulk buying is Humbles problem and limiting purchases is easy to do. The multiple email address method is not an issue as they can limit it by the payment account.
The real issue is do Humble even try. I think not unless the Game owner's stop offering the games.
Frankly the whole charity side of this is bogus to me. If I want to donate to a charity, it will be one I choose and I will just donate directly to the charity.

The idea of paying money direct to devs without a publisher taking 90% of the money, for individual games,would appeal more to me.

Make no mistake Humble is a business out to make a profit. They calculate they get a bigger cut by letting the buyer decide their cut.
They will only clamp down on resellers if their profit drops.

huh. I know I have a lot of useless duplicate copies of games thanks to humble bundle steam keys + my ususl buying habits, but I didn't mind it.

Never paid minimalist prices though.

Well, it's fine. both methods work for me, so eh.

Bogos writes another deliberately inflammatory title, people lose their shit again. Yellow Journalism at its finest...

Ask yourselves: Why are you mad at Steam for this? for listening to its (other) customers who said OAuth was bad? Yes, shame on them for listening to and acting upon consumer complaints in a way that actively harms them and Humble far more than it does you. How dare they!

This is why the rest of the world hates gamers...

The problem is that OAuth is treible, its so leaky its not true. As usual the angry mob scream and jump and down and shout evil capitalists. Its the same angry mob who jump and down and scream evil capitalists when their account get stolen because OAuth easily hacked.

http://www.cnet.com/news/serious-security-flaw-in-oauth-and-openid-discovered/
http://tetraph.com/covert_redirect/

RandV80:
There's also the part where with how big everyone's Steam library is chances are you have at least a game or two from the bundle already, so with manual keys you can give or trade the games you have to a friend.

You could do that during the reign of OAuth anyways, you just pushed the gift box button on the right and it would give you a gift link.

Uhuru N'Uru:
... The idea of paying money direct to devs without a publisher taking 90% of the money, for individual games,would appeal more to me.

Make no mistake Humble is a business out to make a profit. They calculate they get a bigger cut by letting the buyer decide their cut.
They will only clamp down on resellers if their profit drops.

on the first sentence here: if there is already an agreement between the devs, and the publisher then that will never happen. I mean one of the only companies that was able to even getaway from a major publisher with even their IP rights let alone excess sales revenue was 38 Studios, and based on interviews, and the likes there were "fail safe" addendum to protect EA's interest. in most situations if a publisher is involved there are 2 primary methods 1) Publisher pays amountX to developer, and all profits from sales go to publishers, 2) Publisher pays amountX to developer, and if game sells over number then publisher pays percentY of excess profits(that number sold usually amounts to 100-110% recoup of expense paid). then there is the slight modification to option2 where instead of percentage it is lump sum.

on your second point that is why they do the HumbleStore the way they do ("10% of proceeds go to charity") while they are probably still only taking a total of 30% (including the 10% for charity) this actually allows for some special tax status with US IRS law.

and I was actually doing some digging, and it looks like there is a direct limit of 3 purchases per (supposedly the only way around this is that they have to be different payment methods, different systems (PC1, PC2,...), and different emails. so they have tightened down, but the unscrupulous will still try: case and point the people that figured out how to still buy more then 3

another thing HB actually only receives a limited number of keys for each game from the developer. at a conference a panel of indie devs that got their game on steam said "that we can get up to 100 redemption keys a month with just an email, but if we want more then that it is about a day worth of forms including what they planned to do with them" so even if there is some form of agreement between HB, and steam where Oauth will work period then they will directly see an impact from high quantity purchasing individuals on their sales. because from the same devs, Valve's standard contract is 70-net-30, and they only send a check, or deposit not give a sales count.

2xDouble:
Bogos writes another deliberately inflammatory title, people lose their shit again. Yellow Journalism at its finest...

Ask yourselves: Why are you mad at Steam for this? for listening to its (other) customers who said OAuth was bad? Yes, shame on them for listening to and acting upon consumer complaints in a way that actively harms them and Humble far more than it does you. How dare they!

This is why the rest of the world hates gamers...

Deliberately inflammatory title? Did valve/steam give humble bundle the option to use oauth OR give steam keys? Did the humble bundle not used to give out steam keys? So by my count everything said was fact. How would you have said it?

Anyway, can we be sure the displeased consumers weren't just the "vocal minority"? That rational gets thrown around A LOT when people disagree with the outcome, much like people insulting/belittling those who oppose an outcome they agree with seems to be common.

And the world hates gamers? Man, I need to meet the world then because all I've met are people who marginalize gamers, people who have no strong feelings about gamers, and people who really like gamers...

the system seemed to work, i cant imagine why valve would take this dumb decision, were there any significant costs assotiated with supporting OAuth?

Arkley:
snip

If you're willing to put your game on a bundle, which is practically giving it away, you know that its selling potential would drop significantly. If a publisher/developer puts a game on a bundle and doesn't expect that, then it's a very dense publisher/developer.

Also, insulting people and then claiming you're not insulting them is pathetic.

If you don't want your games sold for a certain price.

You probably shouldn't sell them for that price.

The games were purchased at a price the seller was happy with, and got funds.

The buyer resells at a higher price.

And this is scumbaggery? The game was funded, at a price they were happy selling it for (or it would not have been sold at that price), and the "investor"makes a profit. Everyones happy.

If the game maker thinks it will be detrimental to do a humble bundle then.....Omg they could just not do it, whoa, mind blown.

Capitalism at its lowest level. If you dont like this, i cant recommend America as a vacation spot for you.

harrisonmcgiggins:

If the game maker thinks it will be detrimentl to do a humble bundle then.....Omg they could just not do it, whoa, mind blown.

At least one person has come close to identifying the problem. Yes, they could just not do it.

And may choose not to.

And then there will be fewer humble bundles offering fewer games from a smaller selection of participating publishers and developers.

"Omg" indeed.

NuclearKangaroo:
the system seemed to work, i cant imagine why valve would take this dumb decision, were there any significant costs assotiated with supporting OAuth?

It's not as dumb as you think.

Besides a combination of logistics issues and a general outcry from the community for a return to the previous CD-key method, one need only do a Google search for "issues with OAuth" to see why Valve would want to avoid the system.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=issues+with+oauth

While it sucks that people could potentially exploit this for third-party bullshit, Steam keys are also a lot more convenient. There could be a solution out there somewhere. Maybe making the codes special codes that are no longer redeemable after a certain date so they aren't marketable? Instead of calling each other stupid, how about we try and think of a viable solution to the problem at hand instead?

Arkley:
snip

Despite of your insults, which are rude and uncalled for (You won't last long in this forum), I'll explain it to you one more time:
If you put your game on a bundle, which is practically giving that game away, you shouldn't expect to sell many more copies of it in the future because you already gave it away.

Doom972:

Arkley:
snip

Despite of your insults, which are rude and uncalled for (You won't last long in this forum), I'll explain it to you one more time:
If you put your game on a bundle, which is practically giving that game away, you shouldn't expect to sell many more copies of it in the future because you already gave it away.

Fine, fine, the insults were uncalled for. But I want to clarify that you are god-damned frustrating, because you're not actually arguing with me, you're not attempting to prove me wrong or providing any counterpoints, you just keep saying that same thing over and over again, and I keep telling you why it's incorrect, and you just repeat it, again and again, with no new information and nothing to refute my explanation. That said, frustration with you is no reason to insult you, so despite our difference of opinion, I hope you'll accept this apology for having insulted your intelligence.

One last time, I'll explain why you're wrong about Humble Bundle and, should nothing new come of it, I'll end this exchange here.
Participation in something like Humble Bundle, a Steam sale, a giveaway or any other kind of promotion wherein a developer or publisher gives away copies of their games for free or very little does not preclude future sales and does, in fact, encourage them. Devs/publishers participate in these things because they generate publicity and word-of-mouth for the game, which drives future sales. Humble Bundle itself advertises this advantage to developers/publishers, and it is a well known fact. This advantage would be negated, however, if people are able to buy the keys in bulk and sell them much more cheaply in the future, as future sales generated by said publicity will be cannibalized by the deluge of cheap keys on third-party key sites.

If you're still not understanding that and would like for me to break it down in a simplified manner, or if you do understand it and have a counter-argument to make, I would welcome an opportunity to continue the discussion. If you have nothing more to contribute besides a re-iteration of your original and incorrect statement, this will be the end of it for me.

Vigormortis:

NuclearKangaroo:
the system seemed to work, i cant imagine why valve would take this dumb decision, were there any significant costs assotiated with supporting OAuth?

It's not as dumb as you think.

Besides a combination of logistics issues and a general outcry from the community for a return to the previous CD-key method, one need only do a Google search for "issues with OAuth" to see why Valve would want to avoid the system.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=issues+with+oauth

oh well it SEEMED to work, better than the old steam keys method atleast

but im no security expert

Arkley:
snip

Giving away a game practically for free to get more sales in the future doesn't make any sense, unless the game sold very poorly in the first place, and it's the only way to give it exposure. At that point, the publisher/developer should just be thankful for every copy they manage to sell.

If it's a game that has already had enough exposure, you can at most expect it to boost sales for its DLC/sequel(s), but not the game itself.

Oh, and apology accepted.

NuclearKangaroo:

oh well it SEEMED to work, better than the old steam keys method atleast

but im no security expert

It did work, but it seemed as though a lot of people thought the extra hurdles weren't worth it and that the security issues were troublesome.

 

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