At first glance, the set of five independently developed computer games that went on sale as a downloadable bundle on May 4 didn’t seem especially noteworthy. Even the collection’s name reflected its lack of pretension: The Humble Indie Bundle (HIB) — containing PC, Mac and Linux versions of indie favorites World of Goo, Aquaria, Lugaru HD, Gish, and Penumbra (plus late donation Samorost 2) — wasn’t trying to revolutionize the way indie games are sold and distributed. It was simply “a unique kind of bundle that we are trying out,” as the official Web page put it.

But when the bundle was taken off the market 11 days later — after attracting over 138,000 purchases and nearly $1.3 million in donations — that built-in humility started to look a little ridiculous. Sure, those numbers would be a drop in the bucket for a big-budget developer, but for the relatively small world of indie games, the HIB was a veritable blockbuster.

“When you’re an independent game developer, and there’s no publisher or other middle-man, you only need a tiny amount of sales in order for it to be a gigantic success,” said Jeffrey Rosen, co-founder of Penumbra publisher Wolfire Games and one of the men who organized the HIB.

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