Welcome back commander. Electronic Arts seemingly unstoppable Command and Conquer franchise spawned yet another sequel in 1999. Boasting a revised game engine, new unit types and variable terrain, the game went on to become a smash hit. Like Red Alert, Tiberian Sun has also been released into the public domain, meaning anyone can freely and legally download a copy. No need to track down an old CD-ROM this time!
But this shift in subscription strategy comes with a new, unfortunate requirement: an entirely new launcher app, which must be used to access and download Humble Trove and Humble Games Collection games going forward. Worse, this app will be Windows-only. Current subscribers have been given an abrupt countdown warning (as spotted by NeoWin). Those subscribers have until January 31 to use the existing website interface to download DRM-free copies of any games' Mac or Linux versions. Starting February 1, subscription-specific downloads will be taken off the site, and Mac and Linux versions in particular will disappear altogether.
Despite these changes, Trove's selection of games will remain DRM-free. FAQs about the Humble Launcher suggest that subscribers can download Trove files and continue accessing them in DRM-free fashion, no Humble Launcher or ongoing subscription required. The same promise has not been made for the more modern game collection found in the new Humble Games Collection.
Humble has not announced further changes to its existing business model, which largely revolves around Steam keys that Humble either includes in Humble Choice, sells a la carte, or bundles in pay-what-you-want collections. In the latter case, the more you pay for a given bundle, the more games are included, so long as your payment amount exceeds a certain threshold. A spot check of existing Humble accounts held by Ars Technica staffers still includes web download options for older bundles' DRM-free downloads, including Mac and Linux versions. These options, however, have become scarcer in recent years' bundles, with the significant exception of nongame sales like PDF downloads of books and comics. 2b1af7f3a8