With the announcement of yet another Indie Bundle, people on my Twitter began this discussion about them being a long term viable solution, or the birth of a long term problem. How so? As someone of them said, "will gamers ever wonder why they should pay the full price for an indie game if they know there'll be a bundle that includes it around the corner?" (in 140 characters or less, of course).
I know they are for charity and all that, but for most bundles, the averange selling price always turns out to be a lot less than the full price of any of the included games. Consider that sale is split based on whatever predefined set of rules, how much of each sale goes into the developers' pockets? I'm guessing the way Indie Royale works, for example, where price goes up until someone pays a high sum so it goes down again, is made to circumvent that.
One could argue bundles are a way to get more people know about your games, so your audience gets larger, so after the bundle is over more people are interested on your game enough to pay the full price, and that's true.
But if the number of indie bundles rises, I'd have to ask the question again: as a gamer, why would I pay the full price of X game, instead of waiting until it's included in any other bundle? After all, while gamers are willing to stand in line for hours to be the first guys to get the new AAA game, but they can wait a few days/weeks to get X indie game (this is not a bad thing, after all we all know indie games usually have very long sales cycles, while AAA games are more like "buy now because the next big game will be here next week).
And if the number of indie bundles rises, and gamers decide they will buy indie games only if they come in bundles, can we consider the scenario where any indie game gets 99 cents per sale? This almost sounds like the Apple App Store, where most games are either free, or cost 99 cents, meaning indies would have to rely on volumes to make a living (just to clarify, I have nothing against the App Store other than the senseless price going on there).
Just that you know, I'm not against indie bundles. I've even been in touch with a couple of them since I also believe they can help you broaden your audience (as I said above), but I think there's a fine line between "what fits our needs" and "too much of something"
This is all I have to say about the subject. If you find a typo that's because I can't write using all my fingers right now, as I burned one of them and it's pretty much useless for typing right now :)