For indie developers, finding the right places to publish your game can be challenging. To maximize your impact, knowing the typical pricing for games, publisher cuts, and how to get your game featured on the front page can be critical to your game's success. For this article, I've selected 5 of the best free websites to publish your game and receive free advertising, feedback, and possibly a stream of revenue! Here's a cat gif to tour you through the land of selling games!
Itch.io is hands down the best platform available for indie game publishing. Itch.io was created to give indie game developers maximum control over their product page, as well as provide developers the ability to change the default publisher cut from 10% to either 30% or 0%.
Games priced on this platform range anywhere from Pay What You Want to $20, with the average paid game costing about $10. To be featured, your game must be found interesting by the website's creator. Itch.io said quote: "Featured games do not have any specific criteria to get 'featured', it's just something we do when we find something interesting."
*Please don't select 0%, that's just evil*
IndieGameStand is a robust platform to market your game, and is great for strong short term sales if you choose their pay-what-you-want deal. However, this platform does take a 25-30% publisher cut based on how you choose to publish your game on their website. This website also encourages publishing your alpha and beta games to get ratings, feedback, and reviews.
Games priced on this platform range from free to $20, with the average game costing about $5. To be featured, you must publish through their pay-what-you-want systemwhere the game's revenue is distributed 10% to a charity, 20% to the publisher, and 70% to you. Your game will be featured on the front page for 4 days, reaching much wider audiences.
Desura seems to be in a state of evolution, while still being a strong platform for publishing. With around 2 million visitors each month, Desura's unique edge comes from it's community, with small fan communities from games like Warhammer 40K or Mass Effect. This way you can target very specific audiences of gamers, while also creating or joining your own fandom for genres of games.
Desura takes a straight cut of 30%, and featured games are selected by the publisher. Games on Desura average $10 in price, and range from free to $135.
Kongregate is another strong publishing platform, and it's weakness/strength is that it is very rating heavy. If your game performs well with most gaming audiences, then it will perform well on Kongregate. Another aspect is that Kongregate games are very achievement and high-score oriented, driving competition and traction to your game and Facebook page. However, it does not offer paid games, rather it drives revenue to your game through advertisements and microtransactions similar to mobile games.
The publisher cuts are 30% for microtransactions, and 50% for advertising revenue. Featured games are entirely selected by high ratings, with a minimum of a 3.6 out of 5 required to be considered. This platform can immediately generate millions of players in days based on ratings, and frequently showcase games that are also popular on mobile platforms.
ROAST MY GAME
Roast My Game is a growing platform for game feedback. The idea is that you submit your game for feedback, but first you must give feedback on someone else's game. It's an innovative system that's gaining traction and, if you're unsure about if your game is up to snuff, can be a fantastic platform to ensure your game is polished by rating other's games.
There is no ability to sell your game on the platform, but you can drive traffic to your webpage or social media. Being featured is relative to the amount of views your game receives.
In the end, the best platform to publish on is the one you're most comfortable with. Hopefully this article helps you figure out the best ways to publish your game, get featured, and reach widespread success!
Do you have any comments on the platforms listed above? What are some other favorite platforms of yours?