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Why you should use Itch.io over Steam Direct

James Fuller(Lead Developer at Pink Scaled Dragon) explains how Steam Direct will hurt more than it'll help and also how Itch.io is a better service for small companies.

James Fuller, Blogger

June 5, 2017

3 Min Read

Now let me explain my thoughts on Steam Direct. Steam Direct is a service provided by Steam which costs around $100 USD per game. This service exists so that people may post to Steam's database.

There is a big problem though; Steam's database is filled to the brim with games. That's not a big deal right? Wrong. Steam's database is filled with games ranging from top AAA titles all the way to rubbish shovelware and troll games.

Itch.io, on the other hand, is a game hosting site much like Steam is however you don't have to pay a single cent to post and it has a whole array of  customizability options that Steam's service doesn't have. For instance, your company page can have a header image, colour theming choices, and the ability to change what the order of games looks like, is, or otherwise. That's not all, you can also get into contact with Itch.io so that you can use HTML. The coolest thing is that these options are also available on every one of your games' pages.

"But how does this keep away bad games?" You might be asking. Well, it doesn't. However, the best looking game pages on Itch.io will entice more people to view your game and your company page. So if you were to dump a bad game onto Itch.io then you'd have to actively make your company page and games' page look good and you would need to build an audience of fans so that your game will even have a small chance at being on the front page.

This isn't even half of what Itch.io has. Itch.io allows you to sell your game for a set price but you can set is as say, $3 USD per download and some people might WANT to pay more. You get to keep either all of the money from sales or allow Itch.io to benefit. You get to choose what percentage of profit they get too. You can set up bundles as well which, pardon the expression, helps a bundle on sales.

A big thing that is cool about Itch.io is that you can set up a community to engage with fans of your game(s) and learn how to improve. Itch.io also has forums so that you can set up a thread or join a thread. There is so much about Itch.io that makes it great and if you choose to give a percentage of sales then that money will go to making Itch.io even better.

Itch.io also has an easy way to set up game jams and you can compete in game jams too!

What does Steam Direct have? Well, Steam direct has plenty of users online looking to play a game that people are talking about or a game that made it to their front page. Usually a Steam user sticks to playing games that they enjoy and they might not feel up to searching for a certain game or going through a long list. If you are a small developer then that's not going to benefit you at all. Remember that Steam Direct costs $100 USD per game and I think they also want a decent chunk of what little profit you might make.

So, which is better? It depends on if you are a big developer or not.

Thanks for reading this article.

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