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Five of the best places to publish independent games, from Itch.io to the Epic Game Store.

Danielle Riendeau, Editor-in-Chief

July 20, 2023

4 Min Read
Epic games self publishing cover image with colorful hardware and a happy-faced mouse
Courtesy Epic Games Store

Continuing with our series of resources for indie devs, single developers, and small teams, we took a look at the landscape of small and self-publishing platforms. We came up with a list of five of the best places to publish your indie game, from tried and true DIY resources like Itch.io to established powerhouses like Humble Bundle and the Epic Games store.

Be sure to check out our accompanying TikTok by Community Editorial Coordinator Holly Green for the highlights as well!

Table of contents:

Itch.io

Tried and tested, Itch.io is one of the best platforms for self-publishing independent games, including tabletop and browser games (as well as other creative work: comics, zines, soundtracks, even game assets). Developers can completely self-publish there and set their own revenue share for paid work (or upload work for free and use the site as a sort of "portfolio" as many hobbyist developers do). The overall platform is friendly and decidedly community centered (Itch.io is the hosting platform of choice for many, many game jams).

itch.io cover art for dozens of games, with a blue tint

It is an ideal place to begin self-publishing work, in the opinion of this humble list writer (I've personally been publishing small games to my own Itch page for nearly a decade), and overall a very well-regarded space for indie, student, hobbyist, and other developers to share their games.

Epic Games

The Epic Games Store launched its self-publishing portal this year, so any indie meeting a few basic requirements can set up an account and storefront and publish their games to the store. There is a $100 fee and a list of basic requirements for work published to the store (games need to have age ratings and pass a few quality and content checks, check out the page for all specifics.)

Games submitted to the Epic Games Store do not need to be created in Epic's Unreal Engine, and indies publishing to the storefront get an 88% revenue cut of their sales (12 percent goes to the service). They also have the benefit of being on the store’s 230 million user install base.

Humble Bundle

For more established indies looking for a publishing partner, Humble Bundle can be an excellent choice. Humble Games receive funding: full dev cycle support including Q/A and marketing, multiplatform publishing, and the built-in Humble community (including the Humble Store). There is an open submission process for teams to submit their games for consideration, and the revenue split is 75 percent to the developer.

Two of Humble Bundle’s core values as listed on the submission page tout developers’ ability to own their own IP and retain creative control (two major issues for indie publishing contracts: check out attorney Kellan Voyer’s excellent GDC 2023 presentation for more detail and advice.)

humble bundle's work with us header, with colorful game characters

Do note that a Humble Bundle publishing partnership is not a self-publishing solution, so developers interested will need to engage with the pitching process when they seek Humble Bundle as a partner.

Game Jolt

The Game Jolt marketplace offers a number of enticing features for indie devs: including a flexible revenue split (developers set the split themselves, with a maximum of 10 percent to the marketplace), support for early access payment models, and "powerful" analytics.

There is also flexibility in the type of content you sell: you can put your games up on the marketplace, as well as sound or visual art assets.

"Sell your game, artpack, levels, soundtrack; we've got you covered! You can assign an individual price to each item on your game page or choose the pay-what-you-want model."

GOG

GOG offers a strong community and marketplace to sell indie work, though, like Humble Bundle, the process is more akin to a publishing partnership than an entirely DIY self-publishing platform. Indies looking to jump onto the GOG storefront start with a questionnaire and accepted teams will get set up in the Developer Portal and SDK.

GOG boasts a very strong community and a low refund rate for paid games, advertised at just 1.8 percent here. The platform also offers developers a strong personal touch:

"We believe in working closely with game developers to ensure their success and providing the necessary tools and support to help their catalog thrive."

The page boasts community numbers and frequent sales events, and ends on the marketing services offered to developers:

"Last but certainly not least, GOG’s experienced PR and Communication Team is ready to assist you in promoting your game. Our Team will work closely with you to create effective social media pushes and other editorial content in order to help you effectively communicate your game’s unique selling points, generate buzz, and attract attention from players."

About the Author(s)

Danielle Riendeau

Editor-in-Chief, GameDeveloper.com

Danielle is the editor-in-chief of Game Developer, with previous editorial posts at Fanbyte, VICE, and Polygon. She’s also a lecturer in game design at the Berklee College of Music, and a hobbyist game developer in her spare time.

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