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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessSteam? Is it for chosen ones?
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Author Topic: Steam? Is it for chosen ones?  (Read 23717 times)
Deviator
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« on: June 05, 2011, 03:01:36 AM »

Hi guys!

Sorry if I'm repeating somones topic, but
Any thoughts about how easy/hard is to get sold on Steam network?

On average there are about 2.3 million people online. From first sight it looks promising (even with their 30%-50% commissions), but as far as I saw there are not so many indie games.

May be there are any other large distributive networks?
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tergem
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2011, 06:31:57 AM »

Desura is much easier to get on for indies, and it seems to be the new go to place for indie game releases.
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Hangedman
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2011, 08:55:07 AM »

Steam is difficult. It's getting easier, but you still need groundswell and you need to get their attention. They'll find you, usually.

Desura has lots of indie-ish games and mods, but not that many actual users.
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AUST
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Deviator
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2011, 09:08:13 AM »

tergem,
I looked and it seems that right now only 1471 users are online on Desura. Is it so small community?

Hangedman,
so in other words it is unlikely to be published on steam for average game?
I'm asking because there are some "not so eye attractive" games like this http://store.steampowered.com/app/55040/?snr=1_4_4__13
« Last Edit: June 05, 2011, 09:25:46 AM by Deviator » Logged
Hangedman
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2011, 09:58:14 AM »

But that game got some groundswell from news sites like Indiegames.com and RockPaperShotgun, among others. And the graphics, while simple, are functional and smooth and suitable for the game mechanics.

It's not necessarily about your game looking fancy, but it basically has to be complete and functional, and have some buzz behind it. The more buzz, the less complete it has to be. But you have to still have both.
But nevertheless, it's kind of a crap shoot. Unless you know someone at Valve, sometimes you just have to hope they approach you.
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AUST
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Nugsy
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2011, 10:07:37 AM »

Sorry for a minor derail, but i've always wondered what percentage commission Valve take. Is it really 30-50%?
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Hangedman
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2011, 10:23:54 AM »

30, iirc.
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AUST
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2011, 10:27:36 AM »

no afaik it's 40
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tergem
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2011, 02:12:03 PM »

tergem,
I looked and it seems that right now only 1471 users are online on Desura. Is it so small community?

It is a small community compared to steam, but it is a great place to get an initial foothold into the various portals. The community is also very indie oriented, so that's an advantage over most portals as well.
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Deviator
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2011, 11:52:16 PM »

Thank you tergem, I presume Desura would although be a good place for infection advertisement (or what was the correct naming), percentage of interested people will be rather high.
 
May be anyone have experience in working with Steam or similar networks?
You know they will be ultra greedy toward unknown developers.
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Vino
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2011, 03:07:31 PM »

If you want to get on Steam the best way to do it is to look at similar titles on Steam. Steam is looking for an odd combination of fun, quality, popular, and appealing to their audience which is the core audience. But even if you get all of those qualities there's no guarantee that Valve will pick you up. The people at Valve are really nice and they're willing to give indie games a shot, but they get hundreds of submissions all the time, so you need to knock them out of the park if you want to deal with them.

Personally if I were you I would just forget about Steam. It's too much of a question mark if you want to have any kind of solid business plan. Work on how you can make money without them.
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InfiniteStateMachine
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2011, 09:05:19 AM »

I've always heard valve takes 30%
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Richard Kain
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2011, 10:00:40 AM »

I'm pretty sure that Steam doesn't have standardized commissions, and that it is negotiated on a case-by-case basis. If your game already has a solid following, you might be able to negotiate a lower cut for Valve because they will be expecting a higher quantity of sales. Conversely, if your game is a complete unknown, they might push for a higher cut to offset the risk of supporting a new IP.

The marketing support that Valve provides, as well as any development support they offer in getting the game ported to Steam would also figure into the equation.
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Makai
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 10:28:12 AM »

Steam, being the most popular digital distribution channel is also the hardest one to get into.

We've managed to get our game into other digital distribution channels like Impulse and GamersGate with little problems, but as far as I know we've never even gotten a response email from the people at Steam.

The rule of thumb for getting into Steam seems to be to either already have a relationship with them, get nominated for an IGF, or generate a lot of hype for your game before its release.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2011, 10:59:47 AM »

yep, that's also been my experience. actually the main reason i enter the IGF each year is not to win the IGF, but to have a better chance of getting on steam in the case that i get a nomination
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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2011, 11:11:01 AM »

In the end, isn't getting on Steam valued precisely because Valve is selective and the library isn't diluted as a result of that? In other words, if Valve doesn't give you the time of day, think about why from their point of view. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be. Such is life.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2011, 11:53:48 AM »

that's assuming that steam is good at selecting the games it lets on. i don't think that's the case; there are a large number of great indie games that can't get on steam, and a large number of bad / mediocre ones that are on steam. it feels completely random
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Makai
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« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2011, 01:55:09 PM »

In the end, isn't getting on Steam valued precisely because Valve is selective and the library isn't diluted as a result of that? In other words, if Valve doesn't give you the time of day, think about why from their point of view. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be. Such is life.

Sure, I'm not blaming them or anything like that for not wanting to carry our game, they have their reasons and I'm fine with it. Deviator was asking in the OP how easy it was to get into Steam and I gave him some information I have from personal experience.

As Vino also mentioned, your chances may also vary based on the types of games you make as Valve seems to favor some specific genres, so you're more likely to get in if you're offering them more action-oriented games than if you're making more niche games such as strategy, adventure or visual novel games.
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deathtotheweird
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« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2011, 03:19:07 PM »

tergem,
I looked and it seems that right now only 1471 users are online on Desura. Is it so small community?

Hangedman,
so in other words it is unlikely to be published on steam for average game?
I'm asking because there are some "not so eye attractive" games like this http://store.steampowered.com/app/55040/?snr=1_4_4__13


if azm was made by anyone else I couldn't see it gettin' on steam. but it's made by the guy who did gravity bone and flotilla (which received honorable mentions in the IGF and was a nominee in a category or something)

I doubt Valve favors specific genres, after all Fatale is on there and it's not even really a game at all. But Tale of Tales already has a relationship with Valve and a ton of press, so I'm sure they didn't have a reason not to put the game on there.

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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2011, 03:43:17 PM »

yeah but art games are probably impossible to get on steam unless you're tale of tales or jason rohrer (and even he has had trouble getting games on steam)
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