Epic’s new game store might be big news for PC gaming, but don’t forget about the plucky underdog, Itch.io.
Last week, Epic Games, creators of Fortnite, Gears of War, and Unreal Tournament, launched a new digital games distribution service to take on Valve’s Steam. With exclusive titles and a small but well-curated library, Epic hopes to unseat Steam as the default digital games marketplace.
For developers, the big news with Epic’s platform is a much more generous revenue split. Whereas Steam takes 30% off every game sold, Epic will take a mere 12%. That’s more money in the pockets of game makers, and less in the pockets of “The Man.” That’s a Good Thing™.
Epic might have the pull to sway developers into giving them exclusive titles, and they might make it a lot easier for said developers to advertise too, but they’re not the only alternative to Steam that’s come along.
Itch.io launched way back in 2013 as a space specifically for the indie games scene and one that’d make it easier for indie developers to get selling that Steam. Where Steam takes a 30% cut and can take months to approve your game for sale, Itch.io takes as little as 0% of the proceeds and can get your game on sale a lot sooner.
Whoa! A store offering an 88% revenue split to developers? This is huge! https://t.co/UcxuSyKI9P— Terry (@terrycavanagh) December 4, 2018
If revenue splitting is a big deal for Epic, Itch.io takes it a step further. Their default is a 10/90 split, but it’s the developer that sets that ratio and not Itch.io. Customers can even pay more than the sale price in case they really like the game and want to help out the developer.
While you probably won’t recognize many (or any) of the titles on Itch.io, there are some great games available for super cheap. Games like Last Man Kicking, a multiplayer shooter where everyone is sitting on office chairs with shotguns, Dicey Dungeons, a roguelike where you play as anthropomorphic dice, or MewnBase, where you play as an astronaut cat trying to survive on another planet.
If you’re an indie gamer, you owe it to yourself to check out Itch.io and see what there is to see. There’s a lot more to gaming than big AAA blockbusters, and they could use your hard earned cash too.