05 May Best Places to Release Indie Video Games
For indie video games developers and small video game studios, finding the right place or platform to publish and release their product is extremely crucial to the success and exposure of the game. Proper game distribution can help indie developers trying to break into the video game industry and help fund more original games or continuous updates to their game. In the past, there have been very successful indie games that have blown up and become either cult classics or mainstay games because of how they were distributed. Games from independent developers like Rocket League and Super Meat Boy started out being distributed on platforms like Steam and gained significant traction to become larger games and have had success for quite some time. In this article, we’ll break down some of the best platforms to release indie video games!
What is an indie game?
An indie game, or an independent video game, is a video game created normally by individuals or smaller development teams without the full financial and technical support of a larger game publisher. Indie game development happens when the individual or small team pours their own money and resources into the project. This brings the game designer and the team a different sense of pride and accomplishment when the game gains traction on different platforms.
Best Places to Release Indie Video Games
With indie games being a big part of the video game industry, finding the best platform to release the game can be crucial to the overall success of the project. Here are the best places to release your indie video game project.
If your indie game project is being made in the format of a mobile app for smartphones and other mobile devices, app stores is one of if not the best place to release your game. There are several different app stores that you can release your game on and each of them works a little bit differently. Here are how the app stores work when looking to release your game:
- Apple Store: In order to release a game on the Apple Store, which is used by Apple product users, you must enroll in the Apple Developer Program. This program will cost $99 per year, and you will be able to distribute your apps through both iOS and Mac OS for iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. This also means that you’ll need to follow their guidelines to submit the game to Apple for review.
- Google Play: The Google Play App Store is another digital app store where your indie game can be released for mobile devices. For an indie game developer looking to release a game that gains traction, this is a great way to gain that recognition. There is a one-time fee to open a publisher account and you can then start the submission process. Like the Apple Store, Google Play also carries guidelines for their submissions, so make sure your game complies with their checklist of guidelines.
- Amazon Appstore: Another app store that indie video games creators will reach primarily Android users is the Amazon Appstore. It’s free to submit and release games on the store, but an Amazon Developer Account is required. Amazon has its own game testing service and will review it to make sure it meets all the requirements. The biggest benefit of the Amazon Appstore is their Live App Testing tool that can help you through the infancy stages of your game development process.
PC and Other Platforms
Steam is one of the most well-renowned and well-established PC distribution services on the market. Many would consider Steam to be THE entertainment platform for PC gamers with over 100 million users in their community. In order to publish through Steam, you have to publish the game through Steam Direct and join their Steamworks Distribution program. The cost is $100 per product for submission, but you can get that money back once your product has made $1000. If you’re looking to make a big break in Indie game development, Steam is the best place to get exposure.
Game House is a distributor of games for PC, Mac, and mobile devices. They offer over 2,300 online and downloadable games from in-house creators and third-party developers. Game House Partners offers publishing and promotion for both PC and mobile app video games. With 30 million monthly users and 13 million PC and Mac users, they have a fairly large community of users. In order to submit a project, you must fill out an online form and they will respond back with your next steps for publishing.
One of the better platforms for indie video games developers is Itch. Their platform is free to publish, and the sellers have quite a bit of control as compared to other platforms. Your product page is completely under your control, you set the price for your game, and you can even adjust the revenue split of the game with Itch.io. Most of the games on the platform run between $10-$15, but buyers can pay what they want, essentially. The seller can also place a minimum price on their game. In order to start with Itch, all you have to do is create an account and a custom landing page to showcase your product!
Humble Bundle is a gaming platform with a decent user count, with about 12 million customers using their platform. For indie video games submission, it’s free. Their team will review the game and let you know if it has been accepted or rejected. What stands out about this platform, though, is that their revenue split has a bit of a wrinkle. Their split with creators is 75/15 with the remaining 10% of revenue getting donated to charity. Humble Bundle has a couple of different offers for publishing as well including one option that enables you to create your own webpage to sell the game through with free hosting and you keep 95% of the revenue after taxes and processing fees. The other option is their Humble Widget, which has the same 95% revenue split and enables you to sell your game on your own existing website.
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