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Distributing Games Online

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Sorry if I sound noobish or if you think this is a dumb question but I was wondering what the best way to distribute a game after you make it? I know there are many online ditributers such as Steam but which ones do think are the best for indie developers? And also what are the drawbacks to some of them? Thanks

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Sorry if I sound noobish or if you think this is a dumb question but I was wondering what the best way to distribute a game after you make it? I know there are many online ditributers such as Steam but which ones do think are the best for indie developers? And also what are the drawbacks to some of them? Thanks

"Best" is subjective.
"Drawbacks" are subjective.

What is best for one may be horrible for another.
What is a drawback for one may be a benefit for another.

I've been with products that chose (correctly) to release it themselves even when a bigger group offered to pick them up; it was a smart business decision for them. I've seen groups do the same thing and fail. I've seen people select the wrong publisher and end up failing in obscurity, while others pick the right publisher for them and succeed spectacularly.

There are the obvious "steam", and "appstore" choices IF you can get your app accepted. But they are not exclusive. You can still publish in additional ways.

It is a very important business decision, and only you get the responsibility and consequences.

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Sorry if I sound noobish or if you think this is a dumb question but I was wondering what the best way to distribute a game after you make it? I know there are many online ditributers such as Steam but which ones do think are the best for indie developers? And also what are the drawbacks to some of them? Thanks


Steam is the best PC option for indies, if they consider your game to be good enough. (It has the largest installbase which really is everything, almost noone will register on a new service just for YOUR game(unless its really special)). mobiles however are far superior both iOS and Android have large userbases and the requirements to get onto the respective appstores are really low, you also don't have to compete with multimillion dollar productions to the same extent, Then there are also Flash and Unity portals, many of which support microtransactions and ad revenue sharing.

The only real exceptions to the "Go with steam" recommendation is if you think you can gain enough exposure and traction anyway to make people buy it from a different service (In which case you can get a bigger piece of the pie than what steam offers) or if they reject the game.

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Nokia has massive userbase too (2nd largest platform after Android), just released a Symbian app onto their app store and get loads of downloads without even trying to advertise.

But it's not clear why this is - I mean, Windows is still surely a larger platform, and there are plenty of download centres with low requirements (including far easier than mobile download centres, especially Apple), and it's also easier on a desktop to just Google for things. Perhaps one reason is far greater competition - both large amounts that's given away for free, and high quality commercial (and where you might not even get to compete on things like Steam, if you're rejected).

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