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How Do Small Free Steam Games Make Revenue?

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Hi! I saw a small platform game on Steam. It was free, and from the look of it, wouldn't have any DLCs. How do thes kind of games make money?

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What's the name of the game?

There's donations and/or micro-transactions, and then there's (potentially) indirect things like content creation and such (which I've never seen anyone benefit from, but nothing's impossible). This wouldn't earn you money from sales per se, but could perhaps boost player and viewer base synergetically, so that you get more people to follow your channels, social medias, etc. Which in turn supports your attempts at future projects. And then you could have things like product placement within the game or ads if the game is associated with some website or w/e.

But realistically, I presume donations and MT are the most likely sources of income, if any.

Edited by Malabyte

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Sometimes free games have trading cards on Steam and the developer makes money whenever a trading trade is sold or traded. There could be something with that.

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Sometimes free games have trading cards on Steam and the developer makes money whenever a trading trade is sold or traded. There could be something with that.

You can't add steam trading cards to a game that's free/has no microtransactions. In addition, users need to spend money on things before they get access to the trading card drops.

 

However, there's kind of an exploit to do this on steam that I've seen happen by accident a few times, where if a subscription + paid game releases and has steam authentication integration, with drop after time cards, then steam support converts it to a buy once game, then a F2P game, it will retain it's card drops for people log in with steam authentication despite them never paying

 

I've given it a lot of research, as having a game with truly free trading cards on steam would be a goldmine.

 

For my games, I give out copious ammounts of free keys to multiple places at once (This way they can't be sold on G2A etc, because they're all used), those free copies given out can still generate revenue from the cards.

Edited by conquestor3

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