Do RPGM dev's hate Steam?

CleanWater

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@woootbm, I can see your point and agree with you.

Milking sales from a $10, $15 or even a $20 project is not the ideal from a business point of view. For me, it's working as I'm seeing this today as a hobby and I'm not willing to spend any money on it, neither let it in someone's else pocket.

I honestly believe that publishing on Steam today won't be the same as before during Steam Greenlight era though. To make it a business again, I would need to invest heavily on marketing, which is not viable for me right now.

As a local (I mean, really local, not local including the whole country) web designer, things are going more smoothly, as I can talk directly to possible customers and explain the benefits of having their own site for their business and why they should hire me instead of doing it themselves or hiring someone's else they barely knows on internet. This is not something I can't do with games, as the market is kinda "global" wide.

Actually, even if I release a game only for my country, it's still a wide market. If Steam can't do this marketing for me, like it did back before, I can't see any sense on publishing there today. Releasing a game on Steam meant a sure profit.
 
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Iron_Brew

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I am very confused by some of the points being made here; are we seriously saying that Brazilian developers pay different taxes based on the platform upon which their sales are made? That seems BIZARRE.

Or is the point here that Steam enforces that you pay your taxes while on Itch it is easier to commit tax fraud? :LZSlol:
 

Fionn23

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Forgive me for my question because I'm also confused about taxes. If my country (Philippines) has a tax treaty with US, will there be a deduction of withholding tax in steam?
 

SGHarlekin

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I have not met anyone with an explicit disdain towards steam.

Itch is much easier to handle. (Upload your package and you're good to go. Option to not share revenue with them, easy store page setup, easy payout options, easy key generation for streamers, friends and whatnot.)

Steam wants 100$ just to give you a slot. Their page is confusing and complicated comparatively. They have large fees for payout. You have to "request" keys for your game, and they can deny it. They take a big cut & your game will be lost and forgotten just as quickly.

That being said, steam is still the better option if you can afford it. I got roughly 10 times as many sales on steam than on itch. (Steam just IS the mainstream after all.)

So yeah, steam is objectively the better option, if you're going for profits. Itch is much more developer friendly.

There's also the option to go with Voxpop games these days. They are relatively new and are absolutely great. Top notch service directly from their team via discord and mail. Smaller cut, no slot fees. They have their own launcher, so I'd like to call them "Steam for indie games"

They aren't as popular of course, but I think it's worth checking them out. (After all, nobody is stopping you from hosting your game on multiple platforms.)

@Fionn23 if your country has a treaty, steam will not withhold any tax money. Only if you are not doing your tax interview right will they keep the maximum amount.
 

CleanWater

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I am very confused by some of the points being made here; are we seriously saying that Brazilian developers pay different taxes based on the platform upon which their sales are made? That seems BIZARRE.

Or is the point here that Steam enforces that you pay your taxes while on Itch it is easier to commit tax fraud? :LZSlol:

There's no way to commit tax fraud on Itch, actually, it's the opposite.

On Steam, I need to pay money change taxes from sales that came from my own country, while on Itch it doesn't happen because of the direct-to-you payout through Paypal. Steam forces me to pay unnecessary taxes.

By the way, I have two pages (one for international, other for Brazil) and the old CleanWaterSoft one (where I still receive some donations for my old games). If you visit them, you will notice the price tags are written with R$ instead of $.

 

woootbm

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Milking sales from a $10, $15 or even a $20 project is not the ideal from a business point of view.
To be clear, there's nothing wrong with those price points. We're making digital goods and we're not the ones suffering the cost of hosting servers with either platform. With physical goods, sure, you can choose a price point where you lose money on every sale because of the static costs of materials, packaging, and shipping. These cuts we take are percentage based, so we always make a "profit" on a sale.

What I said was "10 sales", not "$10 sales". $10 can make you a ton of money if you sell thousands of copies. Doesn't matter that the price point is low.
I honestly believe that publishing on Steam today won't be the same as before during Steam Greenlight era though. To make it a business again, I would need to invest heavily on marketing, which is not viable for me right now.
So maybe this deserves its own post but I think RPGM dev's should have a better understanding of how Steam has changed over the years before blaming Steam Direct (or Greenlight, but I think you mean Direct).

Pre-Greenlight there was no system in place for indie's to easily get onto the platform. It was like most other platforms. You needed a publisher and ... iunno, STUFF, to get your game on there. Which is why Steam was not flooded with games; you had to be a "real" game dev to get on. There were RPGM games on there, but they were the bigger ones that had at least some kind of budget.

In short, if you can't afford $100, there's no way in HELL you would have been able to get your game onto Steam back then.

Then there was Greenlight. This allowed more RPGM games to get onto the platform. But, again, these had some level of effort/budget because they had to impress people enough to vote on them. You had to reach top 100 or something to get approved (although the system had some jank where some people got through without this effort, and others didn't get through despite achieving it). A lot of people never got approved through Greenlight.

Now we have Direct. Direct is very different from Greenlight. There is no voting process. Hell, there is seemingly nothing stopping people from putting their game onto Steam other than $100. I think they'll stop you if your exe is a virus, but that's about it. Oh, you also have to hit some minimum requirements for your store page but those are so low you'd have to be some kind of a jerk to complain about them.
 
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Yeah, itch.io definitely sounds like it makes sense on the more hobbyist side of things. I can see people wanting to get their stuff out their and churn out content as they grow. Me, I just polished my little nugget and put it out there because it's a bigger platform, heh.



I mean putting 13 games up at once is bad business anyway; you'd be competing with yourself. If it were me I would just slowly trickle on my best works one at a time, test the waters. Like the company Spiderweb Software did (not an RPGM dev, but similar product).


To be frank, I assumed the $100 was in consideration for such countries. I would have expected the fee to be $1000 or more. For a point of reference, I've heard numbers like 50k for consoles (or 25k, or something. Tens of thousands). Not sure how this works nowadays since consoles have gotten more indie-friendly.

Game dev is expensive :hswt:

Such people should not be trying to sell a game...
I completely agree.

Even though both Steam and itch.io have plenty of terrible games, I find Steam to be much more reputable. I’m in the process of creating a Steam page for my game, and I believe a game looks far more professional when it has a Steam page than when it has an itch.io page.

I like that Steam charges a $100 fee to create a game page. It encourages commitment. In theory, people will only create pages for their games if the games are serious projects or are high enough quality to sell. People are reluctant to post unfinished projects (or projects they have no intention of finishing) if they have to pay $100 to do it. This is the same reason that animal shelters charge an adoption fee. Not only does the money from the fee help them operate, but it makes people take the decision to adopt a pet seriously.

Granted, there are still terrible games on Steam, but probably far less than on Itch.io due to the paywall. If Steam had a $1,000 fee to create a game page (not that I think they should—$100 is extremely reasonable as woootbm mentioned) this would weed out more subpar games.

Also, for people who have expressed concerns about covering their $100 fee, that should not be an issue if you're even remotely serious about game development. The average indie game costs about $15. If your game isn't good enough to sell more than seven copies, why are you bothering to put it on Steam?
 

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