Golden Unicorn Gaming

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A question for all of you present and future commercial sellers.  I'm going to begin work on a website, and do you find it easier to create a "commercial website" that actually allows you to sell your game directly, or do you have a "nonpayment site" that links to someone/somewhere else who manages all the payments?  What are the pros and cons?  I'm looking into something like wix.com because it's free, but don't want to jump the gun if I decide that I should be doing it myself with a monthly fee instead...  Thanks in advance to all!


Luke


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Shaz

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Creating a "commercial website" doesn't mean you have to handle all the payments yourself.  Set up an account with BMT Micro or similar who can do your payment processing, then create your own website to advertise the game, adding the BMT Micro buy/download link.  And set it up (with them) for affiliation so other people who have websites can also advertise your game, but payments will still all go through your own BMT Micro account.  Their commission will be paid to them automatically, so you don't have to worry about that.


If you don't even want to do that much yourself, just find a publisher who host the game on their site, handle all the payment processing, and give you your share at the end of each month.  Be careful who you go with though, as there are some that are notoriously bad for not sending payments to developers for months.  
 

Idril

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As Shaz said, commercial website =/= handling payments yourself/relying on no one else for a store. You could just set up your actual payment processing through a company and then set up your website. The commercial vs noncommercial aspect really depends on a few factors -

  • Do you want your own domain? not buymygames.websiteprovider.com or websiteprovider.com/buymygames or something like that, but your own, nice-looking url like buymygames.com? If so, this will ALWAYS cost some money. Pros here are a professional-looking URL for your brand and cons are obviously money, if you're limited on funds. GoDaddy has some good prices if this is something you're interested in.
  • Do you want to go through Wordpress/Tumblr/Blogger/etc for your actual website? Deciding on one of these is a good step to take. Or you could code the website yourself, but that's a ton of work. Wordpress has a lot of great themes, but the free wordpress.com version, which works if you don't want to pay EXTRA for web hosting through the same place you got your domain, has some features that are blocked unless you pay for them. Blogger is nice but pretty simple and not a lot of customization can be done on themes/layouts, definitely not as much as some of the others. Tumblr's got great themes and is good for getting discovered, and also for keeping a running blog. And there's Wix which is very pretty. I think you have to pay extra to attach a custom domain, so look into that. I know with Tumblr it's free, once you buy the domain through whatever company you choose - I can't remember about Wordpress/Blogger.
 

Hudell

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If you don't even want to do that much yourself, just find a publisher who host the game on their site, handle all the payment processing, and give you your share at the end of each month.  Be careful who you go with though, as there are some that are notoriously bad for not sending payments to developers for months.  



Now that you mention it, is there any list here of "good" publishers or anything like that? I'd imagine a lot of people here have worked with different publishers and have different experiences.
 

Shaz

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Degica and Aldorlea come to mind immediately.  Amaranth Games may still be publishing games for others - not sure as Amanda's changed direction a little recently.  BFG do not delay payments, but they might be a bit more fussy about what they will accept (though I think the last Aveyond game, released only a little while ago, made it to BFG).


Note - this will NOT become a topic where everyone who thinks they can publish games provides their contact details. We have requirements you must meet before you can advertise services like that - if you want to do that, post in the pinned thread, after reading the first post properly and confirming that you DO meet the requirements.
 

ロリ先輩

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@Hudell While it's not in the same sense as Degica/Amaranth/Aldorlea, I know that Humble (of Humble Bundle) and itch.io do something similar. With the former, all you get is their widget, and (to the best of my memory) hosting for the packages you provide to them. The latter also processes payments, and hosts your packages, but will also give you a listing on their market place. Not having used them, I can't say much for how well it plays out, but I know that @Des uses itch for his assets.

What I will say is, you -do not- want to process payments yourself through your own web code. To some extent, that requires handling payment information and private billing information, and while I'm not sure how it works outside of the US, as far as things work out in the US, in the case that your security is compromised and someone gains unauthorised access to your customers' data, you are responsible as well, and you might end up with civil cases against you, in the worst case scenario, the Federal Trade Commission can sue you (refer to 14-3514 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit).
 
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Golden Unicorn Gaming

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Thank you everyone for your time and answers.  It has been enlightening.


Luke


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