Months ago, I discussed how to sell your PC game without Steam, detailing alternative places to sell your indie game. It’s great to know there are options out there, but what if you could sell your indie game without using any type of online store? In essence, what if you could sell your indie game directly from your website without needing to use Steam or any other online retailer?
It’s possible, and it’s worth considering. While it’s certainly not as simple as going the Steam route, it’s a completely viable option. Here are the perks of selling your indie game directly from your website.
Ensure you have a trusted web host
Of course, you should already have a website dedicated to your studio (and if you don’t, get one). Afterward, ensure your website is supported by a web hosting service that is trustworthy and has stellar customer service. Hostgator, Dreamhost, and 1&1 are great places to start.
Let someone else handle your payments
Essentially, you are turning your website into an online store. Thus, you don’t want to take online orders 24 hours a day, every day, right? Of course not! Let someone else handle the dirty work for you. Use a payment provider such as Fastspring or BMTMicro instead. These guys handle all of your credit card payments, debit cards, PayPal payments, even orders that come through via the telephone (does anyone still do that?). Although they take a small percentage of the sales price, in the end, letting someone else (such as those listed above) take the reins and handle your payments for you is more than worth it in the end.
Using a payment processing service such as the one above is also great for…
Never worrying about sales tax
You may find yourself worrying about taxes to charge, generating download links, currency conversions, and so on. A payment processor such as the one listed above takes care of all of these worries so you never have to worry about anyone of those stressful, headache inducing pains ever again. Each month, your bank account will be credited with the amount of money your game earns you per month. It’s just as simple as using Steam.
More data to play with
No, you won’t have access to your customer’s payment details (why would you want it, anyway), but you will have access to the email address of everyone that buys your game, and that is powerful. With these email addresses, you can use a service such as ymlp to send newsletters, press releases, etc. to every person that has ever purchased your game. That means release announcements for new DLC, teasers, trailers, updates, and of course, new game announcements can be sent to your past customers in an effort to get them to buy more content.
You keep 90% of all sales
Only the Humble Store rivals this (you keep 95% of all sales with Humble Store), but when you consider you get to not only play with the data (as mentioned above) and never have to rely on another gaming portal to drive your business, 90% doesn’t sound too shabby.
And neither does selling your game via your personal website. It may take a while to get enough people to purchase your game via your website, but if you can get enough traffic driven to your website, you are going to benefit from selling your game directly from your site. Is it mandatory? Absolutely not, but it may earn you a few extra bucks you never would have earned.
Plus, you are in control of your own destiny – not Steam, GOG, Humble Store, etc. You! And that’s powerful.