It’s no secret that Steam is responsible for the success of the indies over the past few years. In fact, Valve deserves a huge ‘thank you,’ as without Steam, there likely would not have been any sort of indie movement. It made the idea of digital distribution popular, and because of it, it has allowed small developers to release their game on a large platform without having to go the traditional retail route.
There’s no need to ship a box containing your game to a retail store, and most importantly, indie developers do not have to fight among AAA developers to have their game on a retailer’s shelf. It’s a battle indie developers certainly cannot win (at least most of the time), and because of Steam, a theoretical even-playing field exists.
Yet, ‘theoretical’ is the keyword. Because of this jumpstart we have seen on the indie scene, there are so many indie games vying to launch on Steam that Valve cannot keep tabs on every single game that wants to launch Steam. It’s the reason why they created Steam Greenlight, yet even that hasn’t solved the problem of being overwhelmed. Part of that is actually Valve’s fault, in that indie developers have no idea how Valve uses Greenlight. Nobody knows the true value of votes or how close their game is getting to being ‘greenlit,’ Some developers only have to wait roughly a week for their game to be greenlit, while others have to wait month after month after month. It’s a bit of a crapshoot to be certain, and because of this, many indie developers are trying to find an alternate route to getting featured on Steam.
In short, a rising portion of indie developers are hoping to find success outside of Steam in hopes that Valve will take notice and feature their game on Steam. Sure, there are other competitors out there such as Greenman Gaming, Desure, GOG, Amazon Indie Deals, and more, yet none of them comes close to being a true competitor to Steam. As crowded as Steam may be, there simply hasn’t been a true, valid alternative to earning the biggest profits for an indie title other than Steam.
Yet that may be about to change.
You have probably heard of Humble. They offer Humble Bundles all the time and even provide a separate Humble Weekly Sale. Now, Humble is selling games via the Humble Store, in which they are now offering daily deals on indie games. And what’s more? Humble is aggressively trying to get new developers to sell their game with them, as they allow the developer to set up a sales channel on their personal site (via the Humble Widget) with a revenue split that is nearly impossible to beat: Devs receive 95% of sales, Humble receives 5%.
Even Steam cannot offer a revenue split that awesome.
New to Humble is the Humble Store, with a split of 75% to developers, 15% to Humble, and 10% to charities. It’s still good and nothing to complain about, and because Humble has a ton of users, indie developers are going to flock to Humble. They also have an incredible reputation in that they are easy to work with and extremely accessible, so what does this mean for Steam?
Many indie developers (and a growing number of indie developers for that matter) are finding that Humble is a more attractive option for ultimately being featured on Steam as opposed to going through Greenlight initially.
With a combination of incredible customer service, a stellar revenue split, and an increasing amount of individuals paying attention to Humble, selling your game on the Humble Store or even through the Humble Widget via your personal website is becoming an incredible way to get the attention of Valve and have your game sold via Steam. No longer do indie developers have to wait for their game to be greenlit, and that is the sole reason why the Humble Store is such an attractive avenue. Indie developers are able to get paid (attractively) by selling their game via Humble while they wait for Valve to feature them on their store. The waiting game is no longer the ‘only game in town,’ and with more customers flocking to Humble than ever before, it’s almost seeming like a no-brainer to sell indie games on Humble from the getgo instead of solely relying on Steam.
What do you guys think? Do you think that Steam’s days of being an indie juggernaut are over thanks to Humble, or do you think that using Steam Greenlight to get indie games ‘greenlit’ is still the best way to go? Let us know in the comments below!