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July 1st, 2011, 07:08
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
But if they decide against selling directly they're exchanging one (perceived) risk by another which might be far bigger in the long term:
Their business success is 100% tied to their distribution partners - but their partners aren't invested in the game. Selling this very game is probably of relatively low priority for them, and they really don't give a damn about Gaslamp's business success. Which is only natural because their goals as a distributor are different to Gaslamp's as developer.

Anecdotal evidence (blogposts by other developers, etc.) makes me believe that getting past the Steam gatekeeper as an indie is like a rigged lotterie. You either have connections or you need a lot of luck. Even a well known indie like Positech Games only managed to sneak one game into Steam, all others were rejected. Jeff Vogel's Avadon was rejected too.

So what happens if Steam and a couple of other distributors decide to pass on the next game?
In that case Gaslamp will be caught with their pants down. No independent high margin sales channel, no customer data for the mailing list.
So direct sales are sort of a safety net.

So I'm not sure they made the less risky choice.
I haven't read developer blogs on Steam, but it appears to be me that Indie games on Steam have a certain level of polish to them. It doesn't surprise me at all that Vogel's games wouldn't make the cut as they look old and outdated.

Steam may have a high criteria for entry, but other digital distribution channels don't. Impulse for example has a substantially lower standard for taking on games.

If there is money to be made, there will be digital distributors available.
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